Marco Morabito: profile of a fighter




Written by Andrea Becca

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."


This maxim written by Mahatma Gandhi is well suited to Marco Morabito.

Morabito is a seemingly mild, simple, accurate, and courteous man in his speech; his look is strong and honest; his manner polite and gentle. No flaunting of his body, no flashy tattoos, no aggressive symbols. Cups, medals, awards of all kinds are kept well aside.

Morabito appears as humble and yet elegant, with the harmony of a determined character. It is hard to imagine that Marco Morabito is a master of many martial disciplines and that his fists are considered as weapons. His skills range from Japanese Karate (Shotokan school and Shito Ryu school) to French Savate, from Chinese Kung Fu to American Kick Boxing. Morabito is one of the most popular professionals in the field of self-defence.

This master teaches in a crowded gym full of police, military and security professionals, as well as being frequented by run-of-the-mill ordinary members of the public. He has been a consultant for the training of military and paramilitary forces in anti-riot and anti-terrorism matters.

It is difficult to imagine Morabito as a point of reference and as the inventor of a series of fighting styles respected all over the world.


Yet, Morabito is now a major summit in the industry, he is recognized for his professional achievements throughout Europe and he is the only Italian accepted as a worldwide master for some martial disciplines.

Marco doesn´t like talking about his life. Still we insisted in order to know him better. That’s why we asked him about his beginnings and how he started practicing martial arts.


Morabito: the beginnings

"I remember with great affection," Morabito told us, "a figure in my childhood. My uncle was a boxer and he loved to play with me when I was five years old. At that age, I was fascinated by the movements of the adult who occupied his time explaining the rudiments of basic shots and parades. I loved these moments of the evening when he - big man - pretending to fight with me, putting me on the kitchen table to make it look a fight on an equal footing. Perhaps it was there that I began to realize that my strength was not in my arms, but in the desire to never give up, accepting the challenge, even when it seems impossible to tackle. I would say that in those first moments, I heard my true strength. "


What was the first martial art that you practiced ?


"When we were kids in the seventies, there was not a great choice." Master Morabito replied, "I started out in a gym in Kung Fu. Influenced by the films of Bruce Lee, I began to develop this passion for combat. In those early days, after training I found myself with a handful of friends in a box to test, reviewing and studing new moves. Actually, we studied more self-taught. Indeed, I can say that we were rather intolerant towards the complex Chinese forms, so elegant, and difficult to learn and - often - not very effective. "


The Chinese martial arts are revealed, in fact, too mild for the teacher Morabito. Marco is training in the gym a lot in sessions of 20 hours per week. A habit that has not lost even now, a passion that allows extraordinary energy for an athlete of his preparation.

"In addition to difficulties related to forms," ??Marco continued to explain, "I was aware of the long timescales associated with learning martial arts like Kung fu. This discipline helps Chinese postures derived from the behavior of animals, such as the preying mantis, which are long to learn the naturalness of their conduct. In addition, we use classical weapons very beautiful, but totally outdated as the halberd. Even as a boy I was aware of these anachronisms and these difficulties. So I was looking for something more, despite having reached a high level. "


"I developed my passion for martial arts in the´70s. In that period the information on this sector were not readily available as books or video specialist. For this reason, my training took place as a self-taught in various disciplines.

After studying Kung fu, I managed to enroll in a course of Shotokan Karate style I already had much experience in combat and self defense techniques.Through these experiences I was able to get the black belt and first Dan in just three years. In what way?

Was then allowed to exceed the level defined by the belt when it won a battle - called kumité - with the instructors of higher belts.In this way I managed to burn the stages of growth in this discipline while studying, as required, including the abstract shapes that are part of Karate, or kata.

It was a time when I applied with great intensity is the Japanese martial arts, practicing Shotokan and Shito Ryu styles, jeet kune do both, the style of Kung Fu developed by Bruce Lee.

I must say that karate, despite its elegance, was characterized to be a type of combat too theoretical. The elegance of form, the construction of the hits and the spirit that favors defensive behavior that distinguishes these styles, I always seemed limiting conditions to address a real fight..

In those years, my thirst for knowledge did not seem to subside. So I approached Escrima, a style known as Kali or Arnis de Mano,  a Filipino fighting system - combined with other techniques - I looked like a combat system more effective.

However, I should soon be disproved by the facts. "


Marco Morabito - part 2