RARE footage of Jean-Claude Van Damme sparring on TV at 23-years-old
Jean-Claude Van Damme was a big-time martial arts film star in the 80’s and 90’s who starred in classic fight flicks like Bloodsport, Kickboxer, and Universal Soldier, and compared to many others in that space, Jean-Claude is actually a pretty legitimate martial artist.
Known for his impressive kicking ability, Jean-Claude first got his start in Shōtōkan Karate and Kickboxing but would later add both Taekwondo and Muay Thai to his striking-focused arsenal.
In this footage from all the way back in 1983, we see a very young and fresh-looking Jean-Claude Van Damme appearing on French television where he discusses karate in an interview then does some light sparring with EX Belgian champion and karate trainer, William Delval.
While Jean-Claude has somewhat fallen out of the limelight in recent years, as all aging martial arts film stars tend to do, he has mounted a bit of a career comeback appearing in the second Expendables film as well as some direct-to-video projects like Kickboxer: Vengeance.
His name has also come up recently in the MMA world after a very funny story came out regarding a training incident with former UFC bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt. Allegedly, Jean-Claude was brought in to show the guys at Team Alpha Male some of his kicking techniques and accidentally kicked Garbrandt right in the chops.
Garbrandt obviously didn’t appreciate it very much but, surprisingly enough, it seemed like JCVD was the one who got more bent out of shape about it than Garbrandt did.
Anyways, check out the video below to see some RARE sparring footage of a prime JCVD in action.
ABOUT JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME:
Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg (born 18 October 1960), professionally known as Jean-Claude Van Damme and abbreviated as JCVD, is a Belgian actor, martial artist, screenwriter, film producer, and director best known for his martial arts action films. The most successful of these films include Bloodsport (1988), Kickboxer (1989), Lionheart (1990), Double Impact (1991), Universal Soldier (1992), Hard Target (1993), Street Fighter (1994), Timecop (1994), Sudden Death (1995), JCVD (2008) and The Expendables 2 (2012). [Source: Wiki]