This ancient art was founded in 1235 AD by a monk who, according to legend, meditated under an old pine tree and discovered the meaning of true self-defense. Utilizing proper strategies, the monk could make an attacker undo his own attack in such a way that allowed for both the attacker and defender to remain uninjured. The monk chose a name for this art to reflect its spirit and origins. Hence, Kosho Shorei Ryu, which means "Old Pine Tree School of Encouragement," was developed.
The 21st descendant of Kosho Shorei Ryu, James (Masayoshi) Mitose, moved to Hawaii in 1936 and taught his art from 1942 until 1946. It is from these early teachings that much of what’s known today as Kempo has developed.
Below is a Kosho Ryu lineage chart.