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Jean Claude Van Damme
Michael Jai White
Jean-Claude Van Damme’s movies stirred countless martial artists around the world. Before Muay Thai or kickboxing found its place in the world of martial arts, Van Damme had already brought to the forefront these martial arts styles and used them in his movies. Movies like ‘Bloodspot’ and ‘Kickboxer’ may not have been very high-budget films, but they still went on to earn millions at the box-office worldwide and most- definitely went on to inspire a generation of martial artists and actors. Many of his friends and followers found it hard to believe that a thin, scrawny child could grow up to become a martial arts superstar in Hollywood and would eventually earn the nickname, ‘Muscles from Brussels’. This Belgian superstar trained himself in martial arts from a very young age and then got a job as a bouncer at a nightclub. It was here he was given his debut role in a hitchhiker movie, ‘Missing in Action’, which was his first stepping-stone towards Hollywood. He soon began signing a number of film contracts and though his popularity sky-rocketed, his prior commitments/contracts to a number of low-budget film that he had signed earlier, decreased the pace of his ascent in Hollywood. His trademark karate kick with the 360-degree leap has been the subject of emulation for a number of martial arts actors/enthusiasts.
Michael Jai White is an American actor, stunt performer, and martial-arts expert. He has appeared in a number of action movies and TV serials. He has also appeared in a few music videos, video games, and web series. He started learning martial arts at the age of 7. He began with Jujutsu and then earned seven black belts in various disciplines. He bagged a major breakthrough when he was offered the role of heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson in the TV film ‘Tyson.’ His role in ‘Spawn’ made him the first African–American man to play the role of a superhero. His performance in the movie earned him a ‘Blockbuster Entertainment Award’ nomination for the ‘Best Male Newcomer.’ He wrote the script and choreographed the stunts for the movie ‘Three Bullets,’ apart from producing it and appearing in a role in the movie. He made his debut as a director with the movie ‘Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown.’ He also appeared in the web series ‘Enter the Dojo.’ White appeared in the music video of the song ‘I Know What You Want’ by Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey, featuring the ‘Flipmode Squad.’ He is married to actor Gillian Iliana Waters and has a daughter from his first marriage to Courtney Chatham and two sons from a previous relationship. He has a large fan base and is considered to be one of the leading stunt choreographers of the entertainment industry.