I grew up in the 80’s. That being said, it’s safe to assume that I am of the strictest belief that throwing stars can stop a horde of ninjas, smoke-bombs will make you disappear, and fighting consists of throwing 15 punches and kicks and having all of them blocked except the last one…the one that connects and draws the blood from your enemy’s mouth shortly before his wipes it from his lip, looks at it, then attacks again in a fury that only a man who has seen his own blood can possess.
That and splits. Jean Claude Van Damme taught me that splits are necessary in becoming a badass. Here are Van Damme’s most mesmerizing – and sometimes questionable – splits:
#5 – INTIMIDATING YOUR OPPONENT
In order to fight, you have to get into the head of your opponent. What better way to do so than to sit in the corner whilst stretching. Jean shows us how to intimidate while simultaneously keeping the most rigid hair possible in No Retreat, No Surrender (1:15 mark). Note that doing this also prevents cornermen from even approaching you.
#4 – ALTERNATIVE TO CHEAP-SHOTTING
We all know that a man kicking another man in the berries is considered foolish and womanly. It is considered good form to take your ass-whoopin’ rather than throw nut-shot to avoid it. However, Jean shows us in this scene from Bloodsport (1:20) that doing the splits then punching in the gonads is at least enough to impress onlookers to the point that they forget that you ignored the manliness rule. Heck, he even gives each nut its own fist.
#3 – IMPRESSING FISHERMAN
I don’t know…it’s called Black Eagle.
#2 – DANCING
If you even come across a bar such as this one in Kickboxer, I would firstly suggest not dancing at all – let alone being the only white guy in the joint that everyone has been eye-fucking since you first walked in. Jean on the other hand can pull it off. How you ask? By doing the worst drunk impression I’ve ever seen and doing the splits of course (1:12)! Along with a little booty-shake for the ladies.
#1 – AVOIDING DANGER
Say that some thugs interrupted your morning bang-session with Sloane Peterson, and they came in with knives-a-blazin’ and tazers. Say you’re also Jean Claude Van Damme. What would you do?
If you said “Kick ass and smoke grass”, you’d almost be correct. While all of us would probably beat the intruders down, most of us would be confused as to what to do when we are then faced with a flooded kitchen floor and a bad guy aiming a tazer at the water.
Wait, jump on the counter to avoid electrocution? Great idea. But what about avoiding electrocution and giving a gratuitous ass-shot? 2:30 into this Timecop clip will show you the ropes, my friend.