Kensei Ma is the lecherous master of all Chinese Kenpō, though he prefers to fight using soft forms. He was the head master and leader of the chinese organization, the Phoenix Alliance, but has since gave up his postition and moved to Japan. He is currently the second oldest of the six masters of Ryōzanpaku.
Kensei can be described as a fairly short middle aged man, who is balding with a long pointed out chinese mustache. He wears typical chinese clothing used in martial arts with a hat to cover the bald part of his head.
In his youth he had long braided hair, was much taller and very handsome, practically to the point of being called a bishounen, and was popular with women.
Kensei Ma has been shown repeatedly throughout the series as a very active pervert, and he has shown that he is more than comfortable with this fact. Kensei is most often seen attempting to take revealing pictures of beautiful women (especially Shigure and Miu), which often earns him the wrath of the pair, though this does nothing to deter him from the habit. His perverted behavior has even gotten worse as the series progresses, such that whenever he fights a female opponent he wants to use his "Ma Style Restriction technique", which is basically where he ties them up with their own clothes, leaving them basically naked. He is proven to be very persistent, as he repeats his perverted antics on a daily basis, despite dangerous traps set by Shigure near the spa, where she and Miu takes a bath. He even made a picture book of Miu which he sold for a profit to Kenichi (he said he has one of Shigure too) and convinced Kenichi to move into the dojo by introducing the prospect of developing his relationship with Miu, demonstrating good salesmanship. Sakaki commented that he could 'sell ice to Eskimos'. In contrast with his present-day image, he was said to be a charming and handsome young man in his youth, and was very popular with women. This came as a shock to Kenichi, who then sympathized with his aging master, who bluntly refused to accept the sympathy.
He seems to enjoy reading, as he's typically seen reading perverted magazines of beautiful women. He has an odd habit of standing or sitting in odd positions whenever he's either training or something is bothering him or even reading something upside down that he doesn't seem to notice till someone points it out for him. He even stands on objects while balancing himself while reading when he's training.
Under all of this however, he is shown to be a very kind and wise person at heart who seems saddened at the violent uses of Martial Arts in the world, wishing the world could be more peaceful (and perverted) which was perhaps born from his own estranged relationship with his brother. In battle, he prefers to disable enemies without lethal force, only foregoing this practice when fighting other Master class Martial Artists. Kenichi also states that despite all of Kensei's character flaws, they were "nothing compared to the greatness of Master Ma" and readily admits that he had never doubted Kensei even once. As noted by Kenichi, he has a habit of yelling "Chowa" whenever he fights. Ironically enough, he is the only one among the Masters that is actually capable of cooking and generally does so whenever Miu is in a position unable to cook. He has a odd habit of calling all the other masters thier names with "don" at the end.
Kensei, despite his poor parental skill, is shown to love his daughter greatly. His relationship with his other two childeren is unknown, but he was shown to be afraid of his wife when Renka threaten to tell her mother about Ryōzanpaku and where he is, he, on his knees, begged his daughter not to tell her mother.
Despite being a pervert he was shown to take his job as a doctor seriously when Miu had to be treated after she was saved from the Demon God Fist. He was shown to be worried about her well-being and didn't care that she was almost naked.
In the manga, his surname is pronounced Ba. In the anime and some translations of the manga, it is changed to Ma, possibly because this is the usual Chinese pronunciation.
As stated by Renka, Kensei is revealed to have a wife and three kids, including a 17-year-old daughter named Renka Ma, who followed him from China. During Renka's childhood he trained her well and in a flashback he was seen watching her proudly as she defeated two adult men. Kensei was actually the leader of an elite martial arts organisation named Phoenix Alliance in China, made up of a hundred thousand followers. However, he viewed the responsibilities as a nuisance, so he left it all to his wife, and moved to Japan where he operates an acupuncture clinic. He also has an older brother, Sōgetsu, and an uncle, Ryō.
During the D of D tournament, Ma Kensei reveals to Kenichi his history with the Three Headed Dragon team of Kaku Shin Ten (Taichi), Chou Yin Lin (Bagua), and Yo Tekai (Xing Yi) who all hail from the Black Tiger White Dragon Alliance in China, a rival organization of Kensei's Phoenix Martial Artists Alliance. He apparently meet them when they tried to attack his school. Kensei quickly defeated all of them, however he is impressed with their potiential as martial artists, espeically with Kaku, and made him a propostion to become his apprentice. Kaku turned down the offer and left with nothing but anger and hatred for Kensei ever since.
Despite his short and unimposing appearance, Kensei is a remarkably powerful combatant. While a firm promoter of Katsujinken and and well-known for his specializing of soft-style forms in combat, Kensei can demonstrate great destructive power when provoked. In all the fights he has been seen in, he has yet to take any serious injuries, often stopping just in time to inflict as little harm as possible to his opponent.
- Master Chinese Martial Artist: Whether modern, traditional, or forgotten to the rest of the world, Kensei has mastered with absolute knowledge and proficiency all types and styles of Chinese Kenpo, both unarmed and weapons, as well as all their respective techniques. His prowess has been recognized all through-out China as its greatest ever martial artist (rivaled only by his older brother Sōgetsu). Kensei mentions during his fight with Diego Carlo, that if the sky is the domain of Lucha Libre then the Earth is the domain of Chinese Kenpo which is demonstrated in that he was able to penetrate through the latter's iron defense once he was able to channel his inner strength while on the ground when in mid-air he couldn't.
- Highly Perceptive Combatant: Kensei is a very studious individual, able to quickly determine a person's battle style after a single glance. Kensei has also shown great insight to the teenage behavior, regularly giving advice to Kenichi to help him in his many times of self-doubt. Like how Akisame knows what Kenichi is thinking most of the time, Kensei can easily determine what peaks Kenichi's interest such as the thought of living under the same roof as Miu in the attempt to persuade the disciple to move into Ryozanpaku showing great insight and salesmanship. Also during Kenichi's first fight against Shinnosuke Tsuji, Kensei was able to easily determine that Shinnosuke would win due to a greater amount of fighting experience from the beginning.
- Immense Speed: Kensei is a very quick combatant, able to close a great amount of distance in the blink of an eye. With a single arm or leg, he can nonchalantly unleash a huge barrage of strikes while cutting his attention in half on one of his magazines. His speed also greatly enhances when he is in the process of harassing women that makes him the most agile master of the Ryozanpaku.
- Immense Physical Prowess: While scrawny in comparison to the other masters of Ryōzanpaku, Kensei is in excellent physical condition. During his training demonstrations for Kenichi, he has shown remarkable flexibility, balance, and dexterity, able to slow down his movements to almost nothing while maintaining perfect form. Through great core strength, he can easily absorb most attacks and repel his opponents several feet away even if they are attacking with multiple weapons simultaneously that had amazed the elders of the Black Tiger White Dragon Alliance. He is also remarkably nimble, able to jump from one speeding car to another with no loss of control.
- Medical Master: Working along Akisame at his clinic, Kensei is a highly skilled and knowledgeable medical expert. Using various ancient techniques, he can easily sooth away pain from most injuries. With his knowledge of the human body, he can easily target its various pressure and ki points with needles to control its natural functions, even produce temporary paralysis or unconsciousness. He is also very capable in herbal remedies, regularly using them to help Kenichi when he is out cold from his training. He is also capable of "reviving the dead back to life" using Chinese medicine.
- Expert Photographer: Stemming from his perverted antics, Kensei has become very skilled in photography. While most of his photos are for his own personal enjoyment, Kenichi has noted that many of the childhood photos of Miu were very beautifully done.
- Master Chef: While normally letting Miu do the cooking, he has recently revealed to be a master chef in all Chinese meals. Not wanting Miu to waste her childhood on chores, Kensei has since periodically taken over cooking for Ryōzanpaku.
Ragnarok SagaEditTsukuba and wanting to pay him back, Kensei decides to teach him techniques as well, though, like the other masters, is very careful about this as doing so will drag Kenichi into the dark world of martial arts they so often went through in their previous years. He implants his first skill, Ugyuu Haitou, to Kenichi, demonstrating its use by catching Miu's kick and rubbing his head under her breasts, something Kenichi also manages to imitate shortly after seeing its use.
Kensei's teachings see further use as he teaches Kenichi a windmill-like move and orders him to walk around the whole town doing that. This move demonstrates its use against the Kicker Koga, who falls upon being hit by Kenichi's punch.
Kensei arrives just as Takeda rescues Kenichi from Tsuji and his thugs, destroying the bridge on which the thugs tried to run and cutting off their means of chase. When Kenichi is informed of the master-disciple training that would ensue from the next level of his teachings and is dubious of taking them up, Kensei convinces him to do so as it would allow him to further develop his relationship with Miu. During this period, Kensei teaches him the Sotenshu and the principle of punching as "sending ones fist out so that it feels like it's going to fly off". The latter principle later goes to use into Kenichi's Mubyoshi.
He assists Akisame in healing Siegfried and Kisara after their fights with Ragnarok. Kensei is later seen watching Kenichi's battle with Ryuto and comments at his imitation that he doesn't say "Chowa" as often as Kenichi's imitation implies. He later stops Ogata from stopping the battle, along with the other masters of Ryōzanpaku and later congratulates Kenichi's victory over Ryuto.
When Kensei decided to visit his uncle he heard of Li Tenmon possibly being associated with Yami. He was shocked to hear that he had a daughter and Yami had a disciple group called YOMI. He arrived in time to save Kenichi and his friends from Tenmon's wrath and defeated him. He and the other masters would ask Kenichi if he wanted to quit Ryōzanpaku due to the dangers that await him. When Kenichi would refuse due to his anger of how Yami forces kind people like Li Raichi to fight, all the masters would state how proud they are that he's their disciple.
During the D of D Tournament, Kensei would accompany the others to the island from knowledge that a Yami member would be their and hearing that his brother might still be alive. When Kenichi and Miu fought against Kaku and his team and when he insulted Kensei, Kenichi actually wanted him to insult him more and comically rambled on about how Kensei is such a bad pervert by ditching him when they spy on Miu and Shigure, selling him magazines that are either of Tochumaru posing or sumo's and how he's just "draging Ryōzanpaku's name in the mud, leaving Kensei very depressed. However, Kenichi would state that despite all that, he never doubted his teaching methods and is proud that he's his master and won't let him be insulted and all the female's in the audience would throw things at Kensei calling him the "enemy of all women". Kensei feels that Kaku can still change deep down and after Kenichi beats him, he tends to Kaku and his teammates' wounds. He gives them his symbol for the Phoenix Martial Artists Alliance as his gift to them and says that when Kaku, Chou, and Yo become stronger proposes that they see him again. He leaves Kaku and his team than as Kaku crys while his team cheers him up by saying that they are still a team no matter what. This makes Kensei feel that Kaku will become a better person in time. He assists with the attack on the island and has all the Yami associates arrested and congradulates Kenichi's win against Sho Kano. Before leave Natsu info Kensei that his brother has started to practice Martial Arts again.
When Kenichi would get a letter from Yami, Kensei would find it and take the place as the master to fight Diego and Renka would find out and take the place of the disciple to fight Rachel due to Kenichi unable to hurt women (and in an attempt to wow him). The two arrive on a cruise ship and prepare to fight unaware that Kenichi and Miu followed them after finding out what was in the letter. In the fight against Diego Carlo, the Angry 'Steel' Fist, Ma emerges as the winner after some difficulty. Much of the first part of the match involves Ma staying still while Diego runs around him. Neither attack each other because of the lack of openings in either opponent, causing the audience to boo them. Ma rages at the audience for acting like children when its members demand to see some carnage. He also casts sideways glances at Rachel every time she is exposed by Renka. When Renka gets exposed, Ma counterattacks Diego, who expects Ma to be distracted by his daughter. Ma is then kept in the air by his opponent, as Diego claims that Lucha Libre can defeat anything in the air. Ma grimly notes that Diego was so strong that "he couldn't hold back", using a scrub to rip apart Diego's muscles. Later, Ma reaches the ground and uses his signature move to defeat the wrestler, saying that earth belongs to Chinese Kung Fu. He refuses to kill him and says he'll go to Big Lock and the others go home after the bomb is disarmed and is a little upset when Renka accidently kicked Kenichi when her top came undone from her fight.
He and other Ryōuzanpaku members enter a American war base under Yami's control upon vacationing to Okinawa. The elder distracts the soldiers while the rest of the masters approach the main building.
Later he is seen "battling" Akisame with Jankenpon to decide which one gets to fight Kyoken no Iyazoi, as initially, Akisame wanted to take on the one with the more elegant style while Ma would take the rougher one, but Ma's realization of the elegant samurai's true gender and his desire to use his "Ma-style Restriction Technique" on her puts him in conflict with Akisame. With the last of his resolution in his last move in Jankenpon, Ma turns his "paper" into "rock", defeating Akisame and allowed to pick the female samurai as his opponent at the cost of the use of his right arm.The use of only one arm quickly turns against Ma, as his new opponent expresses only the eagerness to cut him up. Ma receives a few minor cuts while ripping off his opponent's skirt and stripping her of her bra without taking off the armor first, and folds the two articles of clothing on the floor in a perverted manner, much to the distaste of his opponent. After she strips off her armor, she tries to attack him, but Ma breaks her helmet while she cuts his hat in two. Draping his robe around her shoulders, he explains that he intended to break the armor around her heart, and easily smashes her against the wall with his left hand during the blackout.
After returning home, Kensei and the other masters had to leave due to the police having been around their home and Ryōzanpaku was disbanded for the time being. Later, they return home in time to see Miu having kissed Kenichi on the cheek and stopping the Elder from attacking Kenichi.
Kensei is seen teaching Kenichi a new technique, but is then interupted from hearing the discovery of another Yami base. As Miu's ki gets the better of her again, the elder asks him to train Miu is some skills to help control her ki better. Following the discovery of a Yami base, Kensei and the other masters head out to the base with Kenichi and the rest of the Shinpaku Alliance. However, they have the youngsters stay for their safety. They arrive fighting Ogata's men and Kensei notes how Ogata raised them well and the all split up to find Ogata. He later regroups with the others noting that he was never in the castle.
He returns home to help Kenichi train and as Apachai reveals he learned how to do laundry, Kensei comments it was a "secret training" and that he even wanted to stop him at some points and then starts crying tears of joy that Apachai can finally do chores, much to Miu's happiness.
Later at night, Kensei and the other masters listen's to the elders story about Tanaka's past and is shocked and angry after discovering Ogata didn't just murder his master, but also Tanaka's wife and unborn child.
After the battle between the Shinpaku Alliance and Yomi, the masters begin to worry about how Kenichi was effected by Tanaka's death at the hands of Ogata, but Kenichi returns ready to begin his training, which surprises them all. A couple of days later, the masters talk about the subject of how Tanaka's fight with Ogata was unavoidable, and how they need to find a way to help Kenichi and his friends with their fight against the weapon users of Yami. They all agreed that they would eventually fight the weapon division on a frequent basis, which is when Shigure comes up with a plan for helping the Shinpaku Alliance, a plan which she calls the "Shigure-chan Special".
A week later, at Ryozanpaku, Kensei and the others are visited by Inspector Honmaki and are shocked to hear how he and the entire police must guard Yami at a governmental institution prompting Kensei to remark that while Big Lock is still active there is a changing of the government on the inside. Regardless, he and the other masters are all determined to put them away in Big Lock. The next day, as all the masters prepare for their battle against yami and the government, the other masters decide to leave Shigure with Kenichi and Miu in case the armed members of yami decide to move. Kenichi begins to complain about how reckless their actions are, to which they say that as martial artists they have to stand by their beliefs to the very end, with Sakaki even saying that one day Kenichi would be standing side by side with them. They then arrive in the heart of the city, awaited by a battalion of police officers protecting the building that the one shadow nine fists are currently in.
After Inspector Honmaki steps in on their behalf to stop his men from shooting at them, Kensei is shocked seeing Honmaki shot by one of his own men and treats him the best he can, but he was wearing a bullet proof vest. After Sakaki convinces them to move aside and do what's right, they stand down (and Akisame knocks out the one who shot Honmaki). He and the others arrive at the top of the building the Yami masters are at and surround them. Upon seeing his brother again after so long, he questions what he is doing and why he won't say anything to him. Getting no response, he and the other masters form together in breath and sync, something Mikumo notes is perfectly done.
Just as Kensei and the others prepare to fight, he notes something is off in their killing intent noting it's like they want to drag out this fight. When Honmaki arrives to inform them of the armed division at the bay of Tokyo, Kensei realizes it was all a diversion. Once in the conference room, the monitor comes on as the masters see Shigure at the docks, which has Sakaki realize she must have taken Miu and Kenichi with her. Kensei realizes this was the meaning of the diversion to have the Hachiou Executioner Blade members arrive at the port. He and the other masters are forced to leave to help Shigure as Kensei admits this is Ryozanpaku's defeat this time. However, they were too late and Shigure was captured.
Later, as snippers are targeting Kensei and the others, they discover that Kensei made cutouts of the other masters to fake them as Appachai takes out the snippers.
Later he is seen with Akisame Koetsuji, Shio Sakaki, Apachai Hopachai, Kagero Sai, James Shiba, and Danki Kugatachi preparing to rescue Shigure Kosaka. All the masters walk across the water to the Yami base. They all engage battle with the military and easily crush them. After the military is dealt with, Kensei and the others are confronted by Yami and the Hachiou members. Taking no time to wait, Akisame holds an angry Sakaki back and demands Shigure's condition. After Mikumo confirms she's alive, Kensei angrily answers back, saying that Shigure is a vulnerable maiden without her weapons and that he would never forgive them if they took advantage of her while imagining Shigure in various risqué positions. Kensei then joins the others masters as they help Kensei go after Mildred, to which he only took her garments. It was later revealed he broke her bow and attacked Schtilvay, Agaard, and Rin all at once. Once they prepare to go another round, all the masters engage the Yami forces. After Edeltraft splits the masters up, Kensei attempts to go after Raki and molest her only to be attacked by Marmaduke, to which Kensei curses him for taking away "a mans romance" and begrudgingly engages battle with him.
While fighting, Kensei comments on the poetic verses of Akisame and Edeltraft while fighting and Ma Kensei comments on its nonsensical nature as he is battling with Marmaduke. He is then assaulted by Rin and Marmaduke for taking his eyes off them after seeing Mikumo's kimono cut. After Mildred recovers her bow, she unleashes a furry of arrows, as Mildred focuses her eyes and shoots at the Katsujinken masters directly, forcing them to dodge Mildred's strikes along with the falling arrows as Kensei loses his hat and notes that she has the upper hand right now.
Mikumo starts fighting with Ma Kensei, who is also defending himself against Marmaduke and Rin. Mikumo catches Kensei and launches him into a throw when Apachai comes to assist him. Apachai aims a kick at her but she dodges and lands a flurry of kicks behind him, at the same time she manages to appear behind Kensei after he broke free and grabbed her in return. Edeltraft cuts Kensei from behind and the two begin fighting as Mikumo is seen dodging Apachai's attacks.
Kensei then watches shocked as Sai and Danki have fallen, to which Raki takes advantage and slashes him from behind as the Ryozanpaku masters are surrounded by the Yami masters and Mikumo announces that the end of the battle is coming.
As they are continued to be overwhelmed, Akisame protects Kensei and the others by stopping three weapons from striking them and from Sai saving Akisame at the last second. As Sai expresses his regret for his actions as a Satsujinken, Mikumo kills him, which angers the Ryozanpaku masters and they resume their battle. Edeltraft attacks Ma Kensei, who manages to catch the strike but is struggling to defend. Ma Sougetsu looks on as Edeltraft tells him to finish off Ma Kensei as his headset turns on and he receives communication from his disciple. Hermit tells him that he wasn't able to save his sister in the end but that it's not too late for his master. Ma Sougetsu strikes Edeltraft with his fist and wine gourd, saving his brother, as he grumbles that he has such a noisy disciple.
As the battle progresses and Agaard and Sougetsu allies with Ryozanpaku for their own pride as martial artists, Mikumo threatens the Ryozanpaku masters with killing Shigure if they continue to resist against them. Rather than standing down, the masters are further angered and says that Shigure has been prepared for that possibility, as sacrificing one's life for the sake of others is the very principle of Katsujinken. Assisted by Cyril's mantra, the Ryozanpaku masters (along with Sougetsu and Agaard) stage a counterattack against Yami. Marmaduke tries to fight off Kensei but he manages to reach and remove Marmaduke's armor, revealing her to be a woman.
The battle rages on as the Ryozanpaku masters, along with Cyril Rahman, Ma Sougetsu, and Agaard are seen to have many injuries throughout their bodies as they face down Mikumo's group, with Mikumo's aura bearing down on them. Mikumo unleashes her technique (Kushinada Style: Thousand-Year Throw) as she slams the ground with her hand, causing many hands made from her aura to sprout from the ground. Cyril warns to not touch the hands as they will result in instant death. The members of the Hachiou Executioner Blade take up their stances and utilize Shinto Kourenzan, and Kensei activates Seidou Goui.
Sakaki announces that it is now the time to settle this fight but as the Ryozanpaku masters prepare to fight their new allies stand in front of them. Cyril proclaims that there is only one way to break through the enemy's formation and it would require cooperation from Ryozanpaku. Ma Kensei and Akisame protest because the Yami masters plan to sacrifice themselves, but Agaard tells them to focus on breaking through and Sougetsu jokes that as Katsujinken they should just end the fight before they get killed. With the enemy approaching, they agree to the plan and charge towards the enemy.
Cyril uses his mantra on Marmaduke and Rin, who are forced to defend, while Sougetsu runs past Rin and attacks Marmaduke. Agaard attacks Edeltraft but is slashed by Seitaro; Edeltraft follows up on the attack but he is pushed away by Sougetsu as Agaard dodges the blow. Ryozanpaku makes their way up to Mikumo but is blocked by Ogata, who is hanging on to the mountain using his toes. Cyril is defeated but just as Kensei is about to deal the finishing blow he is stopped by Agaard, who throws a left high kick that Ogata catches, Ogata then grabs Agaards neck while Agaard tells Apachai to not worry about him and head for the center and a moment later Agaard is defeated when Kensei grabs his right leg and slams him to the rocks.
The Ryozanpaku masters make their way to the top of the mountain but they are once again blocked by the Hachiou Executioner Blade. Edeltraft aims a slash but his sword is caught by Akisame, and Sakaki appears to knock him out. Rin takes advantage of Sakaki's opening and attacks him from behind but Apachai saves him and incapacitates Rin with a flurry of punches. Raki attempts to attack Apachai from behind but she is caught by Ma Kensei, who breaks her naginata in two and binds her with her clothes. Mildred is seen to have been bound in the same manner but she manages to shoot an arrow at Ma Kensei. Although he dodges the arrow he is grabbed by one of Mikumo's aura hands and is repeatedly slammed to the floor. Kensei is rescued by Akisame and the four Ryozanpaku masters finally reach Mikumo. Ogata and Seitaro arrive at Mikumo's side as the masters begin their battle. A large explosion occurs at the masters' battlefield as the colloding auras cause a yin-yang symbol to form in the sky.
As the fight drags on they notice a missle launch and believe them to have been too late. Luckily, the missle explodes as the Elder destroys it at the last second. Afterwards, all of Yami's forces are defeated as the masters of the OSNF leave defeated, but not before Kensei strips Mikumo of her clothing to spite her. Just then, the Elder shows up alive and well as Kensei celebrates with everyone else their victory.
In the Epiloque, Kensei continues his daily activities training Kenichi as he later learns that Kenichi's novel he wrote became a best seller and won an award to which Kensei realizes he used the adventures of Ryozanpaku in the story, to which other people believe non-fiction.
- vs Sōgetsu Ma (lost on purpose)
- vs members of Black Tiger White Dragon Alliance ( won )
- vs Chinese Mafia ( probably won )
- vs Tsuji's Gang (won)
- vs Sōgetsu Ma ( won )
- vs Li Tenmon ( won )
- vs Rachel Stanley ( no winner, only did perverted things to her )
- vs Diego Carlo ( won )
- vs Mikumo Kushinada (undecided)
- vs Yami bow women ( won )
- vs Kyouken no Izayoi ( won )
- vs. Mildred Lawrence (won, broke her bow)
- vs Marmaduke Brown (ongoing)
- With Apachai vs Russian Soldiers (won)
- With Ryozanpaku (except Hayato and Shigure), Cyril Rahman, Ma Sougetsu, and Agaard Jum Sai vs. Hachiou Executioner Blade (except Ganosuke and Michael), Mikumo Kushinada, and Ogata Isshinsai (no winner)