3 Reasons Why Takeru Is One Of The Most Dangerous Kickboxers In History

Takeru Segawa

Takeru “The Natural Born Crusher” Segawa dominated the kickboxing scene in Japan for a decade, and now, he’s bringing his feared skill set to ONE Championship. 

In his promotional debut at ONE 165 on January 28, the 32-year-old superstar will challenge “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9 for the prestigious ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title.

Takeru will benefit from a home crowd at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, but having the most vocal support won’t be enough to steer him to victory. Instead, “The Natural Born Crusher” must properly utilize his destructive weapons to claim the gold from his elite Thai rival. 

Here are three of the most dangerous elements of Takeru’s game that made him a historic three-division K-1 World Champion and a legitimate threat to dethrone Superlek.

#1 An Active Lead Leg 

Takeru is like a whirlwind that can rip through any opponent he makes contact with, but his setups are almost always behind more probing shots from his lead leg. 

Starting in karate at a young age before turning to kickboxing and Muay Thai, the Yonago City native has retained some of those early elements and adapted them for full-contact combat. 

He has a snapping front kick that he uses to attack the midsection, a strong push kick that can send his rivals backward, and a fast inside low kick used to gauge distance and disrupt balance.  

All of these are effective in their own right. They can accumulate damage to the legs and body that will pay dividends later in the match, so they must be respected.  

However, Takeru’s main aim when employing them is to push his foes to the ropes – where he can start to unload.

#2 Heavy Hands 

Once “The Natural Born Crusher” has his opponent backed up or reacting to his kick feints, he moves seamlessly into his power-punching attacks.  

There aren’t many kickboxers out there who fuse these two elements – and none that do it as effectively – meaning it’s usually a novel offense that his opposition likely hasn’t dealt with before.

Quickly going from flicky long shots on the outside to powerful infighting creates opportunities, and Takeru makes the most of this by immediately landing bombs as he plants his feet from the lead-leg strikes.  

His left hook is a huge money punch, and his overhand right is just as concussive. Often combined in rapid flurries, the strikes leave opponents overwhelmed and unsure of where to block.  

However, if they do shell up, the Japanese icon will manually pull their arms away from their head to open up a knockout shot. And with 25 stoppages in 43 career wins (along with just three losses), Takeru’s power is a proven entity.  

#3 Devastating Body Work 

No opponent wants to take Takeru’s brutal punches on the chin, and the Team Vaselius representative uses this wariness to help him attack the body just as furiously. 

He loves to rip the midsection with right and left hooks, and both have fight-ending potential, but they also set up his shots to the head. This gives his foe a choice to make about which area to defend, ultimately leaving a target open somewhere. 

Takeru’s knees add to the threat. He’ll step in with those knees to the body when his opponent is stuck on the ropes or drive them through the middle if they’re protecting their head or outer flanks from punches.  

Also adding in his wince-inducing spinning back kick, “The Natural Born Crusher” relentlessly targets the body to help him wear down and finish even the toughest adversaries.

More in Features

Reinier de Ridder vs. Anatoly Malykhin II Faceoff
Amir Aliakbari delivers ground and pound on Brandon Vera at ONE 164
Reinier De Ridder is victorious at ONE 159
Zuhayr Al-Qahtani
Jarred Brooks is all smiles after his victory at ONE 156
Amir Aliakbari Dustin Joynson ONE Fight Night 12 44
Scenes from the ONE Heavyweight World Title fight between Arjan Bhullar and Brandon Vera at ONE: DANGAL on 15 May
Tye Ruotolo Reinier de Ridder ONE Fight Night 10 33
Danial Williams Lito Adiwang ONE Fight Night 19 19
Jonathan Haggerty Felipe Lobo ONE Fight Night 19 127
Jonathan Haggerty Felipe Lobo
Jo Nattawut Luke Lessei ONE Fight Night 17 31