The Passing of a Great Friend and Instructor: Master Fumio Demura
The Passing of a Great Friend and Instructor
Master Fumio Demura
Yesterday, April 24, 2023 a good friend of mine who was also my Batto-Do instructor passed away. His name was Master Fumio Demura. Master Demura was the first person that I ever did an interview with on the “Martial Arts Today Show”. After Headmaster Matsuno, my Iaido sword master, passed away, Master Demura waited a year and wrote me a letter asking if I would like to learn his Batto-do style. I accepted this offer, and he then was not only a good friend but became my instructor in the beautiful art of Batto. He and I worked closely together to bring about the “East Coast Invitational 2014 Batto-Do Competition”. This was the first Batto-Do competition ever held in the Northeast and opened the door for many to see Batto-Do for the first time. The time he spent with my Iaido students on our samurai cutting skills as well as the many seminars he presented to my empty hand students has strengthened not only those he taught but my school as well. There is so much that can be said about Master Demura and his achievements, but I feel you can find that in so many other places.
So, I have spent most of today contemplating what I might say to share with you the importance of losing such a person as Master Demura. Unless you personally knew him and have been touched by his humor and incredible martial arts skill and knowledge you will not see a difference in today or tomorrow. But we who have been touched by his presence realize that this week, next month, even next year will seem the same yet they are not. His absence will have a rippling effect that is hard to see but will show itself in five or ten years. He carried on traditional martial arts; his existence and his schools were visual guides to what traditional martial arts is supposed to be and the true benefits of what martial arts can do for men and women of all ages. If we are not vigilant to pick up the slack from his absence, the traditional, disciplined core of what martial arts was meant to be will slip from our fingers. Martial arts are about structure, self-discipline, mental alertness, and physical readiness. It is a demanding activity that yes, can be fun, but is designed to challenge us mentally and physically so that we can take care of our families, succeed at our jobs, excel at our sports, and defend our rights and freedoms with resolve. He was one of the cornerstones of what traditional martial arts is in our country and the world. May he never be forgotten and the gift he gave us never be lost.
-Clifford C. Crandall, Jr.
Below are some highlights of Master Demura from the Martial Arts Today Show in the 1980s and 90s.