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|Jean-Claude Van Damme|
Van Damme in Paris at the French premiere of The Expendables 2 in 2012
|Born||Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg
18 October 1960
Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Brussels, Belgium
|Other names||"The Muscles from Brussels"|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Style||Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo|
|Fighting out of||Brussels, Belgium|
|Rank||Shotokan2nd Dan Black Belt in|
|Years active||1976–1982 (martial arts)
|Occupation||Actor, martial artist, screenwriter, film producer, director|
Maria Rodriguez (m. 1980–84)
Cynthia Derderian (m. 1985–86)
Gladys Portugues (m. 1987–92);
Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg (born 18 October 1960), professionally known as Jean-Claude Van Damme and abbreviated as JCVD, is a Belgian actor, martial artist, screenwriter, film producer, and director best known for his martial arts action films. The most successful of these films include Bloodsport (1988), Kickboxer (1989), Lionheart (1990), Double Impact (1991), Universal Soldier (1992), Hard Target (1993), Street Fighter (1994), Timecop (1994), Sudden Death (1995), JCVD (2008) and The Expendables 2 (2012).
Van Damme was born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg, on 18 October 1960, in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium, the son of Eliana and Eugène Van Varenberg, who was an accountant and florist. His father is Walloon (French-speaking) from Brussels, and his mother is Flemish (Dutch-speaking).
He began martial arts at the age of ten, enrolled by his father in a Shotokan karate school. His styles consist of Shotokan Karate and Kickboxing. He eventually earned his black belt in karate at 18. He started lifting weights to improve his physique, which eventually led to a Mr. Belgium bodybuilding title. At the age of 16, he took up ballet, which he studied for five years. According to Van Damme, ballet "is an art, but it's also one of the most difficult sports. If you can survive a ballet workout, you can survive a workout in any other sport." Later he took up both Taekwondo and Muay Thai.
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