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Kendo Kashin

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Tokimitsu Ishizawa is a Japanese professional wrestler. Though in Japan he is a widely known professional wrestler, in the West he is probably best known for his forays into mixed martial arts organization PRIDE Fighting Championship, where he defeated Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighter Ryan Gracie.


Ishizawa was an outstanding Amateur wrestling star of Waseda University before being scouted and initiated into the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion on September 21, 1992, wrestling against Tiger Mask III. During the NJPW vs. UWFi feud, he was taught the shoot style by Kazuo Yamazaki. After defeating Yuji Nagata to win the 1996 Young Lion Cup, he left on a learning excursion to Austria's CWA promotion, where he disguised himself under a mask and called himself Kendo Kashin.

He returned to New Japan as Kashin in May 1997 at the Osaka Dome, facing his mentor, Kazuo Yamazaki. Kendo Kashin quickly rose up the ranks of the Junior Heavyweight division, utilizing a cross armbreaker and other armbar techniques to quickly submit opponents. After defeating Koji Kanemoto to win the 1999 Best of the Super Juniors Tournament, he defeated Kanemoto again in August of that year to capture the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time.

In August 2000 Ishizawa ventured into the mixed martial arts world and fought under his real name and without the mask in PRIDE 10. He lost his match with Ryan Gracie by TKO in little more than two minutes. However, it is said that he was forced to fight in the PRIDE's ring by Antonio Inoki, the owner of NJPW at the time, without enough time to train for mixed martial arts fighting. Continuing to suffer many losses, Kashin took several months off from New Japan to train. In July 2001 Ishizawa challenged Ryan for a rematch at PRIDE 15. This time he TKO'd Ryan in under 5 minutes, which would advance his wrestling career more than ever. That same month he returned to New Japan as Kendo Kashin and won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title for the second time by defeating Masayuki Naruse in just 26 seconds.

Kashin would make a shocking move in January 2002 when, while he was still champion, he followed fellow New Japan stars Keiji Mutoh and Satoshi Kojima to rival promotion All Japan Pro Wrestling. In All Japan, Kashin quickly established himself as the Junior ace, submitting Masanobu Fuchi to win the vacant AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship. He also won the AJPW World Tag Team Championships with Yuji Nagata.

In 2004 Kashin split from All Japan to become a freelancer, taking one of the two AJPW World Tag Team Championship belts with him, with Nagata taking the other. The championship was later declared vacant by AJPW six months later. However, he kept the actual physical belt for himself, something which AJPW sued him in August, 2005. Kashin's tag partner, Yuji Nagata, gave one of those belts back to AJPW soon after it was declared vacant, when they requested it.

In 2005 he returned to New Japan as a regular for a few months, working through the Inoki Office agency. The agency's and New Japan's association ended in late 2005 due to disputes. Kashin returned the AJPW belts back to them in May 2006.

On April 2, 2005, Kashin competed under a mask as Dragon Soldier B in Ring of Honor's Best of the American Super Juniors Tournament. Despite not being American, he was booked to win and wrestled three matches, prompting a "Don't come back" chant from the ROH fans. Kashin never returned to ROH.

Lately, he has been interested in joining MUGA.

After a long hiatus from wrestling, Kashin returned on December 20, 2007 at the Inoki Genome Federation's show in Tokyo and faced off against Kurt Angle for IGF's version of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in a losing effort.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • Other titles
    • CWA Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

External links

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