Ryu Ryu Ko’s exact identity is still shrouded in some mystery, as is the exact nature of the martial art style which Ryu Ryu Ko taught. However it is widely believed that the family of Ryu Ryu Ko had originally been of the aristocratic class, and in those times only the aristocratic classes studied the martial arts.

Ryu Ryu Ko studied at the southern Shaolin Temple in the mountains of Fujian Province. Due to the political situation in the area the Chinese aristocracy was under extreme pressure and the family was forced to conceal their status in order to survive.

For this reason Ryu Ryu Ko worked as a bricklayer and a builder. In later life he lived by making a variety of everyday goods such as baskets, furniture and other items from cane. He basically tried to blend in to the working class elements of the Fujian society. Some martial artists/historians have suggested that it is possible that Ryu Ryu Ko is only the nickname given to him by Kanryo Higaonna in order to protect his true identity.

This was the profession he was following when Kanryo Higaonna became his pupil. In the area Kanryo Higaonna disembarked White Crane Kenpo teachers were living and it is likely that Ryu Ryu Ko was amongst these and learned from Master Hayashi Toku Jun, a martial arts master and founder of Taiwan White Crane Kenpo. The influence of Master Hayashi on both Ryu Ryu Ko and on Kanryo Higaonna has caused Goju Ryu practitioners to accept the connection that exists between White Crane Kenpo and GoJu-Ryu.

White Crane Kenpo goes back to Fang Jiniang, the daughter of Fang Shiyu, who is said to have learned Monk Fist during his stay in the southern Buddhist Fujian Shaolin Temple on the mountain Julianshan near Fuzhou in the Puliang-district.