Who is Tenshin Nasukawa?
Tenshin Nasukawa is a renowned kickboxer, who gained prominence after knocking out champion fighters like Amnat Ruenroeng and Wanchalong. Tenshin is currently one of the best fighters in Japan, and specializes in full contact karate, Muay Thai, and kickboxing. He took the social media by storm in May 2018, when he connected a notoriously difficult rolling thunder kick to take his opponent down in a Japanese MMA competition. He has won many championships, including the 2017 ‘RIZIN Flyweight Championship.’ He has also won a couple of championships under the 55 kg division. He became the ‘Oriental Rules World Champion’ in 2016, and successfully defended his title in the following year. For his incredible fighting skills and technique, Tenshin Nasukawa is widely regarded as the future of Japanese MMA.
Childhood & Early Life
Tenshin Nasukawa was born on August 18, 1998, in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. His father Hiroyuki enrolled him at a karate class when he was just five years old. The idea behind sending him to karate classes was to instill discipline into him. His father also wanted his son to reap the spiritual and psychological benefits of martial arts.
Tenshin kept practicing, and by the time he was in his sixth grade, he was winning national level competitions. He straight away caught the attention of many as he was incredibly agile and fast. His technique was unique and natural, and that made him a child prodigy in the local fighting circuit.
He soon became attracted to the glitz and glamor of MMA promotion companies, such as ‘K-1 Kickboxing’ and ‘Pride Fighting Championships.’ He wanted to fight and showcase his skills on the big stage. He later said in one of his interviews that he was not inspired by any particular individual, but was simply attracted to the stage!
Tenshin became increasingly consistent with his performances. He developed a healthy habit of knocking out his opponents early in the match. In fact, he has knocked out many of his opponents in the first round itself. Thanks to his ruthless approach, he started wreaking havoc on stage and had amassed an impressive record of 99 wins and five losses, before turning into a professional kickboxer at the age of 18.
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He started his career on a positive note by winning all his initial fights. He gained prominence as a professional fighter when he defeated a seasoned campaigner named Wanchalong. Even before graduating from high school, Tenshin had many major victories and championships under his belt.
He soon became the face of ‘Rizin Fighting Federation’ and went on to exhibit his awe-inspiring fighting skills in some of the country’s iconic sports venues. At the age of 18, he knocked out veteran Thai professional boxer Amnat Ruenroeng, who had held the ‘IBF flyweight title.’
Not surprisingly, Tenshin was signed by ‘Rizin Fighting Federation’ and he started competing in kickboxing and MMA competitions all over Japan. In 2017, he took part in ‘Rise Fighting Championship’ and defeated his Argentinian opponent Ignacio Capllonch in the third round.
As far as his MMA career is concerned, he currently has four wins with no losses. His kickboxing record is even more impressive as he has a total of 26 wins with no losses. His current professional record stands at 30 wins and 0 losses, which is a pretty good beginning to his professional career.
More than the statistics, what is even more impressive about this young fighter is his attitude and the method he employs to finish his fights. On May 6, 2018, he left everyone, including his opponent, in awe when he connected a notoriously difficult rolling thunder kick to Yusaku Nakamura.
His rolling kick maneuver, which he performed using his left leg sent social media into a frenzy, even as many amateur and professional fighters were struggling to decipher his breathtaking move. The kick was so impressive that people on social media started calling him an alien! Though the kick did not finish the job, a left hand punch in the next round did finish off his opponent, and he earned another convincing win.
Since Tenshin has been practicing karate, Muay Thai, and kickboxing from a very young age, he incorporates techniques from these three martial art forms. He is a southpaw, which means he uses his left hand as his primary striking hand.
Though kickboxing and Muay Thai form a major part of his game, his core fighting style is derived from Kyokushin or full contact karate. His strikes are almost always precise, which gives an impression that he has a natural flair for striking. Being light on his feet helps him move fast, making him extremely agile.
Tenshin has a tendency to finish his fights before the final round. In his impressive career so far, he has finished most of his fights within the first three rounds. He usually wins his fights by knocking his opponents out or by making them submit. Out of his 30 career fights so far, only five have ended with judges making their unanimous decision. He has won the remaining fights through knock outs, technical knock outs or submission.
Awards & Achievements
Tenshin started fighting at a young age and was winning national level competitions when he was in his middle school. He had an impressive record of 99 wins and five losses even before turning into a professional kickboxer.
In 2015, he won the ‘BLADE Tournament Championship’ under the 55 kg division. In the same year, he also won the championship match in a tournament organized by ‘RISE.’
In 2016, he became the ‘Oriental Rules World Champion’ in a tournament organized by ‘International Sport Karate Association’ (ISKA), and successfully defended his title in the following year. He also became the ‘RIZIN Flyweight KB Tournament Champion’ in 2017. He is the current ‘RISE Bantamweight champion.’
Though he became a successful professional fighter at a young age, he continued to pursue his high school education, along with his professional career. In one of his interviews, he had said that he would attend his school for four hours and then start honing his boxing skills.
He is a confident young fighter. Before every fight, he usually promises his fans a good show and always maintains that he can defeat his opponents in the very first round.
He is quite active on social media. His official Instagram account has over 100,000 followers. He also posts a glimpse of his personal life on his social media account.