Fumio Demura

Read this short summary of martial arts leader Fumio Demura from his days in Japan to his time in California and even his stint on the silver screen.

It's easy for martial artists in 2019 to take for granted the diversity and racial equality we enjoy in the dojo. But it hasn't always been this way.

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The search for an answer to this seemingly innocent question can lead you to a deeper understanding of your place in the martial arts!

The caller's question was simple: “Who is the best karate practitioner in the world today?" The woman on the other end of the phone line said she was a writer working on a piece for a general-interest magazine about the best practitioners in several sports and physical activities. “What makes you think it isn't me?" I asked. There was silence on the line, so I tried another tack. “Let me ask you this," I said. “Who's the best musician in the world today?" “Well, that's really impossible to answer," she said. “There are so many kinds of music." Exactly. There's a natural inclination to want to know who the best is. In some aspects of life, we can make fairly accurate assessments. The best miler in the world has a track record as proof. In other areas, however, a qualifier like “best" is impossible. Such arbitrary assignations often cloud the issue rather than clarify it.

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Here's a short article on the long career of the shito-ryu karate and kobudo legend, plus details on how you can learn from the master. See lots of historical pix and a few of his old Black Belt covers!

Fumio Demura, ninth dan, is one of the most highly respected karateka in the world. Born in Yokohama, Japan, he began training during his grammar-school years, studying kendo as a means of building his strength and improving his health. When his teacher moved from the area, Demura transferred to another dojo that taught karate and kendo. He then studied aikido in high school and, later, judo. While at Nihon University in Tokyo, from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, Demura developed a special interest in kobudo, including the use of such weapons as the bo, nunchaku, kama, sai, eku bo and tonfa. He honed his technique under the tutelage of Okinawan karate master Kenshin Taira and weapons expert Ryusho Sakagami.

Ed Parker with Fumio Demura

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This exclusive article from the Black Belt magazine archive details the story of a karate legend's martial journey!

Shito-ryu karate legend Fumio Demura, as photographed for Black Belt magazine.Ask the average karate practitioner to name the main styles of Japan, and chances are he’ll rattle off shotokan, goju-ryu and wado-ryu with no trouble. But unless he’s really up on his art, there’s a good chance that he’ll stumble over the name of the fourth major style, snap his fingers and ask quizzically, “What’s the name of that other one, again?” That other style is shito-ryu, and any karate student’s puzzlement about it is somewhat understandable.  Shito-ryu is relatively unknown outside Japan, even though it’s perhaps the most interesting of all the Japanese systems. Shito-ryu is really a combination of several styles. For instance, it adopts the quick, strong moves of shotokan and blends them with the slow, heavy breathing aspects of goju-ryu. Another noteworthy feature of shito-ryu is the emphasis that some of its instructors place on making their students proficient in kobudo (traditional weaponry), including the bo, sai, naginata and nunchaku.

Your access to a FREE guide regarding the relationship between students and karate sensei is a click away! Karate Sensei: Should They Be Respected or Feared by Students?

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Master the nunchaku, bo, sai and kama among other karate weapons as master practitioner Fumio Demura shares his decades of knowledge through a series of karate weapons books and DVDs!

For many years, the karate style known as shito-ryu was relatively unknown outside Japan, even though it’s perhaps the most interesting of all the Japanese systems. Shito-ryu is really a combination of several styles. For instance, it adopts the quick, strong moves of shotokan and blends them with the slow, heavy breathing aspects of goju-ryu. Another noteworthy feature of shito-ryu is the emphasis that some of its instructors place on making their students proficient in kobudo (traditional weaponry), including the bo, sai, naginata and nunchaku. One of shito-ryu’s most famous practitioners and teachers has been the legendary karate weapons master Fumio Demura.

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