Shihan 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 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 Genbukan 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 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 demonstrations and seminars.
Shihan Demura has received recognition for his work in promoting the martial arts as well as countless awards including the prestigious “Black Belt Hall of Fame” award for “Karate Sensei of the Year”, and in 1975, the “Martial Artist of the Year” from Black Belt Magazine.
He has authored several books on karate and kobudo and has been featured in numerous martial arts publications. He has also been the subject of a new series of instructional DVDs on Okinawan Kobudo.
Today Shihan Demura serves as director and Chief Instructor for the Shitoryu Genbukai International, an organization encompassing several nations and thousands of members. He still teaches at his Santa Ana, California dojo on a daily basis and travels to his various member clubs sharing his knowledge. Each February, he hosts his annual Goodwill Championships in Costa Mesa, Ca. which is one of longest running karate events in the southern California area.
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.