Martial arts action movie star Jean Claude Van Damme was actually quite a beast in his younger days…
Hollywood is filled with action movie stars, actors who portray tough guys on screen perfectly. Plenty of movie stars say they have a background in fighting competition. Its a fashionable thing to claim these days, but very few have proven pasts that can be referenced.
Among those who have legitimate histories in competition are Jet Li, Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme. Li was a national Wushu champion, Norris was a karate and kickboxing champion, but few people have heard about JCVD’s background in fighting.
Falling foul to a common myth, Van Damme is commonly associated with picking up his kicking ability from his time practicing ballet. This is simply not true, ‘The Muscles From Brussels’ most definitely has a background and legitimate record in competitive fighting, people just aren’t able to see much of it on video.
Van Damme’s Real Fights
Rising to fame with cult and box office hits like ‘Bloodsport’ and ‘Kickboxer,’ JCVD quickly ended up scoring massive lead roles in Hollywood. But where did Van Damme’s shredded physique and acrobatic kicks come from?
Sporting a professional kickboxing record of 18-1 (18 knockouts), Van Damme also fought as an amateur and won 44 fights losing four. The following videos are the only footage showing any of Van Damme’s real fights:
Perhaps his biggest role to date, Van Damme starred alongside Dolph Lundgren in the Hollywood hit ‘Universal Soldier.’ Van Damme played a resurrected Vietnam veteran who was killed by his sergeant (Lundgren) while on duty in ‘Nam.
Here’s another video, this time a photo collage of Van Damme’s fighting days:
Although Van Damme did go through some rough times in his later career, he appears to be bringing it back up to speed lately. The trailer for his new movie ‘The Bouncer’ actually looks awesome.