Italian Masters – Tony Ligorio (Torino)

Tony Ligorio

Hello friends of the blog today we have the honor to be able to interview one of the most innovative and charismatic characters of the martial scene in Italy, I’m talking about Tony Ligorio, a great master and martial arts enthusiast always looking for the latest news worldwide to bring to Italy to keep up with the Top masters in the world.

Describing Tony in an interview becomes difficult given the extensive Curriculum (you find him at the bottom of the interview) and the extensive palmares both as a competitive and as a professional in the field.

In addition to being a great expert in traditional Chinese martial arts Tony Ligorio is a great expert in Filipino martial arts making important friendships with great international masters such as Bob Breen and is the first black belt in Italy released by the Bob Breen Academy.


Always attentive to ring combat sports such as Muay Thai and MMA first as a competition player and then building a very active competitive team, the Ligorio Top Team.

To date, Tony collaborates with world-renowned experts such as Erik Paulson who in addition to being a historical pupil of Dan Inosanto is a world expert in combat submission wrestling and is one of the trainers of many UFC athletes including Brock Lesnar and directly from Erik Paulson master Tony Ligorio has received important awards and permission to exhibit in his school the logo of the CSW Association.

Tony’s appeal for the world’s best trainers brings a modern, flexible approach to his academy that takes martial art to a very high level.

The possibilities of immersing yourself in the world of martial arts and combat sports at ligorio Academy are vast where you have the opportunity to explore from traditional arts to the most modern personal defense systems with ample space to combat sports from Ring where the school also boasts several international titles with its athletes.

In addition to an educational system designed to offer a 360-degree path under his supervision and the support of advanced students, the Ligorio Academy offers a gym with modern equipment, from the tatami that covers the entire surface of the gym, to the dozens of bags of different shapes and sizes, to the ring, to the MMA cage in short everything you need to be able to train at a high level and safely.

At the bottom of the page you will find the schedules with the countless disciplines practiced at the Ligorio Academy, and friends of the blog if you have the opportunity to train in Turin I assure you that it is a great opportunity.

Meanwhile thank you Tony for this possibility that for me has a double value, the first because you were and for me you are still now my master and then for your great value as an expert in personal defense and combat sports but your resume is so vast that it is better to start immediately with this chat.


Tony tell us who you are and what martial arts you do in particular (those AM teach)

The first passion was Kung fu, the discipline that gave me the right methodology to teach, but my interest has expanded and to date I teach Kung fu and Tai chi and Chinna , Jeet kune do ,Fma (kali)and Ufb Panantukan),kickboxing, muay thai,MMA, Sanda and boxing.


How did you begin martial art, what was your beginning, a master or more masters you remember?.

I started the practice at the age of 10, 1978, in the style of Tuei Shou with the M. Agrippino Baglieri.

Two years later, 1980, I met a pupil of the M. Shin Dae Woung and, through him, I learned that there was a school in Novara where I started training.

I later discovered that there was a black belt instructor from M. Dae Woung who was teaching at Vercelli.

Since I wanted to attend the course, I went the next day to rehearse, and if necessary, he wanted the lesson to be taught by Mr. Dae Woung himself. I was shocked and signed up right away.

The practice was exhausting, but Mauro Pesenti, at the time one of the 4 black belts of the M. Dae Woung, made you get excited about the lessons.

Four years later Mauro graduated and I inherited the course, becoming the youngest instructor of the school in Italy.

Since then I have continued to practice this system trying to perfect the content, sticking to the original philosophy.

From 1985 to 1995 I taught at the local gyms of the municipality of Turin.

In 1996, with the opening of the A.S.D. LIGORIO ACADEMY, I began teaching at its headquarters, becoming its Technical Director.

The philosophy of kung fu is related to its name which decomposed means man merit. To me, it means hard work that improves man.

The human being always seeks easy ways to live and this can be fine, but when we have aspirations, goals, only hard work helps us to achieve them.

With the school of master Shin Dae Woung I participated in many Italian championships of naked hand shape, shape with weapons and promised combat, always returning to the podium, gold, silver, bronze.

I have prepared numerous students including 3 Italian champions of form, each for their own category.


What do you think of today’s martial landscape on personal defense and competitions (UFC/MMA/Other/etc.?.

As far as personal defense is concerned, I find it a bit funny that there is a fad of training with military systems because for a civilian I don’t find it useful to know how to defend yourself like a sentry in a battlefield.

As far as competitions are concerned, I have always considered mixed martial arts as the scientific laboratory for all martial arts, the regulations allow the use of most techniques of all martial arts and therefore give an optimal idea of effectiveness. Many martial myths are dispelled because it is a real response and traditional techniques are exploited that from other combat sports were snubbed because they were prohibited by regulations.

This kicked off a very nice sport to see and fast.

Tony ringside with his own Ligorio Top Team athlete
Tony inside the cage with his top team Ligorio athlete

When did you decide to teach and fight?.

Teaching is my main passion, I like the idea of getting into people’s heads so they understand how they think and make them understand what I want to teach. I started teaching by duress because at 16 I was forced by Master Shin Dae Woung because instructor Mauro Pesenti changed jobs and I became the oldest belt.

Fighting I’ve always liked, I do not consider combat games such as submission or the various light arts that I have never practiced, the most important challenge in the comparison where you can end up KO for me has always been the application of martial techniques studied in the various disciplines.

img_6749img_6750a6433b219ad0d60f672f150ea69ec367Tony Ligorio with some of his pupils


How many hours you spend on training (athletic preparation and more, how you divide your training) and if you think it’s an important thing.

On average I’m 50 hours a week in the gym. Most of these are teaching but at least half of these hours I train with my students, in addition to this every afternoon and sometimes the mornings I devote an hour to my personal training in internal martial arts. It seems clear to me that this is my standard routine for about 20 years that training is important to me. The athletic preparation is provided in the various lessons, I try to use as much martial techniques as possible also for the development of strength, speed, coordination etc… As for strength development with weights I do it with barbell, dumbbells and Kettlebell and I’m not in favor of machines unless they serve for recovery after an injury.


What method do you use to teach your students, how do you plan your lessons?.

Over the years I have created my own teaching system, Ligorio System appreciated by the greatest teachers I met on my journey. The Ligorio system consists of a level-dividing discipline with increasing difficulty and the development of programs that are extrinsic with 50-minute lessons to ensure high yield and attention.

Each discipline has a group of lessons that guarantee all kinds of training with great attention to learning.

My goal is to teach martial arts and not just train them.


Who were the masters or characters that inspired you?.

Bruce Lee was a great source of inspiration, many do not know but almost everything that is used today in martial arts and combat sports to train he used it already in the 60′. Many years ago I started training with his first student, Guro Dan Inosanto, he was the one who taught me the enthusiasm for martial art and above all the love for research. Bob Breen taught me to focus on effective self-defense. Flavio Daniele and George Xu made me realize that skill and effectiveness in any technique comes from an internal work that makes you use your body to the fullest.

Tony Ligorio in action


Which equipment you prefer to use to train and train

I use bags a lot, I like to change the type to train the different techniques but also to have different weight goals; I also use rubber bands a lot because they teach you to quickly return to the starting position.


Your negative experience in martial arts

I’ve met a lot of special people doing martial arts, both as a student and as a teacher. Over the years, however, I have also seen many people who approach martial arts just to be important, with the aim of being considered without having the patience and the desire to practice seriously.


What strengths in the martial art you practice you want to communicate to the guys in the blog who will read the interview.

Martial arts are beautiful! If you approach them with dedication you learn a lot of things and above all they excite you.


Is there anything you wouldn’t repeat in your path?.

I’m just sorry that I practiced relatively little with Masters who are now missing.

Tony at Ligorio Academy with Bob Breen

What martial art are you practicing most frequently today?

The ones I teach I keep practicing them all, I work more on internal martial arts and I’m sorry to have understood it only in later life, in fact I try to find exercises to do to my students very young because they get excited about these martial arts (Pakua, Xing-Yi, Tai Chi Chuan) and understand that the effectiveness in any technique comes from the knowledge and development of the maximum power of their body.

Tony Ligorio
Tony Ligorio during his preparation at an international martial arts fair


What other martial art if you had the time you would like to learn or want to learn?.

I had the opportunity and the desire to train with many great masters and in many styles, I feel the need to deepen some techniques, but I do not have the desire to approach new styles.


If you were to give advice to a person who wants to start what would you say to them?.

I wish martial arts were for everyone, they really aren’t. I would tell a new practitioner to work hard, often train what discipline is in order to get the maximum benefits from practice.


A habit that I recommend to those who practice martial arts.

The habit of having perseverance; start a training program with a few hours a week to increase it later. Starting with more than two to three hours of training is not helpful if you train hard for someone who approaches martial arts for the first time is enough. After four months of constant practice you can train more.


Is there any equipment you use and that you recommend that it be useful?.

Depending on the martial arts that are practiced there are tools that may be more or less useful. If you practice combat sports I prefer Venum equipment.


Tony Ligorio in action


The best advice you’ve received?.

Years ago when I was in America Cass Magda learned that I wanted to open a martial arts gym only he told me not to use terms like “Gym” but to use “Academy” or “School” because this would of course make a sorting on the possible customers.


If I had to leave tomorrow morning starting from 0 what would you do?.

Mine’s been a phenomenal journey, I’d do it all over again.


Thank you Tony for your kind willingness to tell you to the friends of the blog and for those who would like to contact you to come to see you at your school or to participate in your many internships I leave your references. Thanks again for this interview we are at TOP!!!

I thank everyone for reading this interview of mine, I hope I have excited you! If you want to work with me you can find me on the gym website ( or you can contact me via Facebook (on my Page Tony Ligorio) or by phone at 011-7497511. I am also available to give seminars across Europe.

Ligorio Academy Via Garizio, 24/A 10139 Torino (To) tel. 011 749 7511 email

CURRICULUM AND PALMARES (curriculum, school, specialty, competition, etc.)


I started practicing martial arts 1979 at Ryugi School in Turin with Kung fu.


Meeting with The Cino-Korean Master Shin Dae Woung

1982 to 1987

Win 7 Italian titles in Sanda and traditional shapes (including 2 World Cup qualifiers).


Achieving the Green Belt and starting teaching as a representative in the city of Turin. Kung Fu Taught Styles: The Sing, Pakua, Tang Lang. Styles taught for Tai chi : Wudang.


Meet Bob Breen Master and Founder of JKD KALI International in London.


Graduate from Arnis Kali Escrima Association.

1996 /1998

He won two European Stickfighting Titles and qualified for the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Los Angeles and Cebu City.


Meet Erik Paulson, World Champion of Submission Wrestling.

In October 1996 he created the ASD Ligorio Academy based in Turin. Technical director of the ASD Ligorio Academy and the Ligorio Top Team, which boasts:

3 Italian M.M.A Champions

Participation in: Varese in the Cage 1, Ronin Fc 3 and 4 ,ADCC ITALIA Championship, Oktagon Glory Road and Glory final 8 held in Rome on November 3, 2012.

Since 2000 he has organized courses of aspiring technicians of various levels for the following martial disciplines within the sports promotion agencies.


Boxing teacher since 2001 with diploma issued by the Italian Boxing Federation

Coach Level 3 for Csw (M.M.A.) Sensei Erik Paulson and CSW’s Italy manager

Master K1 Style of Kickboxing and Muay Thai

Fe Combat Sports Master. Na. Sco. (FIKBMS)

Kung Fu master in the Pakua Tang Lang and I–Sing styles obtained at the school of M. Shin Dae Woung

Wudang-style Tai Chi Chuan teacher at the school of M. Shin Dae Woung

Master of Tai chi style Chen,QI KUNG, recognized by Wacima

Master Guru by Arnis Kali Escrima

Master of Jeet Kune Do

FULL INSTRUCTOR of Master Bob Breen’s Jkd Kali International

The only Black Belt in Italy for Master Bob Breen’s Jkd Kali International

As an agonist he carried out 81 full contact meetings in the following disciplines

Kung Fu, Sanda, Kickboxing, Shoot Boxing

7-time Italian Kung Fu Champion

2-time International Sanda Champion

Vice European Shoot Boxing Champion

European Stick Boxing Champion Representative of the Italian school of Kali for the 1996 World Championships in Los Angeles and Cebu City 1998.

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What do you think?

Written by Andrea

Instructor and enthusiast of Self Defence and Fight Sport.

# Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Method & Training.
# Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms / Strategy.

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport!

State Of Love And Trust!

Other: Engineer / Professional Blogger / Bass Player / Knifemaker

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