Michel Qissi

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Michel Qissi
ميشيل قيسي
Michel Qissi
Born Mohammed Qissi
(1962-09-12) 12 September 1962 (age 54)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Jeanette Qissi (divorced)

Michel Qissi (Arabic: ميشيل قيسي‎‎; born Mohammed Qissi on 12 September 1962) is a Moroccan-Belgian actor, perhaps best known for his role as Tong Po in the 1989 martial arts film Kickboxer.


Qissi was born in Oujda, Morocco and moved to Brussels, Belgium at the age of 2. He began training in boxing at seven years old, and became an amateur champion in his weight class at 17. He also went on to study Shotokan Karate, Muay Thai and kickboxing. He befriended Jean-Claude Van Damme at an early age and they grew up together with the same love for action films and training in martial arts.[1]

In 1982, Qissi and Van Damme moved to the United States in the hope of becoming action stars. In 1984 they both were cast as extras in the film Breakin', before landing their big break in 1986. After obtaining an interview with Menahem Golan of Cannon Films, they secured a three-picture deal, the first of which was the highly successful Bloodsport, in which Van Damme starred and Qissi had a small role as a tournament fighter named Suan Paredes.[2] In 1989, Qissi and Van Damme teamed up again for the film Kickboxer, in which Van Damme was the protagonist once more and Qissi the film's main villain, Tong Po. 1990 saw the pair make the film Lionheart, in which Qissi's brother, Abdel, played the villain. This was to be the last film Van Damme and Qissi made together, but Qissi did go on to reprise his role as Tong Po in Kickboxer 2.

In 2014, Qissi made the movie Bara, in which he played a double role as Bara and Hamza. In 2015, Bara will be released in Morocco theatrically. In addition thereafter, the film will be released in United States and Europe.[citation needed]


Year Film Role Notes
1984 Breakin' Passerby in First Dance Sequence Uncredited
1987 Bloodsport Suan Paredes
1989 Kickboxer Tong Po
1990 Lionheart Moustafa
1991 Kickboxer 2 Tong Po
Bloodmatch Davey O'Brien
1993 To the Death Denard
Terminator Woman Alex Gatelee Also director
2001 Extreme Force Kong Li Also director
2001 The Falkland Man DeFuego
2014 Bara Bara / Hamza Also director
2015 Heart of a Lion Also director
2015 Out for Vengeance Tarek El-Yuzdi