Fumio Demura Karate Weapons
Watch all six classic Fumio Demura kobudo videos — which feature the bo, nunchaku, sai, tonfa, kama and eku bo — then learn the beginner and expert forms that feature those traditional weapons!
Fumio Demura has been a leader in the American martial arts community since the 1960s, when the karate champ left his native Japan and settled in Southern California to teach his art. In the half century that followed, karate spread across the continent, and numerous teachers and champions have come and gone. But still, Fumio Demura stands as one of karate’s greatest living legends. As such, demand for his services as a sensei has never waned.
Black Belt spotted the rising star early on, which explains why Demura scored his first magazine cover in March 1969. Not coincidentally, it was a nunchaku story — as was the article that accompanied his second cover appearance in February 1972. Throughout the ’70s, Demura developed a reputation as an extraordinary teacher of kobudo, aka Okinawan weaponry, in part because of a series of instructional books from Ohara Publications. In the 1980s and '90s, he committed his insights to video in a set of VHS tapes produced by Black Belt. Later, the video masters were digitized and distributed in DVD format.
Now, in the 21st century, most martial artists have moved beyond the limitations of physical media, and to keep up with their demands, Black Belt is releasing Fumio Demura Karate Weapons: Complete Video Course. A full-motion companion to the best-selling 765-page book titled Fumio Demura’s Karate Weapons of Self-Defense: The Complete Edition, the video course streams those classic Demura kobudo videos, assembled for the first time, to your smartphone, tablet or computer whenever and wherever you like. There are no tapes to rewind and no DVDs to keep track of — or to transfer to your cellphone so you can watch on your lunch break at work.
Fumio Demura Karate Weapons: Complete Video Course also includes new footage of the master recorded in October 2016 at the Black Belt studio. Among the topics he discusses are how karate has changed over the years, what continues to attract modern martial artists to traditional weapons and how you can improve your skills.
Fumio Demura, ninth dan, is one of the most highly respected karateka in the world today. He was born in Yokohama, Japan, and began martial arts training during his grammar-school years, studying kendo as a means of building up his strength and improving his health. When his teacher moved from the area, Demura was relocated 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 worked under the tutelage of Okinawan karate master Kenshin Taira and weapons expert Ryusho Sakagami.
Demura’s reputation as a champion was secured in 1961, when he won the All-Japan Karate Freestyle Tournament, and he was rated as one of Japan’s top eight competitors for the next three years. His many tournament wins include the East Japan Championship, the Shito-Ryu Annual Championship and the Kanto District Championship. Demura has also received the All-Japan Karate Federation President’s Trophy for outstanding tournament play, and he has been awarded certificates of recognition from Japanese Cabinet officials for his contributions to the art of karate.
In 1965 Demura moved to the United States at the invitation of martial arts pioneer Dan Ivan to teach shito-ryu (itosu-kai), one of the world’s four major systems of karate. Within a few years, he was educating and entertaining thousands of people at such diverse places as Disneyland, the Las Vegas Hilton and other popular attractions, including the Japanese Village and Deer Park in Buena Park, California; Marineland of the Pacific in Rancho Palos Verdes, California; and even the Playboy Club in New York City. He has been a stuntman and an actor, with credits that include The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977), The Karate Kid (1984), Mortal Kombat (1995) and Ninja (2009).
Black Belt twice honored Demura: In 1969 he was named Karate Instructor of the Year, and in 1975 he was the magazine’s Martial Artist of the Year.
Demura was captain of the U.S. Japan Goodwill Championships of 1972 and a member of the Amateur Athletic Union national technical committee. He is on the board of directors of the International Martial Arts Federation; chairman and president of the Japan Karate Federation of America; president of the JKF International; and chief instructor and president of Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Genbu-Kai in Santa Ana, California.