Part 5: Ducks, Ponds & Pain

Blake Harris: That story in the L.A. Times was pretty brutal. How blindsided were you when the piece came out?

Frank Dux: Well, there was nothing I could do. I mean, the guy announced his malice. I went into the offices of the L.A. Times with my attorney with the actual fight film footage. They were supposed to present the supposed evidence that said things didn’t exist. Well, about the only thing they showed was a trophy receipt.

Blake Harris: Which they claimed was evidence that the trophy you won was “at least partially made in the San Fernando Valley?”

Frank Dux: Yeah. And the receipt was dated 1982, okay? And it was a Xeroxed copy of a receipt, a copy that anyone could fabricate on a home copy machine. And on it, they didn’t even spell my name correctly. It was “Dukes.” And it wasn’t even for the right trophy. Okay? And I showed them, here’s an issue of Black Belt magazine from two years prior to this; and here’s a photo of me in that magazine from January 1976 right after I won it, holding the trophy. Does that even look the same? That’s not even my name. And here’s the thing that gets me about how stupid people are. Mind you, he’s alleging: You’re gonna tell me a receipt floated around from 1980 to 1988? You see my point? That’s just point of the absurdity of the whole thing.

Blake Harris: And, when you were there, how did the reporter respond to all this?

Frank Dux: I embarrassed the hell out of him. He couldn’t say anything. And it became real clear and finally…I said show me the proof that I represented myself as a war hero, as a Medal of Honor hero? And they wouldn’t show it to me. Well later on it comes out in court and it’s a picture that they took of me on that pamphlet. By their own photographer. And I showed that in court. That picture with my hands crossed, you can see Bloodsport in the background. That was invented, right then and there. And so yeah. So he was just trying to get me in trouble.

Blake Harris: What, in your opinion, was his motive?

Frank Dux: Well, the thing is, the article came out on the same day that a few of my business competitors are holding a seminar. It was done on the exact same day that Masaaki Hatsumi, Stephen Hayes and Shoto Tanemura—these are guys who think no one in the world is a ninja but them and everyone else is a fake.

Blake Harris: What about some of the specific claims that the piece makes? Like, for example, about your teacher?

Frank Dux: They try to make it sound like I made up my instructor. Like I’m a kook because he comes out of a James Bond movie: You Only Live Twice. Tiger Tanaka, right? Well, here’s the reality of the situation. Ian Fleming based his characters on real people. Like M was Admiral Menzies. And Tanaka was well known. He taught at the Nakano spy school in Japan. The ninja school if you want to call it that. Very well known. There’s a birth certificate and a death certificate for him. And there’s a census bureau report saying that he was exactly in the place I was when he trained me. None of that is reported. None of it.

Blake Harris: Interesting…

Frank Dux: And Shoto Tanemura, he says he’s never heard of a Dukes or a Tanaka? There’s not a Tanaka in Japanese history of the ninja families? What is he, a walking dictionary of a secret society? That’s bullshit, that’s total bullshit.

Blake Harris: What about those claims regarding your covert military background? I imagine that would be hard for you to prove, no?

Frank Dux: Well, that part about me saying that the military ordered my record sabotaged? Uh, no. I never said that. No. That editorial attributes statements to me that I never made. And it misrepresents my responses. I never accused the military of doing it. What I said to them [the LA Times] was that the only way you could get a hold of my records was to go to Federal Intelligence Court. How else could you get a hold of this? Or any agent’s records? You can’t just go in there and get it. So any time you want to know who an agent is you can just go down there and file a request? And the CIA and everyone is obligated to tell you? Is that what you’re telling me?

Blake Harris: Right, that’s why I thought it would difficult to prove (or disprove).

Frank Dux: Yeah, but I’ll tell you what. In a recent documentary, Admiral Horton Smith not only acknowledges that I was a covert operative, but also states that any record of mine would have to come out of the Federal Intelligence Court. He’s in a documentary saying this. He’s also said it under oath by the way and identified me. Along with Alexander Martin.

To this point, on there is a signed declaration by Lt. Commander Alexander Martin available for review. In this declaration, Commander Martin attests to the following:

  • During my intelligence career, I have met with and been introduced to many covert operatives, whose existence has often been officially denied by the government agencies that these parties have been associated with.
  • One of these covert operatives was one Frank Dux.
  • Mr. Dux and I met in Tegucigalpal, Honduras, in the summer of 1985, where I was being briefed by Dux and other intelligence operatives on military targets within Nicaragua. These targets included the planned mining of a Nicaraguan port and the planned sabotage of certain Nicaraguan installations including power stations and weapons depots, codenamed OPERATION CORDOBA HARBOR.”

Frank Dux: As far as my military service goes, I should also mention that I’m named as a source contributor in the US Navy SEAL SPECWAR manual. If you want to look it up, the SEAL manual number is K-431-0097.

Blake Harris: Great. And just a few more questions. What was the reaction like from Sheldon, Jean-Claude and Mark [DiSalle]?

Frank Dux: They didn’t care at that point. At that point, it was to their advantage. They could shut me out from sequel rights. And they did. They did sequels and I’ve never gotten paid for them when I was supposed to. They didn’t back me up and they never said anything about seeing my fight footage.

Blake Harris: I’m really sorry to hear that.

Frank Dux: And one of the things that people don’t realize is that after the Times article came out, people were so willing to convict me, just because it was the Times.

Blake Harris: I just have one last question for you: since this whole thing grew, in a way, out of your friendship with Sheldon, I was wondering when was the last time that you spoke with him?

Frank Dux: I saw Sheldon, believe it or not, about four weeks ago. For the first time in about 14 years. They were doing a showing of Bloodsport in a theater in my old home town and I just happened to be visiting. I actually got to take my mother for the first time to see the film. She’d never seen it. Well, she’d seen it on TV, but she was too sick when the movie came out. And it was just surreal to her. And here it is, years later, I got to go with her and take it to the movies. She loved it. I gotta tell you: Seeing it years later, I didn’t realize how good it was. I was too close to it. And like I said, guys like Sheldon didn’t help, putting a knife in my back.

Blake Harris: So what was it like seeing him at the screening?

Frank Dux: I was cordial. I was a gentleman. I’m not gonna stoop to his level. And he was friendly to me. He was friendly with me. He didn’t know what to think. I’ll tell you one thing: When I was there, I got a standing ovation. Nobody clapped for Sheldon. He was crushed. And everybody had their picture taken with me, and I don’t recall anyone having their picture taken with Sheldon, outside of his friends. I felt bad for him.

Blake Harris: Actually, if you don’t mind, I have one more question for you.

Frank Dux: Sure.

Blake Harris: We’ve spent all of this time talking about your life as a fighter and portrayals of your life as a fighter. And regardless of what any critics may say or believe, I don’t think anyone would argue that you weren’t extremely talented. So I was curious why you think you were so skilled? What made you such an extraordinary fighter?

Frank Dux: Well, you know what? I wasn’t a bitter person. I always try to look for the best in people. And a lot of pain, I guess, made me fight. It was just a way to release it. For me, martial arts is just a release. It’s a way for me to just flow. Everywhere else in my life I’m like a duck out of water, but put me in that arena and I just swim. That’s water off my back.

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