SHIHAN FUMIO DEMURA
Shihan Fumio Demura 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 of Yokohama. 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.
In 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
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 Year".
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
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
Today Shihan Demura serves as director and Chief Instructor for
Karate-Do Itosu-Kai 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.