The Concept - The Missing Link System

We are moving beyond the limits of traditional martial arts by creating an open community, not bound to lineages or styles. We are preserving the advantages of deeply rooted traditional knowledge, beyond limited approaches that might be combat-only or competitive. 

mlma fields of learning

Missing Link Martial Arts offers a solid foundation for those who want to learn intelligent martial arts: self-defence, health & fitness, traditional wisdom, conflict & de-escalation. This foundation is based in Japanese Karate.  


Our learning and teaching is split in two parts: The Omote Curriculum, which defines the knowledge and abilities of Missing Link students during their colour belt studies (see gradings below). The whole range of martial arts can be explored in the Okuden Curriculum – the place for experienced martial artists and black belts, where practitioners of other styles are very welcome. We take care that you find a home in Missing Link, that you can bring in your experiences and will be valued in our research community.  

Community Circles

The Missing Link Community is a home for martial artists who think outside of the box. As lean as possible, with as little administrative overhead as necessary. We want to open possibilities to learn, teach and exchange knowledge with an absolute minimum of politics involved. We are aware that it is not possible to completely avoid the issues that come with human interaction in bigger groups. But a lean and simple organisation will help us to cope with this easily.

Our work is organized in Community Circles, with as much empowerment of individual students and teachers as possible. This is also documented in the Curriculum, which is split into Omote/Kyu degrees and the Okuden/Kaiden MasterLevel part.

The community was founded in Germany, but is now active in many European countries. Missing Link Martial Arts UK is being organized by Manchester Karate Ltd.

Gradings & The Manchester Syllabus

Grading and training in Missing Link UK schools is quite a bit different from many other styles. First: We work in training cycles . Second: Gradings are not a source of income for us. The curriculum in Missing Link schools is really about your progress, and your progress alone.

This is why the grading system is split in two parts:

– The Missing Link Curriculum, which is part of the book “Missing Links of Martial Arts” and describes skills, not just techniques or forms. You can’t rehearse for the requirements in this curriculum, it’s not a presentation of what you have learned – it is a method to measure your development as a martial artist.

– The Syllabus, which can be different from school to school around the world. The Syllabus is the training plan that describes what techniques, which forms, what methods of learning you encounter to fulfill the requirements of the Curriculum. In the UK, we usually use the Manchester Syllabus.

Omote Training: Solid Foundation, Six-Month Cycles

Missing Link has five Kyu degrees (colour belts). The Black Belt concludes the Omote Curriculum. Regular Training is organized in five cycles, described in the Manchester Syllabus. Every six months the cycle of the Omote Training changes, making a new form (kata) the centre of the training and changing focus to another set of techniques and principles.

Missing Link Dojos offer  grading seminars at least twice every year, and we aim to offer one at the end of any Omote cycle. Grading seminars are not just an exam, they also feature intense training. Kuro Obi (Black Belt) gradings are scheduled on separate occasions. Master Level gradings are subject to our special Okuden/Kaiden Curriculum. Missing Link is an open minded system, and our curriculum reflects this. We respect gradings you brought from other styles. If you want to make a new home in Missing Link Martial Arts, all we ask is that you share your experience and knowledge, helping to make Missing Link constantly better.

Okuden/Kaiden Training: Dedicated Topics

For advanced students and those who want to dive deeper into the wisdom of traditional martial arts and connect it to modern application. These lessons are not only for high ranked students. We care for dedicated topics like ground work, weapons, internal arts like Qi Gong and meditation, additional sparring, higher forms (kata) and their application, scenario training.

While this content isn’t important to gain Kyu degrees, the students can choose the  topics they find interesting and deepen their knowledge and abilities here. “The Missing Links of Martial Arts” is available in book stores and on Amazon.

Private tuition, Online Classes & Seminars

In the UK, Missing Link Martial Arts is still young. The style has been developed in Germany by teachers with decades of experience who studied a wide range of arts and strive to bring them together under one roof, in one reliable structure, with as little hierarchy and politics as possible.

You can book private lessons with our senior teachers. We constantly offer seminars with a wide range of instructors, in the UK and abroad. Our new Online Offers bring the world of Missing Link to your Living Room.