Kickboxing is gigantic in Asia. There are mega-stars that dwarf NBA players in popularity in the United States. Japanese mega-star, Tenshin Nasukawa is one of those that have transcended the sport of kickboxing. Tenshin is one of the most electric strikers in all of combat sports. Being lightning quick, Tenshin is a joy to watch compete. Now, he has his next challenge as he takes on Koji Tanaka at RIZIN 24. Tenshin is well known to the eastern and western world, but we took a few minutes to get to know him even better.
Tenshin Nasukawa is very young, only 22. It seems like he’d be so much older because of how skilled he is and just how much he fights. He has competed 39 times as a professional and tallied up a total of 99 amateur fights. Nasukawa’s affinity for fighting started with K-1, one of the most legendary kickboxing promotions out of the Far East.
“I saw K-1 on television and totally inspired me to fight on the big stage one day. That is what got me into this sport.”
Outside of fighting, Tenshin is an avid YouTuber and loves uploading to his channel the odds and ins of his life, and it’s not just fighting either. He says, “I enjoy filming for my Youtube account and playing video games!”
Tenshin Nasukawa and RIZIN
Tenshin is an elite athlete. Even though the world came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Tenshin Nasukawa saw that as an opportunity to widen the gap between he and his fellow athletes.
“This quarantine didn’t affect me that much. I assumed that some fighters would take this time to rest, but I wanted to push myself to bet better during this time.”
As mentioned earlier, Tenshin Nasukawa has been around even at a young age. When asked the favorite memory of his career thus far, he picks a fighter also on the RIZIN 24 card as his favorite fight.
“It’s hard to pick one because all opponents have a different feeling. But my fight against Kyoji Horiguchi was very memorable and fun because it really had the vibe of an old school style vs style fight.”
Tenshin has fought in the major striking sports, kickboxing, Muay Thai, boxing and MMA. With a 4-0 record in mixed martial arts, all with RIZIN, many are left wondering if he will pursue MMA full time in the future. Don’t count on it, however. “I don’t have any plans fighting in MMA at the moment,” says Tenshin about fighting in MMA.
Being so good in so many disciplines, I asked what Tenshin likes more between kickboxing and Muay Thai, two styles often compared. He doesn’t have a favorite, but he provided some insight on the difference he felt between styles.
“I think Muay Thai is more of an art form where technique highly valued. Kickboxing is more focused on knocking your opponent out and I think that’s the big difference.”