UPDATE: Institute for Justice Takes On Eminent Domain Abuse Case to Save the Real Mr. Miyagi’s Dojo

Back in January, we brought you the story of Fumio Demura, the martial arts expert whose credits include working as Mr. Miyagi's stunt double in The Karate Kid franchise, Mortal Combat, Rising Sun, and The Island of Dr. Moreau

Demura’s dojo faces closure as the City of Santa Ana plans to acquire his property as well as eight other small businesses as part of the Bristol Street Widening Project. The project has been around since the early 90's, but is only now reaching the phase that threatens these businesses. 

After the story aired, the Institute for Justice contacted the Bristol Street Business Coalition to help fight against Santa Ana’s eminent domain abuse and save Demura’s business. 

Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Original release date was January 2, 2014 and the original writeup is below the fold.

Karate legend Fumio Demura has shaped much of the karate culture we are familiar with today. He's trained iconic martial arts stars like Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, and Pat Morita, and has also acted in popular martial arts films.

Demura's credits include working as Mr. Miyagi's stunt double in The Karate Kid franchise,Mortal Combat, Rising Sun, and The Island of Dr. MoreauThe Real Miyagi is a soon-to-be-released feature documenting Demura's life. Demura credits his "dojo," or studio, in Santa Ana, California for much of his success.

"A dojo is not just a studio, not just for fighting. It's the development of better human beings," says Demura.

Yet Demura's dojo may not be around for much longer. The City of Santa Ana is planning to acquire his property as well as eight other small businesses as part of the Bristol Street Widening Project. The project has been around since the early 90's, and is just now reaching the phase that threatens these businesses.

"It’s just a very slow process," says Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. "You have to deal with every single homeowner, every single business owner."

Mayor Pulido says that this section of Bristol Street is especially important because it's a major gateway into Santa Ana, and thus requires more lanes in order to ease traffic congestion. However, the businesses believe that the city can indeed widen the streets without acquiring their properties.

The city's current plan allots 30 ft. for landscaping, and those 30 ft. are crucial for the businesses to be able to remain untouched. Christina Rush represents the Bristol Street businesses, and says they can take care of the landscaping themselves.

"We can give you that in our plan, through our landscaping, through architectural elements, outdoor seating," says Rush. "We can achieve what the city wants, that park-like look, while still allowing the businesses to retain their properties."

Rush has met multiple times with city representatives, and expects a resolution or at least more debate at the city council meeting on Jan. 6. She says the businesses have no intention of giving up their properties without a fight.

"I'd like to stay as much as I can, because this is an old house. We fixed it. So hard we were working," says Demura.

About 5:30 minutes.

Written and produced by Tracy Oppenheimer, who also narrates. Camera by Alex Manning, Paul Detrick, Zach Weissmueller, and Alexis Garcia.

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  • playa manhattan||

    RETARD ALERT

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Wait. Mr. Miyagi was Jewish?

  • GILMORE||

    What? YOU DIDNT KNOW? Jesus man, Karate Kid is like the modern Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    Next you're going to tell me "you didn't know" that Ralph Macchio was a symbol of the manipulation of illegal immigrant labor by the jewish bankers to undermine our traditional Christian WASP culture - aka, Kobra Kai?

    Don't be one of the sheeple, Mulatto. The truth is out there.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Everyone in entertainment is either Jewish or Canadianish.

  • ||

    I'm 1/8 Canadian. Where's my fucking show?!

  • ||

    THERE IS NO MERCY FOR THIS DOJO

  • GILMORE||

    SWEEP THE LEG, JOHNNY

  • GILMORE||

    which is a really good band, btw.

  • GILMORE||

  • GILMORE||

    "We fixed it. So hard we were working," says Demura.

    "But go, it must" says the Government, "...the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

    "Yes", speaks Demura, "On display it was; at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

  • Paul.||

    I like how "But... we have a PLAN!" is the moral and legal justification for shredding the rights of the people you're sworn to serve.

  • GILMORE||

    There was a vote. Democracy. Now stop blocking progress.

  • R C Dean||

    We fixed it. So hard we were working," says Demura.

    So, they're trying to close Yoda's dojo?

    Good luck with that.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    "You can't win, Santa Ana. If you close me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

  • Lou Dobz||

    Demura's credits include working as Mr. Miyagi's stunt double in The Karate Kid franchise,Mortal Combat, Rising Sun, and The Island of Dr. Moreau.

    How is this actor qualified to discuss public education eminent domain?

  • GILMORE||

    Matt Damon is not himself a victim of public education, and tells people they should love it and have more of it and pay for it and shut up about complaining about it.

    Demura/Yoda is having his fucking Dojo bulldozed by the state.

    Subtle differences, I know.

  • Lou Dobz||

    I know you love yourself some double standards, yes.

  • Lou Dobz||

    And I'll dumb it down for you, in case you still don't get it:

    Actors who agree with us: GOOD
    Actors who disagree with us: BAD

  • GILMORE||

    No, the dumb was completely apparent at the beginning, it was just that you completely failed to demonstrate any inconsistency because you are a complete fucking idiot.

    For clarity, since YOU still don't understand how fucking stupid you are =

    "Actor" A
    - Matt Damon runs around frothing about the wonderful virtues of public schools even though

    a) he himself attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, a fucking Prep School for the most sheltered and privledged elites of Boston,

    and b) wont even let his own kids attend public schools now - because they're *not liberal enough*

    Chew on that last point for a moment.

    Compared to =

    "Actor" B =
    - a guy is getting his own fucking business bulldozed by the local government against his will.

    WHOA LIKE, THEY ARE TOTALLY THE SAME AND REASON IS TEH HYPOCRITICALS!!?

    You sir win an award for making your namesake, Lou Dobbs, seem 1000X more intelligent than you by contrast. THAT is a bloody achievement.

  • wwhorton||

    As a business owner being directly affected by eminent domain, he's especially qualified to talk about eminent domain. Kinda like how you're especially qualified to talk about the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome on neurological development.

  • anon||

    Matt Damon had his dojo/brain bulldozed?

    That actually explains a lot.

  • Christophe||

    It seems particularly egregious that the city is threatening eminent domain over the fucking roadside palm trees, not even the road itself.

    They don't even get to claim necessity due to bad planning here. They're just using FYTW as their justification.

  • wwhorton||

    In the city's defense, I'm sure the aesthetic appeal of six palm trees will generate enough tourism revenue to outweigh the revenue from those businesses.

  • Sevo||

    "In the city's defense, I'm sure the aesthetic appeal of six palm trees will generate enough tourism revenue to outweigh the revenue from those businesses."

    I'm sure they have 'studies' proving this, along with the ones proving that a taxpayer-funded stadium will make everybody rich!

  • Almanian!||

    This would never happen in Somalia

  • GILMORE||

    IN LIBERTOPIA I GUESS YOU FREAKS WOULD WANT THERE TO BE A BLOODSPORT KARATE MATCH TO DECIDE VITAL PUBLIC ISSUES LIKE THIS...

    ...

    Now that I consider this.... it really doesn't sound like the worst idea.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    I'm on board with this.

  • ||

    Kumite! Kumite! Kumite!

  • Cytotoxic||

    OT: John Tammy destroys Ann Coulter's stupid anti-immigration arguments on both economic and political terms.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jo.....economics/

    PWND

  • Christophe||

    PWND

    No.
    He's using logic.
    Nationalists are immune to logic.

  • Cytotoxic||

    yeah that's why I said 'pwnd'. Because he pwnd Coulter.

  • Christophe||

    I'd have a lot more respect for urbanists and city planners if they didn't have the option of bulldozing people's homes and businesses everytime they changed their minds about how the city should look. Measure twice, cut once.

  • Sevo||

    "I'd have a lot more respect for urbanists and city planners if they didn't have the option of bulldozing people's homes and businesses everytime they changed their minds about how the city should look. Measure twice, cut once.

    It's in the Chron but I'm too lazy to dig it out right now. ( http://www.sfgate.com/ search for Geary Street )
    There's a street made into a sort of a through-way that makes it fairly easy to move around a town that outlawed freeways.
    Now, they want to return all the stop lights to the street to "undo the failed urban renewal of the '60s and '70s"
    Yep, now they want to "do the failed urban renewal of the '10s". And they are immune to the irony.

  • playa manhattan||

    I don't want to give politicians any ideas, but for the last 10 years, I have fully been expecting them to propose a Big Dig in SF.

    They found an even better way to waste money, though, with the magic train to Fresno.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I still wouldn't have respect for them. They would have to give up their property rights violating zoning regulations, too.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I'd have a lot more respect for them if they agreed to be kicked in the 'nads every time one of their hare-brained schemes proved faulty.

  • ||

    Hmmm, so the 30 feet is not to accomodate additional traffic, it is just for landscaping. For looks.

    Not no, but fuck no.

  • GILMORE||

    "Yes, but I am sure there are public landscaping needs that anyone would agree sometimes require bulldozing private businesses"

    - Bo Cara, Esq.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Oh, but Gilmore, Bo's qualified to set the standard of who is and isn't a libertarian. So, you MUST be wrong.

  • anon||

    Hmmm, so the 30 feet is not to accomodate additional traffic, it is just for landscaping.

    It's at that exact point that I shoot the motherfucker in the bulldozer when he shows up.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And you go to jail and your business gets seized anyway. Not the right answer.

    On the other hand, what's the busiest intersection in Los Angeles? Organize a protest right there during rush hour. And threaten to do it daily.

  • mr simple||

    Mr. Miyagi's stunt double in The Karate Kid franchise, Mortal Combat, Rising Sun, and The Island of Dr. Moreau.

    I didn't realize the Miyagi character was in so many movies.

  • TimMcD||

    To all of us who did not hunt down a Supreme Court justice like a rabid dog after Kelo vs. New London.....THIS IS OUR OWN FAULT!

  • ghada2013||

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