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Jean-Claude Van Damme

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When Jean-Claude Van Damme became an international film star, there was some debate as to his kick-boxing accomplishments. Former multiple World Kickboxing Champion Don "The Dragon" Wilson even offered Jean-Claude a "$100,000" bounty match to get into the ring and fight him. Van Damme brushed off the "challenge" as a publicity stunt. But, the truth of the matter was that Jean-Claude Van Damme was a successful semi-contact and full-contact fighter who competed in Europe and briefly in the United States from 1976-1982.At the age of 12, Van Damme began his martial arts training at Centre National De Karate (National Center of Karate) under the guidance of Master Claude Goetz in Ixelles, Belgium. Van Damme trained for 4 years and earned a spot on the Belgium Karate Team.In 1976 at the age of sixteen, Jean-Claude started his Martial Arts fight career. Over the next 6-years, he competed in both full-contact and semi-contact matches.He debuted under his birth name of Jean Claude Van Varenberg. In his first match, Jean-Claude was staggered by a round-house kick thrown by fellow countryman, Toon Van Oostrum in Brussels, Belgium. Van Damme was badly stunned, but came back to knockout Van Oostrum moments later.In 1977, at the WAKO Open International in Antwerp, Belgium, Jean-Claude lost a decision to fellow team mate Patrick Teugels in a semi-contact match.At the 1978 Challenge De Espoirs Karate Tournament (1st Trials),Jean-Claude placed 2nd in the semi-contact division. He defeated twenty-five opponents during the week long tournament, but lost in the finals to Angelo Spataro from the Naha Club.Later in 1978,Jean-Claude lost a 3-round match for the Belgium Lightweight Championship (semi-contact) to his fellow team-mate to Patrick Teugels.In 1979, Jean-Claude traveled to the United States of America, to Tampa, Florida. In his first and only match against a United States opponent, Van Damme faced 'Sherman 'Big Train'Bergman', a kick-boxer from the Miami Beach, Florida. For the first and only time in his career, Jean-Claude was knocked to the canvas after absorbing a powerful left hook from Bergman. However, Jean-Claude climbed off the canvas and with a perfectly timed ax-kick, knocked Bergman out in 56 seconds of the first round.Jean-Claude was a member of the Belgium team which competed on December 26, 1979 at the La Coupe Fancois Persoons Karate Tournament which was sanctioned by the Federation bruxelloise de Karate. Van Damme's final match victory enabled his team to win the European Team Karate Championship.In Full-Contact karate, Jean-Claude knocked out England's Micheal Heming in 46 seconds of the first round.In 1980, Jean-Claude Van Damme knocked out France's Georges Verlugels in 2 rounds of a match fought under kick-boxing rules.Jean-Claude wanted to defeat his rival Patrick Teugels. At the Forest Nationals in Brussels, on March 8, 1980, Jean-Claude knocked Teugels down and Teugels suffered a nose injury and was unable to continue. Jean-Claude was awarded a first round victory.Jean-Claude retired from martial arts in 1982, following a knockout over Nedjad Gharbi in Brussels,Belgium.Jean-Claude posted a 18-1 (18 knockouts) Kickboxing record, and a Semi-Contact record of 41-4.After Jean-Claude's film career took off, controversy arose because none of his fights were found. Some experts blasted Van Damme as a fake, saying he only had one amateur fight which he lost. But research and the Internet have finally cleared things up. Jean-Claude Van Damme fought his entire fight career under his birth name of Van Varenberg; thus the mix-up.  See full bio on IMDb »

Georges St-Pierre -- Jean-Claude Van Damme Is a Real Life BADASS

Georges St-Pierre
Jean-Claude Van Damme's A Real Life BADASS

He was a joke in "Street Fighter" ... he sucked in "Double Team" ... but Jean-Claude Van Damme could BEAT YOUR ASS in real life, so says UFC champ Georges St-Pierre. A well-dressed GSP was out… READ MORE >

Jean-Claude Van Damme -- I Had an Affair with Kylie Minogue ... in 1994

Jean-Claude Van Damme
I Had an Affair With Kylie Minogue ... in 1994

The movie "Street Fighter" will now be known for more that just being one of the worst movies of all-time -- it will be known as the movie that led to Jean-Claude Van Damme having an affair with… READ MORE >

- 741 days ago
'The Expendables' -- Who'd You Rather?

'The Expendables'
Who'd You Rather?

It was a battle of the reanimated '80s action heroes, as Dolph Lundgren, 54, Sylvester Stallone, 66, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 65, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, 51, put on their best faces at the Paris… READ MORE >

- 743 days ago
Jean-Claude Van Damme's Son Flexes Acting Muscles Too

Jean-Claude Van Damme's Son
Flexes Acting Muscles Too

Because one Van Damme in this world just isn't enough, Jean-Claude Van Damme's 24-year-old son Kristopher Van Varenberg (left) proved the buff apple doesn't fall far from the tree and showed off… READ MORE >

- 907 days ago
Jean-Claude Van Damme -- The Lean Mean Pornstache Machine

Jean-Claude Van Damme
The Lean Mean Porn Stache Machine

While on the set of his new flick "Welcome to the Jungle" in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, action star of yore Jean-Claude Van Damme proved he's still the Muscles from Brussels by showing off his tan,… READ MORE >

- 922 days ago
Van Damme Sued for Bashing Gym on Reality TV

Van Damme Sued for Bashing Gym on Reality TV

Jean-Claude Van Damme is accused of dealing a death blow to a home gym product -- after allegedly agreeing to promote it ... and then BASHING it on his reality show instead.According to a new… READ MORE >

- 1195 days ago
Jean-Claude Van Damme -- 4% Tipper

Jean-Claude Van Damme -- 4% Tipper

Jean-Claude Van Damme dealt a low blow to his waiter at an L.A. nightclub -- tipping only $40 on a $940 bill ... and TMZ has obtained a copy of the receipt.It all went down at Drai's in Hollywood… READ MORE >

- 1299 days ago
Ex-Power Ranger Wants to Fight Van Damme

Ex-Power Ranger Wants to Fight Van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme -- the most badass fighting sensation of the 90s -- just got challenged to an MMA fight by a guy who used to fight puppets in spandex ... all over an incident from 15 years… READ MORE >

- 1653 days ago
Jean-Claude vs. Zac: Who'd You Rather?

Jean-Claude vs. Zac
Who'd You Rather?

Somber action star Jean-Claude Van Damme turns 47 on Thursday, while dreamy teen idol Zac Efron turns 20.The question is ...  READ MORE >

- 2502 days ago

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