As a competitor, Hamish Adam has had a number of firsts. He was part of the first Scottish team to win the European Team Championships. He was also part of the British team to defeat Japan to win their first World Championship title. As a competitor, he has won Scottish, British, European, and World titles. As a coach, he has trained a number of European and World Champions.
Hamish Telfer Adam was born in the Niddrie area of Edinburgh on 29 May 1947. In 1962 he left school aged 15, to work as a salesman for a clothing firm.
In 1964 Adam started learning Wado-ryu Karate, after visiting a local dojo out of curiosity. He loved kumite and competing. By 1966 he had become British Junior Champion, while still green belt.
1966 saw Adam promoted 1st Dan under Tatsuo Suzuki.
Adam won the British Wado-ryu Championships in 1969. As a competitor, he was starting to get noticed. He won the British Wado-ryu Championships, followed by the European Wado-ryu Championships in 1970. That year he was selected in the first British All Styles Karate squad, he took part in the inaugural World Championships held in Japan.
1970 also saw Adam establish the Meadowbank Karate Group. He was also one of the nine founding members of the Scottish Karate Federation (SKF). He became the chairman of the Federation.
In 1971 Adam won his third straight British Wado-ryu championship title. The following year he was part of the British Team that won a bronze medal at the 2nd World Championships held in France. They defeated Japan on the way to the bronze medal.
1973 was a big year for Adam. He retained his British and European Wado-ryu Championship titles. As a member of the Scottish Team competing at their first European Team Championships, he helped Scotland win the title. He was also a part of the Scottish coaching team. He was named one of the “10 European Karateman” in the October issue of Black Belt Magazine.
In 1975 Adam took part in his third World Championships. At the 3rd World Championships held in Long Beach, California, he was part of a British team that defeated Japan in the Team Kumite final, to become World Champions. In the Individual Kumite event, he finished in fifth place, losing to Kunio Murakami of Japan in the quarter-finals.
The 1980s saw Adam begin his transition from competitor to coach. Even though he was coaching Scotland, he was still competing.
In 1984 he was part of a team that won the European Team Kumite title with Scotland at the European Championships held in Paris, France. Three years later at the European Championships held in Glasgow, Scotland, he was part of another Scottish team that won another European Team Kumite title.
Keen to share his knowledge, Adam co-authored “Competition Karate“, with Greg McClatchey in 1985.
Through the late 1980s and through the 1990s Adam was a coach of the Scottish National side. He helped coach number of champions including Pat McKay, Jim Wilson, Charlie Lindsay, and Calum Robb.
On 12 May 2006, Adam was appointed a Director at the Scottish Karate Governing Body.
Adam was awarded an MBE on 16 July 2012 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. This was for his services to the sport of Karate as both a competitor and coach.
The last couple of years has seen Adam continue his teaching/coaching and administrative duties. His son Stephen, has joined him as a coach for the Scottish National Side. Like his father, he has won titles at Scottish, British, and European level as a competitor.
Adam has played an important role in Scottish Karate. As a competitor, he won numerous titles and helped put Scottish Karate on the map. From 1969 to 1976 he won 8 straight Scottish Open All-Style Kumite Championships. Not to mention several European and World titles. As a coach he has passed on his knowledge to a new generation of competitors, producing a number of champions. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Scottish Karate Federation (SKF).