When Ken became twelve years old, his father decided to send him to get trained in fighting in Japan, not wanting him to leech off of the Masters' money. Ken's father sent him to one of his friends, Gouken. At first, Ken didn't like it in Japan, and he pulled many pranks on Gouken's adopted son, Ryu. After a while, Ken respected Gouken and befriended Ryu. Despite having a rivalry, they became best friends.