Jean Claude Van Damme vs Chuck Norris | Karate vs Chun Kuk Do
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They are two of the most iconic martial artists to ever grace the big screens:
Jean Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris.
With both stars carving niches for themselves and becoming movie icons in their own rights,
there are very few movie stars who command as much respect as they do, especially in the martial arts action film genre.
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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.
Carlos Ray ‘Chuck’ Norris is a martial artist who has appeared in a number of action films and television series. He is most famous for founding his own school of martial arts, ‘Chun Kuk Do.’ Name and fame seemed like a far-fetched dream for Chuck Norris who was a shy child. Moreover, he was not inclined towards athletics. While serving in the ‘United States Air Force’ as an air policeman, he was stationed at the ‘Osan Air Base’ in South Korea where he became interested in martial arts. He began training in Tang Soo Do and went on to earn black belts. He then opened a chain of Karate schools after his discharge from the ‘Air Force’ and founded his own martial arts school, ‘Chun Kuk Do.’ In his illustrious career as a martial artist, he has scored victories over renowned martial artists like Skipper Mullins, Victor Moore, and Steve Sanders. He not only won the ‘Professional Middleweight Karate Champion’ title but also held it for six consecutive years. In addition to being a martial artist and actor, Norris is also a well-known author of Christian books.