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“Bohan’s Family July and August - Warrior of the Month“

Rick Niemira

(January 20,1939 - March 25,1988)


Two weeks before Sensei Bohan passed we made time for a long visit, where I asked and he answered every possible question that popped into my head.  I’ll be using my notes and the things that I recall from that visit in this and the upcoming “Warrior of the Month” articles.  The following list reflects some of Sensei Bohan’s thoughts about Isshin-Ryu/Bando Master Rick Niemira: 

When I asked him to name the 5 practitioners who did the most to support  and carry on the Martial Arts standards, principles, and traditions, while receiving the least credit and accolades for his or her efforts, he did name five.  He had the following to say about our  Warrior of the Month, Rick Niemira, "I would say Rick will led this list.  He traveled all over supporting others and carrying on the principles as few others before him have.  Rick never wanted any credit or to be in the lime-light he just went about his business."   

When I asked him to name the 5 best teachers he had seen or been around - Rick Niemira was one of the five.  "You could not be around Rick for a few minutes without him showing something new."  

When I asked him to name the 5 best all-round Karate-Ka he had seen – Rick Niemira was one of the five. " You know Rick is the only man I can think of that was a true First Generation Pioneer in two Martial Art Systems - Isshin-Ryu and Bando.  He excelled in and was well respected in both."

When I asked him to name the five most honorable men he had ever meet – "Rick Niemira, Rick Niemira set the example by which you and I judge others.  Rick was definitely the man.   If there was one man that you have told your son to mold his life after Rick was it."

 The time I trained with Rick was some of the best.  I must say that the gun and knife defenses he taught, if they did not save my life, they saved me from great bodily harm on at least two occasions and for that all I can say is "Rick was definitely the man.".  If you were fortunate enough to be his friend, there was no one more loyal or devoted. “That was Rick.”

In Karate-Do

Wayne Wayland


 D.C. Police Officer Dies.

             RICK NIEMIRA (Ryszard Wladyslaw Niemira), 49, retired D.C. policeman, pilot, canine officer, and martial arts expert, dies of cancer March 25, 1988, in Cumming, GA.

             A native of Poland, Rick began his career with the Metropolitan Police Department in 1960, at the old Eleventh Precinct. He later was assigned to the Central Cell Block, the ID Bureau, and to the Training Academy, where he instructed the entire MPDC in self-defense tactics.

              Rick was then transferred to the Helicopter Branch as pilot, an assignment he had long prepared for and enjoyed. At the Second District, he worked the “Casual Clothes Squad”, Mobile Crime Lab, and later served in the Canine Corps, the assignment he held at retirement. For many years Rick was a member of the Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU).

             In civilian life, Rick served as a Certified Flight Instructor, training many in the important aspects of proper flying. His capabilities here were – as in all areas of his life – outstanding.

             Born in Torun, Poland, Rick spent his early childhood in a German Orphanage and immigrated to America at age 13, knowing five European languages but not English. Because of his exceptional nature he learned the language in one year, and then was so proud to have mastered “dropping the Polish accent” in six months.

             Rick grew up in New Jersey and at the age of 18, joined the United States Marine Corps, where he was trained to the highest proficiency in many of the disciplines of the martial arts. His achievements as a marksman are numerous and laudable.

             Later in life, Rick’s faith in His Lord deepened, giving him the confidence and strength he was to soon need in his bout with cancer. Of this, his most serious battle, he shared with a friend, “I view this as a learning experience that God is allowing me to have”. Part of Rick’s learning experience was that of knowing the peace of having “forgiven all his enemies.”

             Rick is survived by his loving wife, Miriam H. of Cumming, GA; a son, Ryszard Michael; a daughter, Renee Marie; and his mother, Janina Krajewska of West Germany; and a myriad of friends who will deeply miss him.

Donald Bohan / Bob Maxwell / Rick Niemira (June 5, 1981)


Because Rick though so little of rank and awards putting his bio together has been very difficult.  His wife Miriam has it about completed and it should added into this document shortly.   Her research shows that Rick Niemira was promoted to Sho-Dan by Don Nagle in mid 1959, making him one of Master Nagle's first black belts.   His next two promotions came from Grandmaster Tatsuo Shimabuku, making him one of Isshin-Ryu true First Generation Pioneers.  Please check back soon to get the complete story!