As a very young child, Ryu was orphaned and left with no memories about his parents, and whether they were still alive. He was found and adopted by a man named Gouken who raised Ryu in his secluded dojo and trained Ryu in the ways of his martial arts. Shortly afterwards, Gouken would later train his best friend's spoiled son, Ken Masters. Ken served not only as a sparring partner, but also gave Ryu a friend in the form of a boy his own age. Ryu looked up to Gouken as a father figure, and regards Ken as his best friend and surrogate brother, a relationship which remains to this day. When Ryu was 23 years old, Gouken believed that Ryu was ready to travel the world in order to test and hone his martial skills against the best fighters from around the world. With this, Ryu left Gouken's dojo, and headed to fight in the World Warrior tournament.