Kickboxer is a 1989 American martial arts film produced and directed by Mark DiSalle, and co-directed by David Worth. The film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and former world kickboxing champion Dennis Alexio. The film is considered to be a cult classic and one of the definitive works in Van Damme's movie career as a martial artist. It was so successful that it spawned several sequels. Kurt Sloane (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is the cornerman for his brother Eric (Dennis Alexio), an American kickboxing champion. Kurt and Eric travel to Bangkok to challenge Tong Po (Michel Qissi), Thailand's undefeated champion. After a brutal first round, Kurt realizes that they are outmatched by Tong Po and tries to convince his brother to stop the fight. Unwilling to give up, Eric returns for the second round and continues to take a vicious beating, finally prompting Kurt to throw in the towel. Tong Po ignores him and continues the assault, which ultimately leaves Eric paralyzed from the waist down. However, Eric is carried outside and left on the street without any help, until Winston (Haskell Anderson), a retired American special forces member, intervenes and agrees to take the brothers to the hospital. Furious, Kurt vows to avenge his brother and defeat Tong Po in the ring.