Olivier Gruner was born on August 2, 1960 in Paris. His father was a successful surgeon with his own surgery practice. One of his brothers also became a surgeon and his younger brother became an engineer. When he was 18 years old, he joined the Marine Nationale, volunteering for their Commando Marine unit, which are the Special Operation Forces of the French Navy. As part of his military training, he learned to scuba dive, sky dive and climb. Most of this time he was in Djibouti and Somalia. At this time he already trained karate. When he left the Marine Nationale in 1981, he went to the French Alps and started to train kick-boxing. He choose this place because he could ski, one of his biggest hobbies. After three years of hard training, he became for the first time French Kickboxing Champion. He defended the title two times and in 1986 he became the World Middleweight Kickboxing Champion. He had a job at the film festival in Cannes, where he put up a poster of himself. Two days later, a man came and invited him for test shoots to Los Angeles, which lead to his first film Angel Town (1990). He retired from kickboxing in 1987 to pursue a career as an actor. model and director. Some more, mainly martial arts, movies followed.