He holds the rank of 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin karate and was European champion in 1980-81.

While in Sydney, he became a bodyguard for Jamaican singer Grace Jones and began a relationship with her.

But he also said, "I still love my father, no matter what happened. As a child, I was probably too much like him, very stubborn—perhaps that's what he couldn't deal with." After graduating from high school with straight As, he spent some time in the United States in the 1970s on various academic scholarships, studying chemistry at Washington State University and Clemson University.

He received a degree in Chemistry from Washington State University, following in the footsteps of his father and elder brother, then served his mandatory one year in the Swedish Marine Corps at the Amphibious Ranger School.

He captained the Swedish Kyokushin karate team, and was a formidable challenger at the 1979 World Open Tournament (arranged by the Kyokushin Karate Organization) when he was only a green belt.

He won the European championships in 19, and a heavyweight tournament in Australia in 1982.

Hans Lundgren was born on 3 November 1957 in Spånga, the son of Sigrid Birgitta (née Tjerneld), a language teacher, and Karl Johan Hugo Lundgren, an engineer and economist for the Swedish government.

He lived in Spånga until the age of 13, when he moved to his grandparents' home in Nyland, Ångermanland.

However, he eventually beat 5,000 other hopefuls to land his breakout role opposite Stallone, Carl Weathers and Brigitte Nielsen.

To improve his physique and athletic abilities for the role of Drago, he trained intensely in bodybuilding and boxing for five months before the film was shot.

The film marks his third collaboration with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the previous two being Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) and Bridge of Dragons (1999).