Above: Shihan Demura with Sensei Bernard Edwards and film / TV start Gerald Okamura
Top Right: Santa Ana Taiko Group
Bottom Right: Bill Stoner, PA, confers with David Jones, NC, during tournament.

manners which the competitors displayed, as this is the real goal of Karate-Do.  The tournament opened with a performance by the Honbu Dojo Taiko Group, followed by the National Anthem, which was sung by Kelly Eyre, daughter of California black belts Jim and Joann Eyre. In addition to strong competition, the Karate-Do, Kobu-Do and Batto-Do events featured demonstrations by some of Japan's leading sword arts practitioners. Led by Shihan Seiji Ueki, the group included Zenemon Sakeda (Chief Referee at the Batto-Do competition); Mitsuo Matsuhashi; Yukio Iwasaki; and Hisahira Uno. The demonstration of kata and tameshigiri by practitioners at this level is an extraordinary occurrence outside of Japan.
This year's event was marked by evolution in our organization, as Shihan Demura continues the growth of our group by forming Genbu-Kai and associating with Shihan Sawabe's Shobu-Kai. Introducing Shihan Sawabe at the black belt kata seminar, Shihan Demura described how, when he came to Master Ryushu Sakagami's Dojo as a young white belt, Mr. Sawabe was already the senior black belt in the Dojo. As
Shihan Demura states in his letter to us, Mr. Sawabe's vast experience and accomplishments will provide us all leadership as our organization continues to grow.
As always, we are grateful that, in an era when "martial arts" is increasingly identified with movies, TV and commercialization, we have the indispensable leadership of Shihan Fumio Demura. Viewed worldwide as an example of what a Sensei should be, Shihan Demura views his relationship with his students, like the Budo journey itself, as a lifelong and committed one.  In today's media fueled martial arts world, the self absorption of those who hunger to be called "master", "Shihan", Grandmaster" or "Soke"  seems clear - we are fortunate to be led by Shihan Demura, who asks us not to refer to him as Shihan (which I ignore!), feels that the greatest honor is to be called Sensei, and is willing to accept the responsibility of that role.

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