By Lordus Sapiens — Well, okay, sorta…
I was thinking about Frank and some very wise words came to mind:
“Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to wickedness and evil-doing, and wickedness leads to hellfire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before God as a liar…”From the Holy Koran…
I don’t know if Frank even believes in Allah, but it seems relevant in the context of all things Frank Dux as he finds himself in old age and must think about his “legacy” — and mortality — in his waning years.
Oh well…getting back on-topic…
Frank Dux sucks cocks in hell…
Actually, the title of this blog isn’t really true. By the time Bloodsport came out in 1988, I was twenty-four years old, so he really stole part of my young adulthood, but I was pretty immature in those days, so whatever, it still fits. “Childhood” sounds better than “young adulthood,” so I’m leaving it.
By then (1988) I’d done a little dabbling in Taekwondo and Goju-ryu karate. Not a lot, but I was a real yellow belt (almost a green belt) and combined had about a year of real training under real teachers (none of whom were named after animals or James Bond characters), which means as of the moment Bloodsport hit theaters, I probably had more real training under real, flesh and blood, qualified martial arts instructors than Frank Dux did. My mom’s live-in, pot-smoking boyfriend at the time, Dave, was really into Karate (he’d introduced me to Goju-ryu and we attended classes together) and it was with him that I was introduce to the legend of Frank Dux.
We saw Bloodsport in the theater maybe three times (if I remember right), and when it came out on VHS (remember those?) it was one of the only videos Dave owned and he watched it constantly. Dave freaking loved that movie and at times I was pretty sure he though it was “real.” Okay, I know he did — or at least he was convinced that the “Kumite” was real — because of the conversations he had with other karate guys we hung out with. And the idea that this Frank Dux was a real guy? Well, movies and Black Belt magazine articles don’t lie, and the idea that there was a real Frank Dux guy out there just sealed the deal for Dave and people like him that simply couldn’t resist the idea of this comic book super hero made flesh.
I, on the other hand…well, I was born a cynic, and while I enjoyed the movie (I actually prefer the ultra-low budget Albert Pyung sci-fi epic from that period, Cyborg, along with just about any other JCVD movie ever made…remember when JCVD made good movies like Timecop, Universal Soldier, Hard Target, etc.?), I remember my reaction to Bloodsport as Dave and I left the theater and Dave went nuts over what he’d just seen…
“Um…you know it’s all bullshit, right?” I said.
Dave couldn’t believe I’d dared to utter the words.
“What do you mean, bullshit?” he said. “You’ve seen the Black Belt articles, man…it’s all legit!”
I just shook my head in dismay. A Van Damme movie was like crack to martial arts guys in those days, and it would be a while before Dave crashed.
“It’s bullshit,” I repeated. “That stuff in the credits…based on a true story, and all those records. It’s made up crap. How would they even measure some of that stuff? It’s just made up for the movie. Let’s look it up in Guinness…there’s no such thing.”
Dave just looked at me like I was retarded or something, shook his head, and laughed.
“Whatever, man!” he said. “I’d heard of the Kumite long before I ever heard of Frank Dux and Bloodsport! It’s a real thing, trust me, I know!”
And then he gave me that look. You know the one…the one martial arts seniors give their juniors (he was a green belt to my yellow belt) when they want you to quit talking sense to their bullshit.
But there it was…
Not only the willful suspension of disbelief and critical thinking a “good” piece of fiction will invoke, but the on-the-spot fabrication of a white lie to ignore obvious bullshit and support my friend’s desire to have it be true in the real world.
This sort of repeated itself two years later when I went back to college and started training with a campus rec TKD club. Collectively, the black belts owned and ever watched exactly three movies: Enter the Dragon, the Enter the Dragon parody in Kentucky Fried Movie, and (of course)…Bloodsport (which essentially made them all just different versions of the same movie…a serious version, a parody, and an unintentional comedy).
In spite of being real black belts (a couple were even good enough to make national teams), they bought the whole Fran Dux myth — and any effort on my part to reactivate their willfully dismissed capacities for critical thinking was flatly dismissed while they drank beer, re-read Dux articles in Black Belt until the pages were almost worn through, and plotted their own home-brew versions of A Fistful of Yen and Bloodsport (which in turn is just a ripoff of Enter the Dragon anyway).
Even grown up boys need their superheroes, I guess.
I would attribute it (the genius part) to Dux, but based on what has happened and who he has become over the past three decades, I think we all know he just stumbled on it blindly and doesn’t really fully understand just what he did to make all this happen (though everyone knows he’s been trying to figure it out and replicate it ever since). Quite by accident, Dux created a character — not a persona, really, because most people can barely stand the Dux “persona” in person — that men love so much that they actively lie to themselves and among themselves about whether he could and does exist in the real world.
In spite of all the irrefutable math (a 19-round event — just the heavyweights — would have doubled the population of Nassau, Bahamas, and it would take over 27 quadrillion athletes to put on a 60-round, single-elimination event like initially Frank described…I guess Frank never heard that famous math puzzle about “which would you rather have, a million dollars, or a penny doubled every day for a month?” which comes to $5,368,709.12) and myriad other “problems” with Frank’s frankly impossible “bio” (see what I did there…a pun, hyuck! hyuck!), a lot of guys just want to believe it even when the bullshit is shoved right into their faces. They want to believe so badly at times that they happily will gobble up the bullshit and tell you it tastes just like chocolate cake.
I guess the same genetic abnormality that makes it possible for rednecks to believe pro wrestling is real allows others to believe in the fabricated exploits of Frank Dux.
That’s the genius, really, of Bloodsport and the hyper-masculine, Bruce Lee meets James Bond with a touch of John Wayne if John Wayne knew karate version of Frank Dux that Grandpa Frank accidentally created while he was trying to make it as a martial arts instructor and break into Hollywood (though somehow I suspect the real John Wayne, being a fucking real man, thought karate guys — especially ninjitsu guys — were a bunch of fags). He created something guys want to believe is real so badly, they’ll lie to themselves to maintain the fantasy, which they’ve somehow done for 30 years now. How else do you explain the fact that in spite of all the irrefutable evidence debunking Dux, he still gets interviewed in the mainstream press where people — real journalists for Christ’s sake who should should fucking know better — still at least pretend to take him seriously.
I intentionally bring up John Wayne because John Wayne actually suffered from a similar problem. The “character” and public persona of “John Wayne” was so powerful and overwhelming that for a long time it became a sort of ideal of manliness. Most people really thought the real John Wayne — Marion Morrison — was all the things the studio-made version of John Wayne was: noble, virtuous, virile, courageous, and a war hero who took no shit from nobody.
In real life, Wayne/Morrison was actually a mean drunk and chain-smoker, a womanizer who cheated on his wives and had many affairs, a bigot, he neglected his children, and he never served in the military choosing instead to sit pussy back in America and make movies all through WWII. He was just a person, one with some serious flaws…but there are still certain demographics and places where, if I said this about “the Duke” in public, some old codger might bash me in my fucking teeth for daring to defile THE (Quiet) MAN (I love that movie, especially the epic fist fight…and no…it’s not a strange coincidence that Dux, in his bullshit, sometimes tries to get us to believe that people called him “Duke” as well. Do they? Someone who knows, please tell me…this just strikes me as a guy desperately trying to get people to call him by a nickname that simply doesn’t “fit.” My guess is that no one calls Dux “Duke” without sniggering afterwards).
But the PROBLEM for Grandpa Frank was that while the real John Wayne was reportedly close enough to the fabricated one not to blow himself up credibility-wise, Dux created a character that became more real than the real person he really was, one that, of course, he could never hope to sustain or live up to, especially considering Frank’s personal and psychological shortcomings.
Once his “Bloodsport moment” was over, the decline of Dux began.
Streams and Streams of Crazy Bullshit…
I’m not going to get too much into all his other claims except to perhaps point out that the only way he could have done even half of what he claimed he did in 1975, he would have had to have invented a time travel and displacement device that would have allowed him to be all over the world at the same time.
Maybe he did? He is Frank Fucking Dux, after all.
I’m also not going to get into all his CIA covert black ops super spy bullshit except to point out that if someone really was what Frank describes, and then he went out and blathered and bragged about it as much as Frank does, that the real government would have at (at best) arrested him and thrown in him Leavenworth for violating his oath, terms of service, and breaking a shopping list of laws, or (at worst) black bagged the motherfucker, put a bullet in his head, and buried him in a hole somewhere in the Nevada desert.
They say there are a LOT of bodies in holes in the Nevada desert…
I sometimes wonder if Frank ever stops to think…what if the Russians ever took him seriously? What might happen? I can imagine him bagged, tagged, and shipped off to some subterranean torture cell under the Kremlin with one of Putin’s goons standing on his left testicle while he pulls fingernails out of Frank’s quivering hands with Frank crying out, “Please, God! I made it all up! I’m only a yellow belt in Taekwondo for Christ’s sake! I just wanted to be famous, make money, and date porn stars in the Valley! You gotta believe me!”
Call out to any real intelligence spooks that might read this. It would be HILARIOUS if a couple of you guys threw a bag over Frank’s head, drove him out somewhere remote, and gave him a little light interrogation and waterboarding to teach him a lesson. I know it’s kidnapping and assault and all that…but he’s been pissing in your faces for years and it would be funny as hell.
And I won’t bother pointing out that for such a supposed badass in the competition arena, there sure aren’t a lot of people claiming to have fought DUX at a tournament. Actually the only guy I can think of who has was Zane Frazier, who beat Dux to a pulp in a REAL fight in front of witnesses and actually put Dux through Jeff Speakman’s autograph table.
Seriously, compare Dux to a real champion like Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris didn’t fight anywhere near the 300-plus people Dux claims, but there are TONS of people out there more than happy to step forward and bask in the glory of having been beaten by Mr. Norris back in the good ole days of karate competition.
This goes back to Frank’s bone-headed claims of a 60-round single elimination tournament. Anyone who fights in tournaments knows how bracketing works and knows how quickly the size of divisions can get unmanageable. Here’s another mental math mind fucker for you. In a single elimination bracket, the number of fights it takes to resolve the bracket is always one less than the number of participants…so this 60-round event would ALSO require more than 27 quadrillion fights which, if three matches are going on simultaneously as Frank claims, would take 9 quadrillion times lets say 15 minutes per match which comes to…around 257 billion years, which sucks considering the universe is only around 15 billion years old.
Anyway, when Frank made up his story, he clearly didn’t know jack shit about tournaments (or math or time or the universe). I would actually be surprised to find out he has EVER fought in a tournament. I’m a nobody, but I fought enough at small tournaments when I competed that I could probably find a half-dozen people to vouch for me in an hour. Frank Dux was supposedly a world champion who fought over 300 times and over three decades not a SINGLE person to vouch for him!?!?
Everything in Frank’s career seems to be made out of bullshit and sugar glass.
It’s interesting to note that in spite of his “fame,” Frank never really did that much after Bloodsport. Oh, he tried, but if you look at his credits for the past 30 years expecting to see a long list of impressive accomplishment, you’ll be disappointed. Bit parts in a few movies, fight choreography on a few others, a story by credit (he didn’t even get that on Bloodsport, and it has been said that he’s so incompetent that he didn’t really actually choreograph shit on the JCVD films, but they gave him the credit anyway), and then he pretty much falls off the map. Many people associated with Bloodsport (especially JCVD) went on to MUCH bigger and better things.
But why not DUX?
I think — and this is speculation, but it’s backed up by a lot of statements made about Dux over the years — that Dux is a little unstable. Maybe more than a little. He is apparently charismatic enough to make an initial connection, but over time the real Dux comes out and people are repelled. Making movies is a collaborative process. I have friends who are filmmakers, and they all agree that finding people to work with who aren’t huge flakes is the biggest problem in Hollywood and that the key to success is being reliable…and being able to work WITH people rather than only for yourself.
Dux is an egomaniac, and his whole deal has ALWAYS been about aggrandizing himself (he’s not the only one…this is a BIG problem in martial arts in general). I would bet that by being an unstable ego-queen that Dux ended up pissing away untold chances for a long and financially rewarding career in action films because short-term fame and ego-stroking was all he cared about at the time.
Today, Frank Dux is still famous thanks to the enduring popularity of Bloodsport, but he’s relegated to surviving off the crumbs of that legacy. He works the martial arts hall of fame and martial arts “celebrity” star-fucker “circuit’ where people like Master Ken openly mock him to his face.
Recently, he has been reduced to trying to sell private lessons in his “Dux Ryu’ bullshit ninjitsu style (curiously, Dux Ryu seems to be popular in Mexico, and Dux posts lots of photos of Mexican law enforcement who supposedly train in Dux Ryu…which I guess explains why the Federales can’t get a grip on the cartel problem there), and selling signed “Kumite ’75” (you know, the event that never really happened) t-shirts.
The rest of the time it seems that Dux spends every waking moment writing nonsensical dribble about various conspiracy theories (especially the one that is holding him back from the glory that he most assuredly deserves) and indulging in Facebook and internet feuds with pretty much anyone who dares to speak the truth about him or his so-called “legacy.”
The company he keeps is also quite interesting. There was a time when Dux moved in circles with the likes of Sylvester Stallone and other Hollywood “royalty,” but today he counts as his closest compatriots in the war to defend his name the likes of…Bohdi Sanders and Dallas Wittgenfeld?
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
We all need to have friends, I suppose, and “likes” tend to flock together like turds in a toilet bowl…but…really, Frank, you might be better off giving blowjobs for money down on the strip that hang out with the likes of these wanna-be serial child rapists and purple Kool-aid poly amorous sex cult gurus.
A Hero’s Sad Fate…
When I first read about Frank Dux, I was living in a one-room apartment, working a horrible job as a breakfast cook after having dropped out of college.
In that apartment next to a pile of Penthouse magazines by my bed nearly two feet high was a stack of Black Belt and Inside Karate magazines just as tall. And in those magazines…well, the exploits of Frank Dux, though I knew they were salted with pure bullshit, might have saved my life, because they inspired me to do better.
If some delusional loser from California could join the Marines, fall off a truck, and wake up the most feared and decorated covert operative in history — not to mention a Medal of Honor recipient and the champion of the world renowned KUMITE with 56 consecutive knockout and a boatload of world records — I was pretty sure I could one day work my way out of that kitchen. I did, and I even went on to earn a degree, kiss a real girl, and learn martial arts, eventually earning a real fourth degree black belt from an organization that DOESN’T have the words “Black Dragon” or “Count Dante” in it.
May the blessings of Allah be upon you for that at least, Grandpa Frank, and I have to also add that your manliness, 1970’s porn-stache, and example of virtue and integrity probably also saved me from being gay.
But the fact that I now find MYSELF, all these years later, embroiled in an internet feud with YOU!?!?
Aw, man…it’s so…so…deflating? Disappointing? Sad? Pathetic?
And the fact that you really SUCK at it?
I would think that someone of your reputation, stature, history, background, and connections in the intelligence and spy community would have by now had me pulled screaming out of my mom’s basement in a cloud of orange Cheetos dust by a bunch of black ops spooks, thrown into a black van, and driven out to some remote site deep in the woods where you could put the cap in my ass yourself.
You’ve let me down, Frank…but worse (since I never believed in you to begin with), you’ve let all your fans and worshipers down. All those young men, looking for a role model, looking for a goddamned grandmaster-soke-sensei to show them the way…
It’s like tugging Superman’s cape…pulling the mask off the Lone Ranger…
You’ve become a caricature…of yourself.
And for that…I want every second back that I and everyone else on planet Earth has ever wasted on the sad, broken, pathetic, fake and fraud that you are and have always been.
Someday they’re going to remake Bloodsport. Throw some real money at it, rework the script into something coherent, get some real actors, and find a real fight choreographer whose martial arts credentials didn’t come from a Count Dante ad in the back of a comic book. And when that happens, I hope you get screwed out of making a dime and that you don’t get any credit for the “inspiration” (you did totally rip off Enter the Dragon, after all).
It would be a small justice, I guess…