Left: World Championship WAKO 1979 Tampa, Florida. Finals Brannach (D) vs Teugels (B) (right). Right: Wilson (Ierl) vs Teugels (B) (right).
Interview with Patrick Teugels.
Claude C: On the internet you are known as an artist-painter but you are also connected with Jean-Claude Van Damme, the alleged 'kickboxer'. You would be 'the only one' who defeated him in his entier career as a competition fighter.
Patrick Teugels: In fact this is so long ago that it interfears me talking about Van Damme. I realise there exist confusion about who is actually 'Patrick Teugels'. I don't find any video or photos of fights of that time, where I'm sure they exist. On the internet I noticed different people with the same name. But let it be clear: I am an artist, not a kickboxer. It's true that besides my art education I intensively practiced martial arts competitions from 1976 untill 1980, witch means nearly 29 years ago.
C.C.: How did you both met?
P.T.: In a Brussels karaté dojo both at the age of 15. I dicided to do something extra to inspire me more. Coincidentaly I found an article in a french magazine called 'Karaté' that reported on the entry of full-contact karaté in Europe. In Paris in 1975 matches were organised between Europian and American fighters: Ross Scott (USA), Bill Wallace (USA), Joe Lewis (USA), Domenique Valéra (Fr) and so on. At the end of the article a list of Europian full-contact clubs was given. One of them was a Belgian club in Ixelles (Brussels, B) under mastership of Claude Goetz. So I joined. Three years later I moved to an Antwerp club (B) the Bushidos whitch, I suppose, still exist.
C.C.: So that's the place were you met Van Damme for the first time?!
P.T.: Yes. At that time Jean-Claude was already stealing the show at the club. We had the same age and I even visited him at home. A little flowershop in the neighberhood of the French University of Brussels (ULB). Because of my art education we once talked about art and he showed me on the attic six big drawings on paper. I was impressed but didn't like them so much because they were drawn in a style like heardressers do. Not really artistic and rather trickery. I presume he didn't continue working out this kind of art.
C.C.: Is it true that you are 'the only one' who defeated Van Damme? It seems to me that the man is completely infaillible.
P.T.: To put it in a more realistic way: we were simply young European pioneers in martial arts, more specific in semi- and full-contact karaté at that time. What we did is even not realy appreciated by other fighters. Maybe somebody have to make a documentary about those days to clear out some misunderstandings. Europe wasn't nowhere up to the level of full-contact in America. With a bit of luck there was one competition a month. So we participated not only semi- and full-contact competitions, but also boxing, savate, shotokan, kyokushinkai and so on. Going to fight in America was a real opportunity. But to be honest, we never got any penny back. Not even if we won. These are different times!
C.C.: And Van Damme?
P.T.: Van Vaerenbergh is not credited with one Belgian or one European or one World title, wich means that he had more losses than mentioned. In the beginning I lost all my fights to become a winner little by little. I remember even defeated him in the second selection of a Belgian title competition in 1978 (photos infra this interview). And I was not the only one! If you read closely the article of Adré le Capitain (infra this interview) you will notice that Van Vaerenbergh or Jean-Claude Van Damme never partipated in Tampa (World Championship WAKO 1979 or even 1980). The only fighter with the name 'Van Damme' was a cousin of mine who was defeated in the second selection in Tampa. Jean-Claude simply was not there! After the only TKO by injury he beated on me (Fôrest National, Brussels), he moved to America and changed his name into 'Van Damme'.
C.C.: Why do you think he changed his name?
P.T.: Because 'Van Vaerenbergh' is hardly pronounceble for Americans, not 'Van Damme'.
C.C.: When did you stoped competition?
P.T.: I guess at the same time as Van Damme in 1980, but I still kept on training for two more years. The reason I stopped competition was to concentrate me more on my artwork.
C.C.: Patrick, what do you really think about Van Damme? Is he fake or real?
P.T.: To use your words: 'artists are real in the fake, Van Damme is fake in the real'. But, what's the problem? The man is an actor, a hollywood action star! He even tries to become an artist.
After editing this interview a frootage was found on internet (youtube) of the only real fight caught on video of JCVD, titled: 'JC Van Damme 1980 World Championship caught on tape.' In fact it is not a World Championship PKA 1980, but the Antwerp (B) Open International Competition WAKO held in 1977. The same trophy is recognisable on one of the photos infra this interview.
Editor/interviewer: Claude C, Brussels 29/11/2008
Samurai magazine (NL), 25/01/1980, page 13, 10° jaargang n° 65. No translation in english or French available.
Photographic material on fights of Patrick Teugels (°1960).
Begium team for the Europe Interland Cup Brussels 1978. Teugels (right), Jan Goyvaerts (second right), Jean-Claude Van Vaerenbergh (fourth right).
World Championship WAKO 1979 Tampa Florida. Three vice-world champions from England, Belgium and Switserland. World Champion Brannach (left), Vice World Champion Teugels (right).
Last fight Van Vaerenbergh (Van Damme) vs Teugels 1980 Forest National Brussels. Left: newspaper photo (De Voorpost). Right: Teugels lost on TKO by injury in less than 2 minutes with coach Ben Alitem Rachid
and Rudy Van Damme (°1959) in the corner right of the photo.
Attention: All photografic material or videos real fights Patrick Teugels are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org
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