Did you know he was once a weak boy constantly bullied at school?
He was born on October 18, 1960, in Belgium. He was weak from birth, always crying. Walked with bruises, and his peers took special pleasure in demonstrating their strength on him.
At the age of 11, his father brought him to karate training, not even suspecting that thereby defined his entire future life. He wore glasses with thick lenses and took up classical ballet classes for several years, which would later bring him millions of dollars.
When everyone went home, and he was left alone in the gym, the young boy would stay and practice some karate techniques for several hours. He was simultaneously stubbornly doing psychological training and auto-training. This later helped him overcome his self-doubt.
He trained with adults: there were no age and weight categories at the competitions. At the age of 16, he won a prestigious tournament. In the final, by the way, he fought with a man twice his age and weight.
His coach saw his talent at once, and almost from the first days of classes, he inspired the student become a champion. The trainer spent more time with him, than with others. His training was not limited to classes in the gym only. 3-4 times a week the trainer would call the young man and invite to his house. This actually meant, that the young man had to run the distance to the coach’s house, and after the training “at home” he had to run back. In total, it was a 3-hour-long training.
From time to time, the coach used to create a special training: he put safety devices on the young man and set his huge shepherd dog on him.
In 1978, the young man got a black belt. On March 8, 1980, he knocked out German Dietrich Targills with a kick in the jump in the first round, thus becoming the European karate champion among professionals.
In the early 80s, he worked as a bouncer at Chuck Norris’s nightclub. For 4 years, he was getting calls from different Hollywood studios with offers to star in a movie.
Finally, in 1988, the guy filmed in a movie and gained worldwide fame, thanks to the movie Bloodsport.
As a result, the weak boy Jean-Claude Van Damme turned into a Hollywood star.