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Wrestling / Kendo Kashin

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The problem child.
Tokimitsu Ishizawa (born August 5, 1968) is a Japanese Professional Wrestler and Mixed Martial Arts fighter, also known as Kendo Kashin. An accomplished high school wrestler, he joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling and was put to hone his skills under Hiroshi Hase while doing the typical young lion chorus. During the obligatory excursion abroad, CWA's Otto Wanz made him don a mask and gave him the made-up Japanese name of Kendo Kashin, and it stuck when he returned to Japan. The man previously known as Ishizawa became a strange character among his NJPW peers: a masked grappler with an unyielding attitude and a big mouth. Although crowds were initially skeptical of his submission-based style and weird promotional stunts, Kashin climbed up the scale and became a mainstay of the promotion's junior division. His career did a weirder twist when he soldiered to take part in Antonio Inoki's unlucky MMA projects, which led him to be pummeled by Ryan Gracie and buried in storyline for his defeat. After Keiji Mutoh and other wrestlers deserted for All Japan Pro Wrestling, Kashin followed him, resuming his junior tenures and featuring a characteristic title belt scandal with NJPW. He later left AJPW, and bbounced back between pro wrestling companies and uninspired MMA matches until settling down as a trusty freelancer, which he works today as.

"Problem Tropes":

  • Alliterative Name
  • Arch-Enemy: In real life, Manabu Nakanishi. It traced back to their young lion days, as Nakanishi received special treatment due to his legit wrestling credentials while Kashin (who has also a few wrestling accolades, but not so many) did not.
  • Bash Brothers: With Team JAPAN.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Among other things, he insists Tokimitsu Ishizawa and Kendo Kashin are not the same person, but best friends.
  • Cool Mask
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Beaten in an MMA battle with Ryan Gracie in two minutes. Amusingly enough, the rematch was almost the reverse - he won when Ryan injured himself (or so he said) after being dominated.
  • Finishing Move: He uses a flying armbar from sambo, although with several variations.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: A highschool champion. He also trained Sambo with Hiroshi Hase, shoot-style with Kazuo Yamazaki and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the Inoki Dojo.
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  • Jerkass: Every time he opens his mouth.
  • Masked Luchador: It is easy to mistake him for a lucha libre high-flyer, as he is a junior heavyweight who wears a Cool Mask and can bust pretty agile moves, but his moveset is actually based around tricky grappling instead of aerial attacks.
  • Non-Indicative Name: He didn't train in kendo. In fact, his name come from the popular gimmick Kendo Nagasaki and "Kashin", a made up word which some European promoter thought it sounded exotic.
  • Red Baron: "Mondaiji" ("Problem Child").
  • Secret Identity: Kashin insists that he and Tokimitsu Ishizawa are two different people and that Ishizawa is just his best friend. Unsurprisingly, nobody buys it.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is sometimes written as "Kendo Ka Shin", probably because some sites are insecure about the name being "Kendoka Shin" (as in kendoka, a kendo practitioner - see Non Indicative Name above) or "Kendo Kashin" (which is the correct spelling).
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  • The Unfavorite: Was generally despised by the American crowds during his Ring of Honor matches, mostly due to his poor performance and the Executive Meddling that forced his victories.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Both in kayfabe in real life with Manabu Nakanishi.