Entertainment Fact or Fiction - Bloodsport


Bloodsport Movie Trivia

The real Frank Dux was the fighting coordinator for this film. When Jean-Claude Van Damme was cast, Dux announced that Van Damme wasn't nearly in good enough shape, and put him through a 3-month training program. Van Damme called those three months "the hardest training of his life" - this despite being a world-championship martial artist in his own right.

The movie was touted as a true story. However, since then much doubt has arisen about the veracity of Dux's story and now the majority of martial-arts enthusiasts view his accounts of competing in secret tournaments as complete fiction, as well as his claims of military service and being an undercover CIA operative. Some have pointed out that he is the only source that these secret tournaments exist, and that nobody else has come forward to confirm his story or tell their own version.

Paulo Tocha, who plays the Muay Thai fighter Paco, is actually a real life Muay Thai champion.

Even after it was filmed, the movie was almost never released, but Jean-Claude Van Damme helped edit the film so that it could be.

This is one of the few films featuring scenes filmed inside Kowloon Walled City before its destruction.

The majority of Bolo Yeung's lines are similar to Bruce Lee's in Enter the Dragon (1973), in which Bolo appeared.

Michel Qissi, who plays "Suan Paredes," would go on to play the more more famous Tong Po, the main villain in Jean-Claude Van Damme's Kickboxer series. He also knew Van Damme as teens and together came to the US to become action stars.

Ray Jackson does not use any recognized martial art at any point in the film.

The arcade game that Jean-Claude Van Damme and Donald Gibb are playing is called Karate Champ (1984).

Jean-Claude Van Damme does his trade mark splits a total of seven times during the film.

Both Roy Chiao and Bolo Yeung were in Enter the Dragon (1973) playing similar roles of mentor and secret martial arts tournament opponent respectively.

Though Frank Dux's brick-breaking demonstration is purely fictional, the Dim Mak ("Death Touch") is a legendary move fabled in Chinese martial arts folklore. The Dim Mak is an accu-pressure attack where the attacker quickly strikes his opponent several times (in sequence) at various spots on his body. Striking an opponent in this method can result in broken bones, paralysis/painful muscle spasms or even instant death. Pei-Pei Cheng's character Jade Fox uses a paralyzing Dim Mak-type attack in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).

The shorts worn by Paulo Tocha's character bear the words "Sor Thanikul," printed in Thai syllabary. This is the name of the gym that Tocha trained at as a legitimate kickboxing competitor. In the future, Tocha used his connections to the gym to make it a filming location for the filmmakers' subsequent project, Kickboxer (1989).

Charles Wang, the late president of Salon Films who supplied equipment for the film, plays the Chinese Doctor who takes care of Jackson in the hospital.

According to Frank Dux, the character played by Donald Gibb was based on ex-biker and jujitsu practitioner Richard Robinson.

The Dim Mak is actually a purely fictional martial arts move that has its roots in Chinese Wuxia novels. It was popularized in the 1960's and 70's by "Count Dante" who ran ads in Black Belt magazine and other magazines of the day claiming to be able to teach it for a small fee and joining the "Black Dragon Fighting Society."

In the tournament scenes, Jean-Claude Van Damme is seen trading kicks when fighting a guy in a grey karate suit with long hair. This fighter is veteran Hong Kong stunt performer and top notch martial artist Yu-Shu Wu. He was told to tone down his kicking skills to make Van Damme look better on screen.

Frank Dux never has and does not hold any of the world records listed at the end of the film. Like his own back story and claims of kumite success, these are all pure fiction.

Bolo Yeung's character, Chong Li, is from South Korea.

Midway's Mortal Kombat (1992) took huge inspiration from the film and even used a parody of Jean-Claude Van Damme for the character Johnny Cage, who has a similar costume, back story and a familiar split punch. According to game creator John Tobias, they wanted to make a "gritty" game based on the film.

Gloria Wu, sister of actor Daniel Wu can be seen in the film playing 'Special Lady'.

The flashback runs at 10 mins 56 seconds The worlds longest flashback event in a film ever

When the army staff visit with the local police chief, Inspector Chen, the actor who plays him would later star opposite Van Damme in Double Impact, playing the Triad boss, Raymond Zhang.

The official's commands, "Junbi," "Haji," and "Hajimae" that starts each bout in the Kumite, are Japanese. Junbi translates most closely as "Prepare," while Hajimae means "begin." Loosely translated, the three words would be, "Ready, Set, Go."

None of the Kumite fighters have any dialogue except for Jackson, Dux, Hussein, and Chong Li.

"Chong" does not exist in Israeli army slang.

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Jean-Claude Van Damme is noted as a world Kickboxing and karate champion on various sites and in publicity material. This history has been confirmed.

Bloodsport (1988)
R | 1h 32min | ActionBiographyDrama | 29 April 1988 (USA)
Follows Frank Dux, an American martial artist serving in the military, who decides to leave the army to compete in a martial arts tournament in Hong Kong where fights to the death can occur.

Director: Newt Arnold
Writers: Sheldon Lettich (story), Sheldon Lettich (screenplay)
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres