In 1965, Fumio Demura became one of the early pioneers of karate in America by opening the first dojo in the United States that taught authentic shito-ryu karate and kobudo (Okinawan weapons training). Born September 15, 1938, Fumio Demura began training in karate and kendo under Asano sensei and learned itosu-kai karate from Ryusho Sakagami. After receiving his black belt in 1956 and winning the 1957 East Japan Championships, he started kobudo training with Taira Shinken (one of Gichin Funakoshi’s students).
In 1963, Fumio Demura arrived in the United States and began teaching at Dan Ivan’s karate dojo chain in Southern California. Fumio Demura earned Black Belt Hall of Fame honors as Karate Sensei of the Year (1969) and Martial Artist of the Year (1975).
Fumio Demura made an impressive mark in Hollywood in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) because he endured hot, stuffy and sweat-inducing long hours inside the rubber Hyena Man costume in hot and humid weather without complaint.