I just got through watching both seasons of Cobra Kai, which are now available on Netflix. The series follows the exploits of Johnny Lawrence and Daniel Larusso, respective antagonist and protagonist from the 1985 original “Karate Kid.” This time around, Lawrence is the focus as he struggles through a failed marriage, an estranged son and bringing back his Sensei’s failed karate dojo, which is Cobra Kai. It’s a fantastic martial arts series, focused on karate. I can’t wait to see what Season 3 will bring.
It got me feeling nostalgic for the original Karate Kid movies, which included two sequels and a rebirth with “The Next Karate Kid.” You’ll noticed I haven’t mentioned 2010’s remake of the The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Although it was a decent movie, it’s based on Kung Fu, not karate and was basically a slap in the face to the original. But through that nostalgia, I started researching and falling down the YouTube rabbit hole and discovered some interesting facts about the film series, including the involvement of Fumio Demura.
Fumio Demura is a well-known martial artist who studies Shito-Ryu karate and kobudo. I came to find out that Demura played the stunt double for Pat Morita’s “Mr. Miyagi.” This came as a surprise to me, since I knew of Demura through his books. Demura wrote a series of books in the 1980’s covering a number of weapons used in Kobudo. Since joining Kempo Karate in 2016, I’ve slowly introduced the bo staff and sat into my training regimen.
Since there’s a limited amount of coaching time on weapons in the dojo, I decided to order two of Demura’s books, Bo: Karate Weapon of Self-Defence and Sai: Karate Weapon of Self-Defence. In these books, Demura covers a number of basic concepts for both weapons and includes several photos and diagrams. They’ve been helpful, despite the fact that I don’t focus heavily on weapons.
It was cool to read about his involvement. We’re all aware that movie actors use stunt doubles, but it was neat to find that one of my favourite movies included a stunt double that I’ve read and studied about. If you study karate or kobudo, I highly recommend you search “Fumio Demura” online and see what you can find. Any of his books are definitely worth a read. ☯