Jean Claude Vandamme was Karate World Champion in 1979

Jean Claude Van Damme is a Belgian martial artist and actor, born on October 18, 1960.

He started training Karate at the age of 10 and also kickboxing, he got his black belt at 18. Later he trained bodybuilding and won the title of the Mr Belgium competition.


Van Damme was really good at karate. In his teens he became part of the national karate team in his country. He competed in the full contact mode and obtained a record of 44 victories and 4 defeats in fights in and out of contact and semi-contact tournaments.

Van Damme as a member of the Belgian karate team won the European championship on December 26, 1979 and defeated the second best karate fighter in the world.

Later he practiced Taekwondo and Muai Thai, even with a successful experience in competition. Despite his achievements in the martial arts, Vandamme soon retired from competing and decided to move to the United States with his childhood friend Michael to start a new career in film, where he shot several movies in the 80’s and 90’s, some of them of great success, like «The Great White Dragon, Blood Sport and Kick-boxer.


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