Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Had they got into a physical confrontation back then, I think Jean-Claude would have put Seagal on the floor very quickly.

Viking Samurai:

Hey guys, in today’s video is Jean-Claude Van Damme vs Steven Seagal. We’re going to talk about that infamous night, Miami, Stallon’s mansion, 1997. And if that fight actually occurred, who would have won and why? So with me, my guest is Sheldon Lettich, amazing writer, director. He’s, of course, worked with Van Damme, worked on some of his best films like Lionheart, Double Impact. Met with Steven Seagal, never actually worked with him but he’s going to give his opinion on who would win that fight and why. Also, make sure to stay until the end because he’s going to tell us a story about the time Jean-Claude Van Damme kicked a real Navy Seal across the gym. Oh, make sure to comment below by the way. Are you team Van Damme or team Seagal? Nothing to do with the movies, nothing to do with the individual but if that fight did go down at Stallone’s mansion, who wins – Seagal or Van Damme? Comment below.

Viking Samurai:

Anyway, please make sure to help support the channel by hitting the like button, subscribing, sharing the video and if you want to get any cool merchandise, check out the links below. You could drink in style, black belt fragrances, you could smell amazing. So, check all that out in the description below. With that said, let’s get on to this discussion.

Here is a question and this kind of goes back to…and I 100% agree with you by the way, when you’re talking about Van Damme highly skilled real life and he definitely holds his own in a real fight. Now, there was a story, I think in probably the late 90s, could have been the mid 90s, maybe the late 90s. Obviously, Steven Seagal and Van Damme were like the two martial art action dudes. Apparently, there was almost a confrontation at Stallone’s mansion I think in Miami.

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Yeah, I heard about it.

Viking Samurai:

Did anyone ever tell you about that story, like, was that real?

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Yeah. He, well, according to Van Damme, it was real.And according to Van Damme, he confronted Seagal and Seagal basically took off. Suddenly, he was nowhere to be and Stallone confirmed that he… He basically said, I can’t remember all the details of it but apparently, there was a face-off between the two of them. And Jean-Claude did say something like, okay, let’s go at it right now. And Seagal is the one who backed off and then disappeared and he was gone from the party.

Viking Samurai:

I heard he went to, like, a club and Van Damme followed him there and there’s another confrontation. I don’t know if someone just added that and embellished the story but did Van Damme specifically ever talk about that?

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

He did. Yeah, he did. And he did say that Seagal was trash talking and that Van Damme confronted him and Seagal backed off and he got the hell out of there. That’s what I heard. That’s one side of the story. But Stallone kind of confirmed…

Viking Samurai:

Yeah, I know, I mean if he confirmed it and it was at his place, I don’t doubt that. Your personal opinion on Van Damme versus Seagal, UFC match back in that era, who do you think would have won?

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Personally, I think Jean-Claude would have won easily.

Viking Samurai:

Yeah?

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Yeah. Seagal and.. I’ve known Seagal personally also. I’ve hung out with him and Seagal just doesn’t seem like… and I’ve known a lot of bad asses okay. I’m not one but I’ve certainly known a lot of them, a lot of people that, you know, basically you throw the wrong word in their direction and they’re going to throw a punch you know. They’re going to try to talk, they’re not going to try to negotiate their way out of this. They’re just going to punch. They’re just going to hit.

And Jean-Claude, of course, he had to be more circumspect once he became a movie star and had money that people could sue him for. But I’ve known a lot of his buddies also. I’ve met a lot of his buddies that grew up with, in Brussels, who went to Karate classes with him. They all studied Karate under this guy named Claude Goetz. I’ve met Claude Goetz. So, I’ve heard this from the real guys that were Jean-Claude’s friends. You know, they didn’t read it in some tabloid but they all said that you didn’t want to mess with Jean-Claude. Jean-Claude was the real deal. He’s a real ass kicker. And I would think that if Seagal and of course, both of them would have been very careful, once they became movie stars, about getting into an actual physical fight where people were watching.

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

But had they confronted one another in an earlier time when it wouldn’t have been possible to sue one of another as easily or the tabloids or the news wouldn’t have talked about it. Had they gotten into a physical confrontation back then, I think Jean-Claude would have put Seagal on the floor very quickly. I never saw any example of Seagal’s actual power. Well, he didn’t have powerful kicks or punches, he would use the Aikido basically, twisting a person’s body around to make him do what they want to do. But as far as having a powerful punch or a powerful kick, I’ve never heard anybody say that Seagal could punch or hit powerfully but Van Damme could.

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

I’ll give you one example, in Lionheart, there is a scene where he confronts those two foreign legion guys. One of them was this big rhinoceros named Voyo Goric. And Voyo, he was a proverbial brick shithouse. Voyo was a monster okay. And we had a scene where Jean-Claude was supposed to give him a double kick to the chest and I mean, it would really take like a car hitting this guy Voyo to knock him down. But Jean-Claude gives him a double kick and you see it on camera. It’s in the movie.

Viking Samurai:

Oh, I remember that scene. Yeah.

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Yeah, we didn’t put, like baby powder on his clothes to make the dust fly up. Jean-Claude gives him a double kick in the chest and you see dust fly and basically Voyo gets knocked back a bit. Knocking Voyo back a bit really takes a lot of power. And Voyo was such a monster. We did one time without Jean-Claude using full power and Voyo was kind of disappointed, he says, Jean-Claude, you have to really kick me. Okay, the next take Jean-Claude says, okay, you asked for it. So he gives him that double kick that we see, where you see the dust flying and Voyo gets knocked back like Frankeistein. And he’s got a satisfied smile on his face and says, “Jean-Claude, much better.” And then I think we might have, I’m not sure if we did it another time.

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Now, when I first met Jean-Claude, he was giving some Karate lessons at some gym on Beverly Boulevard. And I had met Chuck far before then and Chuck was a Navy Seal but not a bullshitter like Frank Dux. Chuck was really a Navy Seal for like 8 years. So, I introduced Chuck to Jean-Claude and Jean-Claude ended up writing a Hard Target, Chuck ended up writing a Hard Target.

Viking Samurai:

Oh, really?

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Yeah.

Viking Samurai:

Oh, that’s the guy at the beginning of the movie who played Natasha’s dad. He was in that movie, right? And he got killed. He was the first guy killed in the movie.

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

Which movie?

Viking Samurai:

Hard Target. Like the guy in the movie was the guy in the beginning who played Natasha’s father who got killed.

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

I’m pretty sure that was Chuck, yeah.

Well, anyways, so this is before any of this stuff transpired. I also introduced Chuck to Sam Raimi and then Sam hit it off with him and Chuck ended up writing Darkman for Sam also. But we’re in a gym and Chuck says, “Hey, Jean-Claude, so let me see what one of your kicks feels like.”

“Chuck, you really don’t want me to kick you.”

“Oh, yeah, I do. I do. Come on. Look, I’ll even hold up a couple of pads and go ahead and just give me a kick right in the chest as hard as you can.”

And so, he’s holding up like two exercise pads and Jean-Claude says, “Chuck, you need two more pads. “Jean-Claude, I was a Navy Seal” and all this. “No. Chuck, you need two more pads.” Chuck gets two more pads and now he’s got four pads in front of his chest. And Jean-Claude basically gives him one of those Van Damme kicks. Chuck goes flying across the room. We’re in a gym. We’re in a good-sized room. He actually goes, you know, oh, my dog’s not there. He goes flying across the room basically, barely staying on his feet. Jean-Claude gave him a serious kick with four pads and afterwards, Chuck said, “He’s good. Wow! I really felt that.”

Viking Samurai:

Was it like a stepping side kick like he did in Lionheart against a dude and he kicked him through the glass?

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

I would call that a stepping side kick, yeah. I don’t know exactly but that’s what it looked like basically. Yeah, he, you know, the foot goes out and goes boom, right in Chuck’s chest. He’s holding his four pads up and the power of the kick sends him flying back. So that was a good demonstration early on, just how powerful Jean-Claude’s kicks were.

Viking Samurai:

Yeah, for sure.

Sheldon Lettich (Screenwriter, Film Director & Producer):

I was impressed. Chuck was impressed. He did not ask for another demonstration.

Viking Samurai:

Yeah, I think that was enough.




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