The first time we saw Jean Claude Van Damme was in his most famous movie “Bloodsport” and we were super impressed. Krishnan and I are anyway big fans of all martial arts and have seen the original Master Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” atleast 50 times. We will probably watch it 50 more times just for his supersonic reflexes. Krishnan didn’t stop with just being a fan and went on to earn his senior brown belt in Karate from one of the most genuine masters in India Sensei George Thomas.
We have also watched Bloodsport several times just for two scenes – the round house kick in the final fight and the split on the balcony….. Just classic. While we like the story of how Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone beat all odds to become great body builders, the fitness of a martial artist is something else. It’s the most natural form of the body and not something built up like the body builders. So it was really nice to watch Van Damme in action and it looked like here was a star who would revive interest in Karate once more.
Then came news of the drug addiction and the long hiatus from the movies. I couldn’t fathom how someone who spent enormous time taking care of his body could so easily slip into drugs !! I was momentarily depressed yesterday and was complaining to Krishnan that I seem to struggle with keeping my weight off. I have been working really hard to keep the weight off since 2005 and kept it away till 2012. But the last year and a half just took me back five years and I was kicking myself for being dumb and not watching my weight. Today when I saw Van Damme again on TV in his 2012 movie “Six Bullets” I just felt really sad. If someone with his level of fitness could let himself go so completely, I still have hope. :):)
I wish Van Damme regains his lost fitness and loses the addiction forever. He is a much needed fitness icon and must stay that way. The roundhouse kick needs to come back – there wasn’t even one of them in this 2012 movie. Sad.