This week in history (17 February – 23 February)

17 February

On 17 February 1947, Nicholas Adamou was born. He began his Karate training, alongside his older brother Chris, in 1964 British Karate Federation’s London dojo.

When Hirokazu Kanazawa began teaching JKA Shotokan for the BKF in 1965, Adamou and his brother become devoted students of his.

Following the split from the BKF, the Adamou brothers became members of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), whose Chief Instructor was Kanazawa.

Both Nick and Chris Adamou graded for 1st Dan in 1967 under Kanazawa.

Adamou joined Kanazawa‘s Shotokan Karate International (SKI) when it was first formed. He also became the first karateka in Britain to be awarded 5th Dan under Kanazawa in 1983.

In 1990 Adamou formed his own Karate association, the International Association of Shotokan Karate.


20 February

On 20 February 1986 Kata World Champion Rika Usami was born in Tokyo, Japan.

A student of Karate master Yoshimi Inoue, Usami won the 2012 WKF World Championship Kata final held in Paris, France. She is known for her grace, strength and speed that mesmerize in equal measures.


21 February

On 21 February 1956, the earliest known letter is written by Vernon Bell to Henri Plee. It is believed that Bell wrote to the Fédération Française de Karaté on becoming affiliated with them.


On 21 February 1995, Steve Cattle died following an epileptic fit. He was only 47 years old. Until his untimely death, Cattle was one of the longest practising Shotokan practitioners in Britain. He was also a keen historian of Karate.

Nicknamed ‘Stumpy’ as he was only 5ft 6in, Cattle began training in Judo in 1961, eventually reaching the rank of 2nd Dan. He represented Britain at the 1967 World Student Games held in Japan.

However, it is for Karate that Cattle is best known. He began his karate training in 1963 applying for membership with the British Karate Federation (BKF) in York. He moved to Liverpool to study Degree in Divinity. It was at this time he started training with Keinosuke Enoeda.

Cattle was selected to become a member of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) national team. He was a top competitor nationally and internationally, recognized for his accurate punching and great timing.

In the late 1980s, Cattle left the KUGB and joined Taiji Kase‘s World Karate Shotokan Karate Association (WKSA).


On 21 February 2015, a special banquet was given to celebrate Fumio Demura‘s 50th anniversary of teaching in the United States. 600 people attended the event. Guests included Tsutomo Ohshima, Tak Kubota, and several Hollywood stars. Rather than being the centre of attention, Demura in characteristic fashion honoured his students. He inducted his most loyal students into the Genbu-kai Hall of Fame. At the end of the night, he expressed his gratitude to the audience.


22 February

On 22 February 1964, Hiroo Mochizuki, representing Yoseikan Karate, arrived in the UK for a three-day visit. He was invited by the British Karate Federation (BKF) to conduct lessons at their London and York dojos. He also conducted a grading at the York dojo.


23 February

On23 February 1966, Edward Whitcher and Robert Williams of the British Karate Federation’s London dojo are graded to 1st kyu by Hirokazu Kanazawa. They were the first students in Britain to be graded to 1st kyu by the Japan Karate Association.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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