Paul Mormando is a Brooklyn martial arts instructor and owner of the Mormando Martial Arts school on 4626 Flatlands Avenue, in Brooklyn, New York.
Grandmaster Paul is a well respected instructor within the Flatlands neighborhood. Consisting of multiple students, the Mormando Martial Arts system teaches multiple styles of martial arts. Such styles include boxing, karate, grappling, jiu jitsu, wing chun, and various other styles.
He gained a passion for martial arts as a little kid. Stated how “when I started doing the martial arts training, I got interested and excited about it that I didn’t want to do anything else but it. So I would kinda watch and see how my teachers were doing it. And then I try to venture on my own to do the same thing.”
Starting from his own basement, he would train various students from multiple backgrounds of life. Grandmaster Paul would then learn and grow as a teacher, to discover how to perfect certain techniques, as well as figuring out what techniques actually work in the real world.
His studio is located inside of a building that would make it hard for anyone outside to tell that it is a martial arts dojo. The building consists of colorful art with ballerina dancers in the front of the building, resembling a dance school. However, if you look at the small sign that is on top of the building’s door, it shows the Mormando Martial Arts symbol that represents the school.
In terms of teaching, he enjoys going over techniques with students and would strive to help make them better. Over the years, he feels as though the work ethic has changed. “Back in those days, it was a lot harder training involved. We were able to do things more differently. As time elapsed, generations started to become relaxed and more weaker.”
He felt unfortunate that he couldn’t continue to push students to their limits due to society being more soft. However, he was able to adapt his training and teaching style to today’s atmosphere, showing his resilience and determination. As well as the drive to never give up on his students.
His combinations of multiple styles of martial arts is intriguing, as well as his philosophy behind it. He refers to it as a hybrid since only learning one system can put you in a disadvantage. “In the late 80s, early 90s, you did one style of martial arts and you didn’t blend [other martial arts styles] together because you wanted to stay loyal to one system. The problem is that just because you are well versed in one system that has a strong emphasis on one weapon, didn’t mean that you are well versed in all of them.”
A great example that he presents would be a kickboxer being taken to the ground in a fight. “Their punches and kicks would be irrelevant on the ground. That’s why you have to learn how to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or grappling.” Thus, putting together a system of styles that would work in real life combat.
Former Mormando Martial Arts student Monita Jordan, 41, is happy that the program is still around. She would participate in their former ladies martial arts class. “It is definitely a good thing to be a part of. It really helped give me a workout. As well as teaching me how to fight better. Sensei Paul is definitely a great and awesome teacher to us and to younger kids.” She now takes her daughter to the school to gain confidence and to learn how to defend herself.
Sensei Taniya Lasharna, 18, of Mormando Martial Arts showed a lot of optimism about the school. “Sensei Paul has really helped me gain my confidence. I loved every minute of participating in certain activities such as sparring. He really pushed me to strive for greatness and does the same for everyone within the school.”
With recent issues of the coronavirus, it has made it harder for him to construct classes. “Covid messed up a lot of personal interactions with the students. And grappling and sparring, you can’t do that anymore. So no contact. So you can’t practice on an actual person.”