Claude Van Damme is the Kenny G of the martial arts movie genre, but having seen a half dozen of his films, he looks damn proficient to me. To be specific, I have little doubt how he would fare in a street fight against most (not all) men I’ve ever met.
Yes, his fight scenes are completely choreographed and he did have those pretty-boy GQ looks, but is anyone going to step forward and tell me his skills suck? Can anyone give specifics, other than to generally rag on the man?
If you want to talk dubious skills, let’s talk Steven Segal, who has always looked clumsier than hell, practices a notoriously weak street-fighting art form, and has coasted on a bio that’s riddled with half-truths and flat-out lies.
Van Damme is no Jet Li and certainly not Bruce Lee, but he was a serviceable screen star and looked as compelling on screen as Chuck Norris ever did. (I might add that Chuck Norris was a six-time undefeated middleweight karate champ, but his fights were all non-contact, which IMHO severely undercuts the impressiveness of his fighting record.)
What do you see in Van Damme that I’m not?