Sensei Shihan Fumio Demura, a Karate Legend Passes Away at 81

Sensei Shihan Fumio Demura died. (Facebook)

The well-known Japanese karate and Kobudo teacher Fumio Demura Sensei passed away at the age of 81. Let’s see How did the Karate Legend die and Fumio Demura cause of death in detail.


How did Fumio Demura die?

Fumio Demura, a Japanese karate and Kobudo teacher who was 81 years old, died on April 24, 2023.

International Karate Kobudo Federation (IKKF) shared the devastating news on Facebook,

“It is with a sad heart that we announce the passing of FUMIO DEMURA, 10th Dan, Hanshi. He was a true PIONEER of the arts.

He was a practitioner of Shito Ryu Karate and Okinawan Kobudo. He was an awesome practitioner, teacher, and involved in many movies over the decades. The Heilman’s had the honor of knowing and becoming friends with him as he would teach the Karate Seminars while the Heilman’s taught Kobudo Seminars for the United States Karate Alliance and the United States Association of Martial Artists over the last 3 1/2 decades.

He will be missed.

RIP 😪🥋🙏⛩😪

Numerous artists and his students, who worked with Fumio Demura throughout the years,also confirmed the news of his death.

Artist Scott Adkins wrote,

“R.I.P. Sensei, Shihan Fumio Demura. I had the pleasure to work with him on Ninja in 2008. A phenomenal Karate practitioner and wonderful man.”

Artist Sho Kosugi wrote,

“~~<<Special Announcement>>~~~ We have just gotten a sad & terrible news from Mr. Kosugi. Mr. Fumio Demura who was one of Mr. Kosugi’s US Karate Teachers passed away today. Mr. Kosugi had worked with Mr. Fumio Demura at a Japanese Garden & Deer Park in Buena Park, California more than 4 years in 1970’s. Mr. Kosugi used to do Karate Shows as well as Samurai Shows at the Park with Mr. Fumio Demura. What’s a sad and unhappy news, indeed! We, all staffs in USA & Japan as well as Sho Kosugi would like to extend our deepest sympathy and respect to his families. We really miss him. Rest In Peace🙏🙇‍♂️

Martial Arts School Wado Ryu Karate wrote,

“RIP FUMIO DEMURA, 10th Dan, Hanshi. He was a true PIONEER of the arts. He was a practitioner of Shito Ryu Karate and Okinawan Kobudo. He was an awesome practitioner, teacher, and involved in many movies over the decades.”

Sendei Karate Club wrote,

We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Fumio Demura Sensei, 9th Dan in Shitō-ryū, a true legend in the martial arts community. His contributions to the art of Karate-Do and his impact on generations of students are immeasurable.

As practitioners of Shitō-ryū we have always admired Demura Sensei’s skill and dedication to the art. His unwavering commitment to training and his ability to seamlessly blend traditional techniques with modern innovations set him apart as a true pioneer in the field.

But beyond his impressive martial arts accomplishments, Demura Sensei was also known for his warmth, generosity, and genuine love of teaching. His humility and willingness to share his knowledge and experience with others made him beloved by students and fellow practitioners alike.

While his passing is a great loss to the martial arts world, we are grateful for the legacy he leaves behind.

His spirit will continue to inspire and guide millions of us all in our practice of Shitō-ryū and beyond.

Our deepest condolences go to his family and students.

The Sendai Karate Family”

Arrangements for Fumio Demura’s funeral will be made public by the family.

Fumio Demura cause of death

We’re sorry to have to inform you that Fumio Demura has passed away. Fumio Demura was regarded as having a friendly personality. Many people must be curious to know the Fumio Demura cause of death in light of the recent news. The precise Fumio Demura cause of death hasn’t been revealed, yet. As soon as we find out more information, we’ll update this story.

Our staff does not confirm any rumors regarding the news, but you can be sure that we are doing everything in our power to gather relevant information about the tragedy and present the most recent updates as quickly as possible; nevertheless, remember that family privacy should be respected.


Who was Fumio Demura?

Fumio Demura was a well-known Japanese karate and kobudo (traditional weapons) expert. In the first, third, and fourth Karate Kid films, he served as Pat Morita’s stunt double for martial arts sequences (and served as the model for ‘Mr Miyagi’).Demura was a 9th dan Shit-ry karate expert.

He started learning karate and kendo at the age of 9 with a teacher named Asano. He began his Itosu-kai karate instruction at the age of 12 under Ryusho Sakagami. Demura won the East Japan Championships in 1957 after earning his first dan black belt in 1956.

Under the guidance of Taira Shinken, he started his kobudo training in 1959. Kobudo is a type of Okinawan weapons training. He “came to know the Koga Ryu Ninjutsu Soke, Seiko Fujita- a 14th Generation Koga Ryu Ninja personally” in 1963. Demura got to know martial arts expert Donn Draeger, who then introduced him to Dan Ivan, who finally brought him to the US to teach karate.


Demura travelled to the United States in 1965 as a representative of the Japan Karate-do Itosu-kai. He built a karate and kobudo reputation from his base in southern California.

He was a 5th dan in 1971, and he remained in that position at least until 1982. Shito-Ryu Karate (1971), Advanced nunchaku (1976, co-authored), Tonfa: Karate weapon of self-defense (1982), Nunchaku: Karate weapon of self-defense (1986), Bo: Karate weapon of self-defense (1987), and Sai: Karate weapon of self-defense (1987) are just a few of Demura’s martial arts works that were published during the 1970s and 1980s. Demura was given the rank of 7th dan in Shito-ry karate in 1986. He was kicked out of the Itosu-kai in 2001, at which point he was appointed Director of the Shito-ry Karate-do Genbu-kai.

He received a 9th dan promotion in 2005. Demura gave a performance during the United States Martial Arts Festival in October 2010 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Centre in Redondo Beach, California, which was organized by the Koyamada International Foundation (KIF).

Karate Kid Films

Demura started working on the Karate Kid films in the 1980s. He served as Pat Morita’s stunt double while he was portraying Mr. Miyagi.

According to Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote the screenplay for The Karate Kid, Fumio Demura served as the model for Mr. Miyagi, who was named after Chjun Miyagi, the creator of the Goju-ryu karate school. Demura has appeared in several films and documentaries, including The Warrior Within (1976), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977), The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), Shootfighter: Fight to the Death (1992), Rising Sun (1993), The Next Karate Kid (1994), Masters of the martial arts (1998, presented by Wesley Snipes), Mystic origins of the martial arts (1998), Modern warriors (2002), XMA: Xtreme Martial Arts (2003), and Ninja (2009). The documentary “The Real Miyagi” from 2015 is about Demura.


Tributes to Fumio Demura

Many people expressed their profound sympathies to his family and expressed how much they loved him. The news of this occurrence has upset his supporters and fans.

Artist Nika Langer wrote : “Today passsed peacefully our beloved Sensei !!!! The REAL MIYAGI – FUMIO DEMURA,MARTIALART LEGEND ! He was for me like mother (after cancer death of my Mom at 31.03.2018 born on 16.09.1964), best friend, loving & carrying teacher !!!! I can not write, more cause it feels like the another half of me paased away I will always love you and train Karate, Battto and Kobudo for You 😭😭😭😭 !!!! CAN NOT top CRYING…. You took my grief away after my Mom died but you put me in the deep grief again 🤍🤍🤍🤍 I thank God to spent very intensive time with you and make beautiful expierences !!! Thank You for the daily contact these few years.❤❤❤❤ Rest in peace and don’t worry about anything 🤍🤍🤍🤍🖤🖤🖤🖤❗❗❗❗ We will also meet in the next life, cause we Set it up once opone an April 2022 just to make it sure !”

Ken Obsorne wrote :”I have just learned that Fumio Demura has passed away. I have known Fumio for over 60 years. A real gentleman through and through. I can’t tell you how I have looked up to him over the years around three years ago when we did the memorial practice for Caylor Adkins, I invited him to be the honored guest for Caylor Adkins memorial practice.. they were very close over the years and it was such an honor to have Fumio there. I will always remember as a young man watching Fumio and thinking if I could only be a little bit like him. In one’s life, there’s only a few to pass through on your journey that was so Special, and Fumio was definitely that man he lived his life honorably, and was always concerned about his students and the people that he has touched in his own journey. I love you, Fumio we will see each other again.🙏

One of the worst things anyone can go through in life is losing a loved one. Any journey must have a destination at the end. The person’s time on earth has regrettably come to an end now that they have died. We wish him eternal peace and send our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones, family, friends. May he rest in peace.

Kindly use the comment box below to honor the death of Fumio Demura by leaving a tribute.


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1 thought on “Sensei Shihan Fumio Demura, a Karate Legend Passes Away at 81”

  1. Fumio Sensei was a very dedicated martial artist. He was very kind to me when he granted me my Shodan in 1977 as a representative for the Dominican Republic.


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