Fumio Demura, 9th Dan, was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1938. He began
the study of kendo at eight years of age. As his training formalized,
he studied kendo under the legendary Nakamura Taisaburo Sensei, and
kendo and karate under Sakagami Ryusho at his dojo in the Tsurumi district
An avid student, Shihan Demura
trained daily in the martial arts, achieving high levels of proficiency
at a young age. While training at Sakagami Sensei's Itosu-Kai dojo,
he was introduced to the Okinawan kobudo teacher Taira Shinken Sensei,
and soon became knowledgeable in various Ryukyu weapons, an ability
he would become famous for after his move to America.
n 1961 Shihan Demura won the National Kumite
title of Japan. He was now teaching karate in Tokyo, but had the desire
to come to the United States. His opportunity presented itself in 1963
when martial arts historian Donn Draeger introduced him to the American
karate pioneer Dan Ivan who was in Japan looking for a talented instructor
to assist him with his dojos in southern California.
In 1965, Shihan Demura moved to the United States
where he is generally considered the first to teach authentic Shito-Ryu
karate and Okinawan kobudo. Shihan Demura quickly became a prominent
figure in the American karate world through his teachings and his highly
skillful and entertaining demonstrations.
Over the years that followed Shihan Demura and his
students introduced thousands of people to the martial arts through
their colorful displays in the southern California area.
In 1969 Shihan Demura was awarded the prestigious
Black Belt Hall of Fame award for Karate Sensei of
the Year, and in 1975, he was named Martial Artist of the
During the 1970's and 1980's, he authored several
books on karate and kobudo for Ohara Publications, and has been featured
in numerous martial arts publications. Shihan Demura is a favorite amongst
karate magazines for his dynamic and insightful approach to all martial
In the 1980's Shihan Demura became involved in the
Karate Kid series, serving as stunt double to actor Pat
Morita. This was followed by several other appearances in feature films
such as Mortal Combat and Rising Sun.
Today Shihan Demura serves as director and Chief Instructor
for the Shitoryu Genbukai International, an organization encompassing
nearly twenty nations and thousands of members. He still teaches at
his Santa Ana, California dojo and most weekends are spent giving seminars
or assisting at tournaments literally throughout the world. Each February,
he hosts his annual Goodwill Championships in Costa Mesa, considered
by many to be the foremost traditional tournament in southern California.
Shihan Demura is an authentic karate sensei. Combining
the traditions of the past with modern approaches to training, he is
regarded by his students with love, trust and admiration. In his personal
life as well as within the walls of the dojo, Shihan is a living model
of what all true martial artists strive to be.