KUNIO MURAYAMA was born on June 31, 1944 in Miyagi, Japan. His education in Shito-ryu karate began in 1962 when he was enrolled at TOYO University Karate Club under the direction of Master Manzo Iwata a direct student of Grand Master Kenwa Mabuni founder of the Shito-Ryu Karate System.
He received his 1st degree black belt in Shito-ryu Karate-do in 1963 and continued to train at the University even after he graduated with an economics degree in 1966. From 1966 through 1968 Kunio Murayama served as captain and coach at the Toyo University Karate Club.
His enthusiasm, hard work and diligent training allowed him to become "UCHI-DESHI" (live-in-disciple) under Master Manzo Iwata from 1968-1970, where he received his 'menkyo' (teaching certificate) directly from Master Iwata.
During 1970, Master Iwata asked Murayama sensei to help further develop Shito-Ryu Karate-do by moving to Mexico and establishing a permanent facility in Mexico. Later that year Murayama sensei was appointed Technical Director of the Mexican National Karate Team that competed at the 1st. WUKO World Karatedo Championships, in Tokyo, Japan.
After returning from the WUKO World Championships, sensei Murayama continued to establish a good following and began teaching in Monterrey, Mexico.
Murayama sensei demonstrating:
In 1975 Murayama sensei was appointed Technical Director of the Nuevo Leon Karate Team of the Mexican National Championships and later, Technical Director of the Mexican National Team competing at the 3rd. WUKO World Karatedo Championships in Long Beach, California. A student of Murayama sensei's, Mr. Tony Rivera, won a controversial last match against the famous European Karate Champion, Dominique Valera of France.
Dominique Valera was noted for his execution of very powerful foot sweeps. Tony Rivera successfully scored a reverse punch to Dominique's body during the last few seconds of the match before Dominique could counter punched to Tony's head. Tony won a 3rd Place World Championship Bronze medal.
Between 1975 and 1985, Murayama sensei served as Technical Director of the Mexican National; Karate Team at over a dozen National, International, Pan-America, and World Championships finishing with many first place team and individual events titles for Mexico.
In 1988, Murayama sensei received his Pan-American Union of Karate-do Organizations (PUKO) Referee licence in New Orleans, USA and the World Union of Karate-do Organizations (WUKO) Judge licence in Cairo, Egypt. During 1990, at the 10th WUKO World Championships in Mexico City, sensei Murayama received his WUKO Referee licence.
In 1991, Murayama sensei expanded his organization by officially accepting sensei Sam Moledzki and his Shito-Ryu group from Toronto, Canada into the Shito-Kai Murayama Karate Organization which further increased his branch clubs in foreign countries to four (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Canada).
Murayama sensei is not only an accomplished Karate master but also an incredible Chef, and extraordinary Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo) and Brush Painting (Sumi-e) artist.
Examples of Murayama sensei's remarkable artistic talent...
In August 1998, Murayama sensei served as Director General of the X Pan-American Shito-ryu Karate-do Championships in Monterrey, Mexico.
Corcoran John/Farkis Emil, Martial Arts Traditions, History, People. New York: Gallery Books, An Imprint of W. H. Smith Publishers, Inc., 1983.