First appearance: Battle 67
Type: Satsujin Ken
Yami Symbol: Moon
Martial Arts: Chinese Kenpo (specializes in strong-fist styles)
Ma Sougetsu is the elder brother of Ma Kensei, master of Tanimoto Natsu, and the Chinese Kenpo Master of Yami's One Shadow Nine Fists. He is a tall and very muscular middle-aged man with short black hair and a thick beard. He usually wears a open vest to reveal his chest, dark pants, and has his gourd in his hands all the time and has armbands around his wrists. In his younger years, he was clean shaven.
Sougestu is a cruel man who does not care for the well-being of other individuals and will attack anyone without hesitation, even his own niece, Ma Renka. He is an apathetic man, not caring for the condition of others around him and never has a surprised look on his face over any predicament. Natsu describes him as a bully and believes that there are times where he enjoys tormenting and torturing him during his training.
However, he does care about his disciple and has high faith in him, such as his battle with Yomi, he knew he would win in the end. He even may even worry over him from time to time. However, as noted by Tanimoto, he tends to ask too much for him and trains him to do things beyond his capacity, making him forceful in what he wants. He is a compulsive drinker, as he's almost always seen drinking out of his gourd for sake.
Sougestu even seems to be rather mused by Kenichi's efforts for trying to save his life in the fire. Knowing he'll die along with him, Sougestu chose to let him live while showing gratitude on his face for his efforts.
While the current Sougetsu is portrayed as somewhat sympathetic, and does somewhat redeem himself by saving Kenichi, the original Sougetsu was given no positive traits whatsoever, and was a wrathful man consumed with revenge. Also, Kensei cries in response to his "death," unlike the current series, in which he stays silent.
When he was young, Sougetsu trained with his brother Kensei in Chinese Kenpo, and became a master. However, his domineering appearance scared the people around him. He became bitter and lonely, and decided that the true meaning of Martial Arts was to destroy others. He became a murderer at the age of 20 and was forced to leave his country, though he stated that the reason for his leave was not because of the murder, but rather because he had nowhere to go from the start.
At some point he takes Tanimoto as a student after being bribed with large amounts of expensive wine. The brotherly bond between him and Kensei does not seem to have been completely diminished, however, as Natsu claims that whenever he became drunk, he would repeatedly boast about Kensei and his skill.