The Dai Nippon Butoku Kai 大日本武徳会 ("Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society") was originally established in 1895 in Kyoto. Following the end of WWII, the DNBK changed its status from a public to a private organisation. Enrolment fell significantly from millions to hundreds and it lost its authority to govern all martial arts organisations in Japan. In 1946, due to its association with the Japanese Military during wartime, the GHQ dissolved the DNBK. The following years, more than 1,300 leaders and officials of the DNBK were purged and ostracised, lost their jobs, and were forbidden to take any government positions. In1953, the DNBK was re-established with a new philosophical vision of preserving the long-standing illustrious classical martial virtues and traditions.

Though it applied to be recognised as an official organisation with the Japanese government in 1953, granting of this status was rejected until 2012, as it was opposed by multiple organisations (such as the All Japan Kendo Federation, and the All Japan Judo Federation) which had inherited the original DNBK's duties and operations. Its current membership is now only a few thousand, and it also does not have official training halls (Butokuden) in each prefecture like the original. While it is recognised by the government as an official organisation, similar to other organisations, it is no longer directly tied with any government office such as the ministry of sports or ministry of education. As such, the current organisation does not have the same reputation nor respectability and authority in Japan as the original used to have. The current DNBK still aims for the restoration of classical martial cultures, supporting allied research, instruction and service, promotion of international peace and harmony, and the advancement of greater humanity through Budo education.

The first official branch outside Japan was established in Virginia (USA) and in 1985 a division in the east coast USA. In 1974, DNBK officially established the International Division under the leadership of Richard Kim overseeing all international members. In 2011, DNBK has official representatives and coordinators in Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Israel, Hungary, Russia, Germany, Spain, Malta, France and California USA, Hawaii USA, Mid-Western USA, Boston USA, Arizona USA, Florida USA, Australia, Romania, Switzerland, Armenia, Chile, Switzerland, Greece, Gibraltar, Austria, and Nepal.

In the year 2000, Sensei A de Araya, President of the Kenyukan Goju Ryu Karate and Kobudo Association, was accepted as GM of the DNBK and has upheld this Membership since.