'Fist of the Condor' reveals Marko Zaror's real martial arts methods

Marko Zaror based "Fist of the Condor" on his own practices. Photo courtesy of Well Go USA
1 of 5 | Marko Zaror based "Fist of the Condor" on his own practices. Photo courtesy of Well Go USA

LOS ANGELES, May 23 (UPI) -- Marko Zaror said the training methods seen in his movie, Fist of the Condor, streaming now and on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, are methods he practices in his real-life martial arts.

Zaror, 44, plays El Guerrero, the guardian of a legendary Incan martial arts manual called the Fist of the Condor. The Chilean martial artist demonstrates the Fist of the Condor style in the film, with twists on classical martial arts tropes.


Martial arts fans have seen many artists practice Kung Fu on wooden dummies, hitting the protruding sticks in combinations, a tradition of Wing Chun. Zaror said he added sticks above the usual ones to allow him to practice high strikes to the face.

"I'm adding the high attacks of boxing to the face," Zaror told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "That's the two sticks that I added to the side."


The film flashes back to show Guerrero's training in the Fist of the Condor style. Instead of flipping tires like some athletes, Guerrero flips a log over and over across a field.

"That log was the one that I was using for training at the beach when I was in lockdown," Zaror said. "I put it into the movie."

Guerrero does employ some training methods that are entirely fictional. Zaror admits that when Guerrero launches himself from a handstand over a high bar, that is movie magic.

"That was part of fantasy," Zaror said. "I do something similar when you do the jumping push-ups. You push yourself in the air in a push-up and you lift your body in the air."

Fist of the Condor even included Zaror's actual mother, Gina Agaud, who plays Condor Woman, the master who trains Guerrero, and entrusts the Fist of the Condor with him.

"She was my real first martial arts master," Zaror said. "When we were writing the story, we knew that it was a very good opportunity to have her in the movie."

Zaror said he started Tae Kwon Do lessons as young as 6 or 7. Throughout his life, Zaror incorporated multiple Kung Fu styles, Karate and Olympic style tae kwon do during his practice.


In developing Fist of the Condor, Zaror said he gave writer-director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza all of his personal fitness notes to formulate the film. Zaror also said he shared some of his philosophies that did not make it into the film, such as nutrition.

Zaror obtains protein from beef, liver, organ meat and egg yolks, and he frequents local markets for grass-fed meat and free-range chicken eggs.

"Your food contains what your food eats," Zaror said. "If your food eats healthy, those are the nutrients that you're going to get in your food."

Fist of the Condor is Zaror's fifth movie with Espinoza. In Hollywood, Zaror appeared in films like Machete Kills, Alita: Battle Angel and, recently, John Wick: Chapter 4.

Zaror said he hopes to make sequels to Fist of the Condor. The film introduced Guerrero's twin brother (Zaror in a dual role), and Zaror wants to pit the brothers against each other in a sequel.

"We really want to know who's the real warrior of the Fist of the Condor," Zaror said. "Who of the two brothers is going to be the Fist of the Condor and the one who is going to be really protecting the book for the future?"


The first film does include scenes in which Zaror plays both roles. He said he hopes he can produce a fight scene against himself using minimal computer enhancement.

Zaror said he believes preplanning the shot list will help him and Espinoza create a Zaror-versus-Zaror fight.

"You do one piece of the fight against nothing and then you reverse and I do the other part," Zaror said. "Shot by shot, that fight needs to be totally prepared."

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