I think that through Karate we must learn to adapt ourselves to situations. This is the first lesson I give to all my students. “Remember that Karate teaches you how to adapt yourself to different situations.” But before you can be adaptable in your body, like in a fighting situation, you must be adaptable in your mind.Lucio Maurino
A multiple National, World, and European Karate Champion, Lucio Maurino is the winner of 22 World and European titles. A doctor of sports science, he uses modern techniques to help improve Karate practice, for which he has been recognised.
Lucio Maurino was born on 7 March 1974 in the Southern Italian town of Santa Maria Capua Vetere. He was one of three children, having two sisters.
Growing up, Maurino was an athletic child. He played various sports, including basketball, football, and tennis. He was developing into a very good tennis player.
Maurino began learning Karate from his father, Domenico, in 1979.
By 1990 Karate and tennis were competing for Maurino’s time. That year he was faced with a choice of competing in his first Italian National Karate Championships or the Italian Tennis Cup. It was a tough decision for him. Suffice to say, he chose Karate.
As a junior Maurino had won many individual kata and kumite events. This earned him a call up for the National Team in 1991. At the Junior European Championships held in Glasgow, Scotland, he won his first European title. He was aged 17 at the time. The following year he retained his title at the Junior European Championships held in Cascais, Portugal.
In 1993 Maurino joined the Fiamme Gialle (Yellow Flames), which was the sporting team of the Guardia Di Fianza, the militarized police force of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. He trained under the guidance of Claudio Culasso, the Technical Director of the Karate section of the Fiamme Gialle. This enabled him to become a professional athlete.
Prior to joining the Fiamme Gialle, Maurino had completed mainly as an individual kata competitor and had found some success. However, Culasso encouraged him to change the way he trained, as he felt he had more to offer as a competitor.
By 1996 Maurino had made the transition from being a junior competitor to becoming a senior competitor. He started representing the National Italian side. At the 31st European Championships held in Paris, France, he finished in second place behind Michael Milon of France. Luis Maria Sanz of Spain finished in third place. Later that year, at the 13th World Championships held in Sun City, South Africa, he finished in third place behind Michael Milon and Ryoke Abe.
1997 and 1998 saw continued success from Maurino at World and European levels. He won a silver medal at the 5th World Games in 1996, and the 33rd European Championships in 1998.
At the 14th World Championships held in Rio de Janeiro in 1998, Maurino finished in fourth place behind Antonio Diaz. He had been suffering from a back injury during the tournament. He had been doing well. However, during the performance of his last kata, his leg slipped and cost him valuable points.
Maurino was a deep thinker about his Karate. Looking for a more holistic approach to his Karate practice he started practising Shito-Ryu and Goju-Ryu Karate around 2000. This was also the time that he started performing Shito-Ryu kata in competition. He could have played safe by performing Shotokan kata. However, he wanted to challenge himself.
For Maurino it is important that today’s karateka practice multiple Karate styles as the old Okinawan masters used to do. This is something he encourages students to do.
In 2000 Maurino started training and competing with Luca Valdesi and Vincenzo Figuccio. They would go on to become one of the most successful kata teams.
In 2001 at the 36th European Championships held in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Italian team of Maurino, Valdesi, and Figuccio achieved their first major podium finish. They finished in second place behind Spain in the Men’s Team Kata. Valdesi and Maurino finished in first and second place in the Men’s Individual Kata.
At the 37th European Championships held in Tallinn, Estonia, Mourinho and his teammates improved their position of the previous year, by winning gold. In the Men’s Individual Kata, Valdesi and Maurino repeated the results of the previous year’s European Championships. Later that year at the 16th World Championships held in Madrid, Spain, the Italian team finished in third place in the Men’s Team Kata behind Japan and Spain.
In 2003 the kata team of Maurino, Valdesi, and Figuccio became the team to beat. They won the 2003 and 2004 European Championships. They also won titles at the 17th World Championships and World Cup in 2014.
At the 40th European Championships held in San Christobal de La Laguna, Spain, the Italian team finished in second place behind a strong Spanish team led by Damian Quintero. Maurino won a bronze medal in a Men’s Individual kata, behind teammate Luca Valdesi.
The following year at the 41st European Championships held in Stavanger, Norway, the Italian team repeated the results of the previous championship. They finished in second place, this time behind France. Maurino won another bronze medal in the Men’s Individual Kata, again behind teammate Luca Valdesi.
In 2006 at the 18th World Championships held in Tampere, Finland, Maurino’s Italian team retained their Team Kata World title. They also retained their World Cup title.
Maurino and his teammates regained their European title at the 42nd European Championships held in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2007. They retained their title the following year in Tallinn, Estonia, and again the year after in Zagreb, Croatia.
Apart from competing, Maurino had been looking at how improvement in sports science could be applied to the practice of Karate. In February 2010, the University of Lima in Peru provided him with international recognition for his contribution to the scientific development of martial arts in the world.
In 2010 Maurino and his teammates, Valdesi and Figuccio were still one of the top teams to beat. In May they won another European title in Athens, Greece. They also won another World Cup title. They followed this up with victory at the 20th World Championships, held in Belgrade, Serbia.
Always looking to improve his Karate, Maurino began learning Aikido under Danito Manodoro.
In May 2012 Maurino, Valdesi, and Figuccio competed for Italy at the 47th European Championships in Adeje, Spain. They won another Men’s Team Kata title. This was their 6th consecutive title and Mourinho’s 9th European title.
The 21st World Karate championships were held between 21-25 November 2012. Maurino and his teammates finished in second place behind Japan, with France and Egypt in joint third. Maurino retired from international competition shortly afterwards. However, he continued competing for the Fiamme Gialle until 2015. His major competitions precious successes include:
- World Karate Championships (Individual) – 3rd place (1996)
- World Karate Championships (Team) – 1st place (2004, 2006, 2010)
- World Karate Championships (Team) – 2nd place (2012)
- World Karate Championships (Team) – 3rd place (2002, 2008)
- World Games (Individual) – 2nd place (1997)
- European Karate Championships (Individual) – 2nd place (1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2008)
- European Karate Championships (Individual) – 3rd place (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
- European Karate Championships (Team) – 1st place (2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
- European Karate Championships (Team) – 2nd place (2001, 2005, 2006)
In 2012 Maurino was appointed a member of the National Youth Activities Commission (CNAG) for the Italian Federation of Judo, Wrestling, Karate and Martial Arts (FIJKAM). His role was to help develop the next generation of young karateka. As a coach, he led an Italian team at the Junior European Championships, held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2014. His team won gold in the Junior Team Kata event.
Around 2013 Mourinho began training in Koryu Uchinadi under Marco Forti and Patrick McCarthy. In 2015 he was graded to 2nd Dan by the Kenyukai Okinawan Association.
In 2016, under the FIJKAM, Maurino was promoted to 2nd down in Jujitsu in front of a grading panel consisting of Mario Dell’Aquila, Pasquale Stazione, and Raffaele Funaro. He was also awarded the recognition of “Instructor of the Year“, by the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society (IRKRS). This enabled him to teach Koryu Uchinadi at the National Karatekai School of Italy.
Since retiring from competitive Karate, Maurino has travelled around the world, conducting courses and seminars. A popular instructor, he is able to showcase his immense knowledge. Having a sports science background he is able to demonstrate how the principles of this science affect Karate practice.
One of Italian Karate’s most successful competitors, Lucio Maurino holds a degree in Preventative and Adaptive Physical Education from the University of Naples. He has always conducted scientific research into Karate, and he has teamed up with his wife, Dr Angela Ricciotti, to see how music can improve learning in Karate. He also stresses the importance of biodynamics for improving Karate.
Apart from continuing to coach the Italian National Youth Team, Maurino runs the Dojo Karatekai Caserta. Apart from Shotokan, and Aikido, he holds ranks in Ueichi-Ryu and also in the World Karate Federation (WKF).