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Bloodsport (1988) Poster

(1988)

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.
The majority of Bolo Yeung's lines are similar to Bruce Lee's in Enter the Dragon (1973), in which Bolo appeared.
Ray Jackson does not use any recognized martial art at any point in the film.
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.
The arcade game that Jean-Claude Van Damme and Donald Gibb are playing is called Karate Dô (1984).
Both Roy Chiao and Bolo Yeung were in Enter the Dragon (1973) playing similar roles of mentor and secret martial arts tournament opponent respectively.
Jean-Claude Van Damme does his trade mark splits a total of seven times during the film.
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).
This is one of the few films featuring scenes filmed inside Kowloon Walled City before its destruction.
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.
Bolo Yeung's character, Chong Li, is from South Korea.
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."
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).
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Gloria Wu, sister of actor Daniel Wu can be seen in the film playing 'Special Lady'.
Jean-Claude Van Damme is noted as a world champion kickboxer on various sites and in publicity material. This history has been confirmed.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Jeff Pruitt was considered for the lead role, but was sidelined from acting by a serious ankle injury.
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"Chong" does not exist in Israeli army slang.
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None of the Kumite fighters have any dialogue except for Jackson, Dux, Hussein, and Chong Li.
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