This article is a continuation of an examination of some of the claims made by Frank Dux, a man who has made a number of unusual claims over the years regarding his history and accomplishments. To read about Dux’s alleged secret “Kumite” (fighting) claims, please see part I of this series. Part II will examine Dux’s claims to have accomplished two specific feats in a 1993 demonstration in Paris.
Alleged Accomplishment: “1993 – Only martial artist to break two champagne bottles at varying heights with a single kick”
Alleged Accomplishment: “1993 – Only Martial artist to break Lexon [sic] Bulletproof glass window, barehanded”. (from www-scf.usc.edu/~ninjitsu/shidoshi )
Comments: One of Frank’s more recent claims to fame was duping the French language publication Bushido – Karate into inviting him to demonstrate at an event held at Bercy Stadium in Paris, France in 1993. Dux even made the cover of the magazine. It is safe to say that the French knew as little about Dux, and trusted him as freely as Black Belt magazine writers and editors had in 1980 when Dux was still claiming to be “decorated for-his blade fighting techniques in actual combat in Southeast Asia”. (Dux,Blackbelt.1980, October:34.)
During the 1993 demonstration, Dux performed a number of feats which dazzled the crowd and appeared to back up his claims as being a skilled and autentic martial arts “Hanshi”. Thankfully, One of Dux’s former students and a long time friend have come forward on different occasions to call several of his “feats” into question, and describe their role in witnessing or making his stunts look authentic.
While the issue of the French-language publication Bushido-Karate in which Dux appeared is not readily available to martial artists in the United States (and is presently over 10 years old as of this writing), Dux himself did us a favor by providing pictures of his Paris Demo in his questionable autobiography, The Secret Man. In the 16-page photo insert between pages 112 and 113 of this book, Dux includes 3 pictures which he claims show him shattering Bulletproof glass (Page 1, The Secret Man, photo insert). There is a picture of Dux sitting in a wide-kneed seiza while a chain of at least 13 people with their arms linked to one another try to pull him off balance through one Dux-ryu student holding Dux’s forearm–a common trick utilizing physics and inefficiently arranged assistants. On page 2 of the photo insert, Dux is shown kicking two bottles, and at the bottom, two photos show dux smashing what appears to be a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. But instead of verifying Dux’s prowess, these photos in his own book are the very thing that make the testimony of a former friend and a former student credible. We should look at evidence available to determine if Frank Dux’s claims are reasonable, or if there are reasons to doubt the validity of his claims.
During Dux’s 1998 suit against actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, the defense (Van Damme’s attorney) called and old friend of the self-appointed “Koga Yamabushi/Dux-Ryu Ninjitsu”[sic] master to testify:
“Calling Frank Dux a liar who “tries to get something for nothing,” another defense witness, Richard Alexander, continued to erode the plaintiff’s [Dux’s] credibility.
“Richard Alexander, Dux’s friend for 20 years, testified that the plaintiff’s feat of breaking bullet-proof glass with a single punch was a hoax. According to Alexander, the bullet-proof glass was really Plexiglass that Dux had found. Alexander also described another allegedly staged stunt in which Dux shattered a candied glass bottle that appeared to be real glass.
“Alexander claimed that he contacted Van Damme’s attorney, Martin Singer, after he saw Dux on Court TV lying on the stand. The witness said his last encounter with the plaintiff was pleasant but admitted that he once filed an unsuccessful suit against Dux. During Cross-examination, Alexander denied plaintiff attorney Steven Kramer’s repeated accusations that Alexander stole a car he was supposed to purchase from Dux.
“Alexander’s testimony attacked arguably the most important aspect of Dux’s case–his veracity. The jury must believe Dux in order to give him a victory over Van Damme.” (1998, November 3. Court TV report. see: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] )
The jury did, in fact, find against Dux and for the defendant in Dux V. Van Damme. Alexander’s testimony regarding Dux’s deceptiveness may have played a part in their decision.
A second man, long-time Dux-ryu Ninjitsu [sic] student David Richardson, also went public a few years ago with his account of Dux’s bizzar behavior and deceptive tactics. Among other things, Richardson, an honorably discharged Marine and professional stage magician, further called into question Frank Dux’s alleged feats of power at the Paris Demonstration in 1993:
“FACT 1. One particular situation stands out more than others in connection with Mr. Dux was during the time period he was preparing to go to Paris for a huge convention/demonstration. Myself and another student was brought in as consultants due to our extreme background in stage-magic. Here is a man who people in the martial arts community consider to be a living legend seeking advice from a yellow and orange belt student on how best to make it appear that he could break bullet-proof glass. That’s right folks I was there when this facade was put together, behind the scenes if you will when the plexi-glass was prepared to look like real bullet resistant glass. This whole production took tape editing and acting, not unlike the magic show if you will, to convince the spectators that what they saw happen was real.” ( [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] if nothing appears on this page, highlight the page with your cursor– white print on white background)
If the testimony of Alexander and Richardson is not convincing enough alone, we have statements and photos from Dux’s own book. On page 305 of The Secret Man, Dux tells us, “The Year 1993 had been wonderful.[…]I became the first person to break bulletproof glass barehanded.” (1996)
by M.C. Busman