Jean-Claude Van Damme Vs Jason David Frank: Who Would Win?

Whenever two martial arts actors meet, a thousand fans secretly ask themselves: Which one of these people would win in a fight? This question usually goes unanswered, because it's not like these people go around beating up everyone in their civilian life. Fortunately, we have a pretty good idea of most action stars' real-life backgrounds and training, which means it's possible to make an educated guess on the outcome of their fantasy battle.  

Without further ado, then: In the red corner, we have Jean-Claude Van Damme, the Muscles from Brussels. The Belgian Bloodsport actor is arguably the most famous European martial arts movie star around, and his powerful build and elastic, splits-heavy technique make it easy to believe that he might be able to handle himself in a real fight. In the blue (well, green) corner, we have Jason David Frank, who is most famous for being the actor who played the original Green and White Power Rangers, but also a real-life karate master. Who would win?

The case for Jean-Claude Van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme is a notorious and downright lethal high-kicker in his movies, but he's also a fairly tough nut to crack in his personal life. He's a legitimate, real-life martial artist, who got his karate black belt at age 18, and has also trained in ballet in order to make his moves more elastic and gain his famous flexibility. Van Damme has been a successful competitor at full-contact kickboxing and semi-contact karate. 

The Muscles from Brussels also has a history of at least trying to take on his fellow martial arts movie stars. According to Sylvester Stallone, Van Damme once challenged Steven Seagal to a fight because the aikido master had been badmouthing him. When Seagal backed away from the situation, Van Damme actually tracked him down to a nightclub in order to challenge him again. What's more, Stallone has said he believes that Van Damme would have proved "too strong" for the vastly larger Seagal. Incidentally, we now kind of want to see a movie where that confrontation takes place, preferably with Stallone as a narrator.

The case for Jason David Frank

In any fantasy matchup between movie and TV martial artists, Jason David Frank may seem like an underdog due to the fantastic and colorful nature of the Power Rangers franchise. The problem with this line of thinking is that an actor's roles and his ability to kick rear aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. As Karim Zidan of Bloody Elbow notes, Ed O'Neill was training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the legendary Gracie family throughout his tenure playing the uber-slob Al Bundy in Married... with Children

Such is the case with Mr. Frank. Not only is he a karate master like JCVD, but he outranks his opponent by a significant margin. Per his instructor page in Rising Sun Karate School, he's an 8th degree black belt with over four decades of training under his (black) belt. He started at age four, earned his first black belt by age 12, and owned his own karate school when he was 18. By the time of 21, he'd trained in so many different martial arts that he started working on his own martial art, Toso Kune Do. You'll notice that a little-known martial arts dude named Bruce Lee did a similar thing with his Jeet Kune Do.    

Oh, and there's also the fact that Frank is a tried and tested MMA fighter. According to his Sherdog fighter page, the actor competed three times as an amateur and once as a pro in 2010, and won each and every fight comfortably.  

And the winner is...

If this was a fight between the most famous characters of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jason David Frank, JCVD's plucky Bloodsport protagonist Frank Dux would ... probably have been curb-stomped within seconds by Tommy Oliver, who is one of the most legendary Power Rangers in the franchise's history, carries a blade, and can summon a giant robotic war machine called Dragonzord. There are only so many crotch punches and spin-kicks you can throw against a guy who comes at you with a missile-shooting, 120-foot-tall dinosaur tank.  

Unfortunately for Team JCVD, Frank's impressive background means that a real-life confrontation between the two would likely have similar results. Even assuming that Van Damme could be in his absolute prime when he faces Frank — Van Damme with all his full-contact skills at his disposal — there's little chance that he'd fare all that well against a similarly-sized guy who has multiple MMA victories, over 40 years of active martial arts experience, and a martial art of his own. So, yeah. We'll give this one to the Green Power Ranger. 

That is, unless Van Damme gets a chance to blast Frank with his legendary crotch punch. After that, it's game over, man.