main content starts here

Cardo Urso

Cardo Urso

Cardo Urso

Cardo Urso was a standout wrestler and football player at South High, and began his martial arts training in Uechi Ryu (Okinawan Karate) in 1971. He then trained in Shukukai Karate, and served as captain of the Bulldog wrestling team for two years. He competed in the Greco-Roman Wrestling National Championships in 1977 before enlisting in the Marines.

Cardo enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1978, and served as an Artillery Man in the 10th, 12th and 14th Regiments. He wrestled, boxed and continued to train in Martial Arts.
In 1997 he was reassigned as the Director and Chief Trainer of Instructor Trainers for the Marine Corps Close Combat Training Program, and was responsible for development, implementation and training. In 1999 Cardo was designated as The Lead Subject Matter Expert (SME) and transitioned this program into the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. While in the Marines, he received the Elijah Rose Award for teaching excellence, the General Holland M. Smith Award for operational competence, and the the Legion of Merit, awarded by Marine Corps Commandant, General James L. Jones.

Retiring from the Marine Corps in 2002, Cardo was hired by a Federal Law Enforcement Agency, and served as the Project Manager / Lead Instructor (SME) for the government’s Defensive Tactics program. He was responsible for development, implementation and training of the Agency, to include job skills, analysis, curriculum development, detailed outlines, lesson plans, instructor courses, comprehensive student handouts, PowerPoint presentations, medical viability research, written and practical tests, research and development and equipment procurement. He also researched the effects of stress on physical performance and cognitive thought process, and how to minimize and control those stresses, with the Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Laboratory.

Cardo continues to train and teach Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and runs a gym with his son Dominic just outside of Atlantic City. He trains professional and amateur fighters and judges MMA for the UFC and other organizations around the world.

Cardo is married 38 years to his wife May, and has two adult children Lauren (Urso) Cook and Dominic Urso.