The Legend/Myth of Frank Dux
The story of Frank Dux is like that of the search for Bigfoot. As much as I want to believe all of the his stories; from his career as a covert operative, his Kumite fighting, and his writing and consultation in Hollywood, there is a certain part of me that just can’t imagine that all of these tales really happened. Frank’s life told my Mr. Dux is so remarkable that it reads more like a sequel to a Forrest Gump movie than an actual person who has developed relationships with countless people over the years. Many of Frank’s travels and stories can be documented in some way or another but for every picture that exists of Mr. Dux in some far away foreign land; there are stories of his exploits that we are unable to verify. There is no doubt that Frank is a legendary Martial Artist who has developed his own system that he still teaches to this day, but for the legend of Frank Dux to be believed, we as a public need more than his word and that of a few of his closest friends and pupils.
When I think of Frank Dux I immediately think of the movie Bloodsport and the impact it had on me as a kid. I have carried my love of action movies and martial arts for the last 30 years and it is in large part due to the story of Frank and his victory in the Kumite. Put a quarter in my hand today and I’ll most likely dare you to grab it away before I close my fist. So much of that movie comes from the experiences of Mr. Dux fighting in secret underground tournaments while simultaneously being a part of some sort of covert operation to infiltrate the organized crime syndicate that ran them. I have seen Frank do the quarter trick in interviews and perform his “dim mak” bottom-brick breaking on television, so there is less doubt about some of the smaller details as there is about the larger picture. Frank appears to either be the most interesting man to ever live, or just a man who while special, has quite the imagination and has been able to share it with enough people that it has been noticed and questioned for his entire life.
Frank continues to take credit for everything from the career of Jean Claude Van Damme to the origin of the UFC. I wish whole heartedly that his tales about being the first Caucasian to win the secret fighting tournaments known as the Kumite were true. There isn’t even definitive evidence of the existence of the Kumite, let alone his victory or supposed record of 329-0. Frank has a very decorated and illustrious career as a covert operative. Just don’t expect to find any evidence of said career. There are many stories of missions that Frank participated in, including being the only American to operate behind the Red Curtain during the Cold War but as Frank has stated in interviews he did not work directly with the Central Intelligence Agency but instead as a contractor, so there are no written documents to back up his work.
Watching an interview with Mr. Dux can be a real lesson in patience. Some of his stories that he tells are so incredible that it is hard to believe any of them are true, let alone just some of the more believable ones. There are pictures that exist of Mr. Dux in situations that might lend credibility to some of his stories but so many of his pictures look and appear staged that they seem almost cosplay in nature. What kind of covert operative poses for pictures with spy equipment? Mr. Dux has been honored within the Martial Arts community on several occasions and continues to remain relevant but I long for a day when we can definitively say whether or not any of these things actually happened. For many it would put an end to the controversy but for me it would close the book on these secret Kumite tournaments and I can stop sneaking off to the Bahamas looking for underground fight clubs run by organized crime syndicates.
10 Facts according to Frank:
- Was offered $25,000 to kill Steven Seagal.
- Holds a tug of war record where he stood on one leg against 66 people. Also did this again against 100 in Mexico City.
- His military records were re-written to hide any mention of his service in covert operations.
- Threatened to throw Jean Claude Van Damme off of a building.
- Trained in the Ukraine during the Cold War.
- Was given the rank of a Soviet Army captain by the U.S.S.R.
- Was the first Caucasian to win the Kumite.
- Was the first man to wear biker shorts during competition.
- Once caught a striking snake with his bare hands.
- Once sold his ceremonial sword to save a boat load of children from indentured servitude.
Dux has some pretty sweet videos featuring his own style “Dux Ryu Ninjutsu”.
This was Frank’s passport during his Cold War spy days.
Frank modeling some of his spy gadgetry.
Frank apparently holding the trophy he won from the Kumite.
Hanging out with Bolo on the set of Bloodsport.