Jean-Claude Van Damme

Article

December 6, 2021

Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg (October 18, 1960), better known as Jean-Claude Van Damme, is an actor, screenwriter, producer and director of Belgian action cinema. He is a specialist in martial arts, including karate-do (3rd dan black belt in shotokan karate-do), full contact, kickboxing, and Taekwondo. In 1982 he immigrated to the United States to pursue a career in Hollywood cinema. The role that launched him to stardom was that of Frank Dux in the 1988 film Bloody Contact. He reached his biggest box office success with Timecop (1994). Among his most recognized films are: Kickboxer (1989), Lionheart (1990), Death Warrant (1990), Double Impact (1991), Universal Soldier (1992), Nowhere to Run (1993), Hard Target (1993), Death Sudden (1995), JCVD ​​(2008) and The Expendables 2 (2012). Due to his place of origin and his musculature, he is nicknamed "The Muscles from Brussels" by the English-speaking media and audience.

Childhood and early years

Jean-Claude Camille François van Varenberg was born on October 18, 1960, in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium, the son of Eliana and Eugène van Varenberg, his mother a public accountant and his father a florist. [1] [2] [3] [4] Her father is originally from Brussels and is bilingual, her mother is Flemish. [5] Despite her Catholic faith, her paternal grandmother was Jewish. [6] From an early age, Jean-Claude admired the action tapes of actors like Bruce Lee and Steve McQueen. At the age of ten, he was taken to the National Karate Center in Brussels, where he began in the discipline of Shotokan style karate-do under the teaching of Master Claude Goetz. Jean-Claude has stated that he was a shy, thin and short child. After years of training, he achieved the rank of 1st Dan black belt. In addition to karate, he took ballet classes for five years in order to improve his flexibility. He has said that ballet is an art, but also one of the hardest disciplines, he pointed out: "If you can survive a ballet training, you can survive a training in any other sport." Also, in his teens, Van Damme began working with weights to improve his physical appearance and develop his muscles. In 1978, he set up his own gym in Brussels, called "California Gym", and later would win the title of "Mr. Belgium" in bodybuilding.

Film career

Beginnings

Van Damme's real debut in the cinema was in 1979 with a Belgian film called Een vrouw tussen hond en wolf playing the role of extra in the garden listening to the speech of the charismatic and legendary actor Rutger Hauer, but 1982 he traveled to Los Angeles with hardly $ 8,000 of your savings. As an actor he initially adopted the stage name "Frank Cujo" and held various jobs. While auditioning for a movie role, he worked as a taxi driver, pizza delivery man, limousine driver, gym trainer, bodyguard, karate instructor, and massage therapist, among others. He dropped the stage name "Frank Cujo" and on the advice of his acting teacher and his friend Michel Qissi changed it to Jean-Claude Van Damme. Later he met actor and martial arts expert Chuck Norris, with whom he trained for several months, serving as a sparring partner and personal assistant. Norris landed him his first big screen appearance with a small role in the 1984 action film Missing in Action. The same year he appeared in the film Monaco Forever, where he played the supporting role of a young homosexual man. In 1986, he landed the role as a villain in the low-budget film Never Back Down, Never Surrender, where he plays a tough Soviet fighter. The fight scenes in the film drew him some popularity. In 1987, Van

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