Cover image for The iron circle : the true life story of Dominiquie Vandenberg
The iron circle : the true life story of Dominiquie Vandenberg
Vandenberg, Dominiquie.
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Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : Volt Press, [2005]

Physical Description:
306 pages ; 24 cm
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GV1113.V36 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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What does it mean to be a warrior? What does it take to be the best? What must a man do to endure life's injustice, confront his own demons and prevail? Dominiquie Vandenberg could have been one of the highest ranked martial artists in the world. He could have been an Olympic wrestling champion, or earned a small fortune promoting his own line of sports merchandise. But all Vandenberg cared about was fighting all out with no holds barred, and when at sixteen years old he discovered Kunto, a Japanese all-out fighting style, Vandenberg left his home and family for training on Okinawa. Vandenberg, at eighteen, became the youngest man ever to win such the champion title in The World Open in Bare Knuckle Karate. But while on a break in his native Belgium he was hit by a runaway car a week before he was scheduled to leave for his next adventure. After a painful recovery, Vandenberg did what dead-ended men from around the world for a hundred years have done. He joined the French Foreign Legion. Vandenberg saw action in central Africa. But when his leg healed enough to allow him to fight again, he went AWOL, flew to Thailand and fought and won his first fighting match in years. returned to Thailand to find his fiancee, whom he'd met while volunteering with the Karen insurgency against the Burmese National Army, murdered by Thai river pirates. The loss sent Vandenberg into a spiral of despair. After completing the rest of his Legion contract, he went back to Thailand for his final fight. Vandenberg fought and beat Kran, the legendary Northern Thai fighter. In a country where fighting is the national sport, Vandenberg had become the best. There was no man more deadly or dangerous in or out of the ring.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

College athletics makes honest men behave dishonestly in this debut novel about a fictional school, Wisconsin State, and its efforts to join the football elite. There seems to be hope for the newest member of the prestigious Big 10 conference, thanks to their star receiver, Tyrone Touchdown Collins, although his off-the-field antics, buoyed by an inexplicably large bankroll, are occupying too much of his time. New on the scene is kicker Jake Steffon, a small-town boy who just might succumb to the temptations of a big-time program. The coaching staff and local reporters all have their stake in the team, too, especially offensive coordinator Larry Munson, whose special-needs child makes every day a challenge, and Clark Cattoor, a local sports anchor with an ex-wife milking him dry. These strange bedfellows concoct the Plan--an elaborate gambling scheme that leads to disaster. Earl, a sportscaster in Duluth, Minnesota, gets the details right in an engaging football story. --Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Vandenberg coordinates fight scenes for major movies, and to say he earned his qualifications the hard way would be an understatement. Describing himself as an adolescent with a "lethal gift" of aggressive rage, Vandenberg recounts how he grew dissatisfied with regulated martial arts competitions in his native Belgium and sought out increasingly violent forms of combat, eventually leaving home at 16 to train at a Japanese fighting school. When an injury sidelined his career, he found another outlet for his impulses in the French Foreign Legion, which brutalized him during training, then sent him to various African hellholes, after which he returned to Thailand to resume beating other men in the ring. He tells of these exploits in exacting detail sure to satiate the bloodlust of action fans. It's uncertain, though, how much other readers will identify with a self-described "Pissed-off Murderous Sociopath" so callused by his experiences that he skipped out on his leukemia-stricken mother's sickbed to join the legion, no matter how compelling his story is. And for all his contempt for "New Age crap," Vandenberg indulges in his own brand of romanticism, glorifying his ultraviolent career with ponderous statements. A final encounter with an American Buddhist monk hints at a personal transformation but ends uncertainly, perhaps laying the groundwork for a kinder, gentler sequel. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved