Learning from the masters

16:00, Dec 26 2012
Karate Masters
LIVING LEGENDS: Shihan Shigeru Sawabe, left, and Fumio Demura.

Two masters of world karate have passed through, shared their knowledge and made sure a young club is doing okay.

Fumio Demura, dubbed ‘The real Mr Miyagi', and fellow sensei Shihan Shigeru Sawabe gave three Auckland seminars, including one at Whangaparaoa College.

Two seminars, organised by Sensei Dennis May of Okinawa Gojo Ryu, were held in Henderson.

The one at Whangaparaoa College was for the benefit of the Manly-based Genbukai club - a division of karate headed by Demura and the only one of its kind in New Zealand.

Head instructor David Taylor says the students appreciated working with "living legends of the karate world".

"It was a great honour and privilege to have them both travel to NZ to work and train us."


Sensei Demura is now back home in LA, while Sensei Sawabe has returned to Osaka.

Mr Taylor says Sensei Demura has also emailed to say how much he enjoyed the trip, how nice all the NZ people had been to them both and was happy with the way the club was progressing.

Sensei Demura has since gone to Japan to continue work on the film ‘The Real Miyagi'.

In the 1980s film The Karate Kid, the character Mr Miyagi was based upon Demura - a former world karate champion.

He has since trained various Hollywood stars and appeared in movies and TV shows himself.

Rodney Times