30 Best Action Stars Then and Now ▶Transformation ★ 2022
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Jean-Claude Van Damme’s movies stirred countless martial artists around the world. Before Muay Thai or kickboxing found its place in the world of martial arts, Van Damme had already brought to the forefront these martial arts styles and used them in his movies.
Movies like ‘Bloodspot’ and ‘Kickboxer’ may not have been very high-budget films, but they still went on to earn millions at the box-office worldwide and most- definitely went on to inspire a generation of martial artists and actors. Many of his friends and followers found it hard to believe that a thin, scrawny child could grow up to become a martial arts superstar in Hollywood and would eventually earn the nickname,
‘Muscles from Brussels’. This Belgian superstar trained himself in martial arts from a very young age and then got a job as a bouncer at a nightclub. It was here he was given his debut role in a hitchhiker movie, ‘Missing in Action’, which was his first stepping-stone towards Hollywood.
He soon began signing a number of film contracts and though his popularity sky-rocketed, his prior commitments/contracts to a number of low-budget film that he had signed earlier, decreased the pace of his ascent in Hollywood. His trademark karate kick with the 360-degree leap has been the subject of emulation for a number of martial arts actors/enthusiasts.