The art of Ryukyu Kempo dates back to the early 16th century when The Ryukyu Islands were unified under a single ruler. In an effort to centralize government and control, weapons became illegal to own. With this new law self-defense became a hand to hand art. Over hundreds of years the art went through testing, study, and refinement.
Later in the early 17th century Japan invaded and occupied the Ryukyu Kingdom and renamed it to Okinawa. During this period of control, the Okinawans were forced to take their fighting arts undergrounds. The bujitsu (warrior arts) of Japan were then integrated with the kempo that was being practiced by the Okinawans. Again over years the art was refined and honed.
Then to promote health in the general population of school children, Ryukyu Kempo was added to the school systems. The art was dulled and simplified to ensure the school children would not injure one another. This new art became known as Karate-do.
The traditional art of Ryukyu Kempo was still practiced during the expansion of Karate-do and in the late 1970’s it came to the United States. There it was shared with George Dillman who continues to spread the art. The Dillman Theory uses Ryukyu Kempo for self-defense and Traditional Chinese Medicine for healing.