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Kempo is an ancient Chinese art of self defence that can trace its origins back to India of five thousand years ago. Evidence of early form Kempo in India can be seen by extant wall paintings of that period. Buddhism and Kempo were said to be linked and used as an effective method of unifying the mind with the body. Although later development of both Buddhism and Kempo show them to be completely separate and independent. It is believed that Buddhism and Kempo were introduced to China by the Indian Monk Da Mo, also known as Bodhidarma in the early sixth century who valued meditation and Kempo equally. 


Later Chinese governments destroyed the temples and dispersed the monks fearing how significantly effective Kempo could be if it was in the wrong hands. It would seem that there was a resurgence of Kempo from the latter part of the Sung dynasty (947-1279) until the Ch’ing dynasty (1662-1912). The Ch’ing government imposed serious measures to prevent the practice of Kempo as a Martial Art in 1900. They closed down all training halls, executed teachers and ruthlessly eradicated Kempo from China.

Chinese Kempo is thought to have migrated to Japan during the Kama-kura period (1192-1333) through monks, patriots and rebels seeking refuge in Japan. They brought with them various styles of Kempo which took root and matured into the Japanese martial arts as they exist today.

Michael Davies founder of Bushido Ryu began his formal training in Martial Arts under the instruction of Roy Booth in 1972. Studying Kempo Karate Michael achieved his black belt grade in 1977.

In pursuit of knowledge Michael Davies studied other Martial Art styles which would play an integral part in the formation of Bushido Ryu. During this early period Michael was focussed on developing the knowledge of his training into a Martial Art. The fundamental principles of this Martial Art would be founded upon equality and harmony. The objectives would be for the Students to learn and develop their Martial skills within a system that would encourage and cultivate respect, dignity, honesty, commitment and loyalty.

In the years that followed Michael Davies developed the system and fused the various Martial skills together through structured interface and in 1982 formally established Bushido Ryu.  



Kempo Do was created in 1982 by Michael Davies, and comprises of basic movement, strikes, kicks, self-defence forms, grappling, and sparring.

The reason behind this creation is because the Martial art of Bushido Ryu is so demanding and intense that it requires a higher commitment that the present day Western practitioner does not possess. The depth of knowledge required before a student can take the Bushido Ryu exam for 1st degree black belt is at least 5 years.

Kempo Do was created as an understudy and introduction to Bushido Ryu. Students practising Kempo Do can develop the practical skills, physical skills and correct attitude towards achieving success in Bushido Ryu. In normal circumstances it will take a student up to 4 years to achieve Black belt in Kempo Do. At this juncture the student can then graduate into the advanced system of Bushido Ryu, which can take a further 2 years to achieve Black belt Bushido Ryu.


Bushido Ryu is a Martial skill and has 4 categories that represent the Martial skill, these are;

Internal       Utilises passive system

External       Utilises positive system

Weaponry    Bo-jutsu, Jo-jutsu, Hanbo-jutsu, Tessen 

Mental         Breathing, meditating, philosophy

Bushido Ryu Martial skill is inextricably linked by circles and linear movements that allow the energy to flow from attacking force through to defensive technique.


Characteristics of defensive techniques


Interception – attacking force interrupted before it can finish delivering the attack

Deflection - the force extended by attacker is deflected not resisted, keeping the momentum moving converts the energy from physical force to passive

Disruption – moving the force of the attack in different directions reducing the energy and destabilising the attacker



Along with having this incredible array of skills, one of the most important priorities of all Bushido Ryu practitioners is the development of their character. Their mentality is based from the Five Rules of the Bushido Ryu. These standards are underpinned by the Code of Ethics which are the principles of human morality. Bushido Ryu training is not only about fighting techniques but primarily develops a strong human moral attitude. This is the reason that Bushido Ryu is built on discipline along with  the study of philosophy and human morality.



There are many clichés referring to strength in unity and all deliver the same message that happiness and contentment are when the family are united. The philosophy of Bushido Ryu is built upon harmony within the martial family and only when this is achieved can there be peace and happiness. Bushido Ryu has no religious belief or biased opinion on faith, it recognises that people are different but that in unity there is strength. Bushido Ryu sees beyond any differences and welcomes all creed on an equal basis.

“Even the weak become strong when they are united”.

Johann Friedrich Von Schiller - [Unity]


Bushido Ryu has grown both in stature and content since its inception in 1982. The evolution of this style has been managed carefully and thoughtfully in its development, it has captured variations on techniques and through translation, integrated these into the unique martial system that exists today. Alongside the maturing of this martial art Bushido Ryu has enjoyed and celebrated many achievements during the previous decades.

In July 2016 the World Karate Federation (WKF) announced that Karate would be in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This brings Karate onto the world platform at a prestigious sporting level that has never been achieved before. It is sport karate that will be displayed at the Olympics and not traditional Karate. Whilst this may be discerning to some practitioners, Bushido Ryu welcome this opportunity and are focussing on the common ground where both traditional and sport cross over to see how this can be nurtured and improved on to the benefit of both aspects of karate.

Sport Karate has been and continues to be an important element of Bushido Ryu. Since its formation Bushido Ryu has successfully achieved awards in sporting events both in the UK and Europe. Bushido Ryu has been a resource pool of talented sport karateka for the England squad for over 36 years. To date Bushido Ryu has 18 students that have been selected for the England squad both male and female competitors. These students have gone on to represent their country at international level and are recognised in Bushido Ryu Hall of fame.

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