A born fighter, Kenshi wandered Earthrealm in search of worthy competition. He would find an opponent and defeat them just to boost his pride. One day, Kenshi encountered a man named Song, who convinced Kenshi that a great warrior needed a great sword; Song then led Kenshi to the location of an ancient, powerful sword Song claimed would befit Kenshi's power. As Kenshi unsealed the well wherein the sword supposedly lay, he was overwhelmed by souls trapped within and permanently blinded. Song revealed himself to be none other than the vile sorcerer Shang Tsung and proceeded to absorb the released souls and left Kenshi to die within the tomb. However, the sword, which actually did exist, attracted Kenshi and spoke to him, leading him from the tomb and revealing its origin. The sword originally belonged to a long line of great swordsmen from whom Kenshi descended; the well where the sword lay was also the sacred resting place of the souls of Kenshi's ancestors, souls that were stolen by Shang Tsung. Kenshi spent the next decade or so retraining his senses, all while searching for his betrayer and the defiler of his ancestry. This path led him to the U.S. Special Forces.

Kenshi's special abilities eventually caught the attention of Jax and Sonya Blade who, at the time, were looking for members with special talents to join their side and venture into Outworld; Kenshi jumped at the chance to pursue the man who had deceived him. After going through many tests and examinations, he was accepted to join the Outer World Investigation Agency.