Zorro is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega, a young man who is the only son of Don Alejandro de la Vega, the richest landowner in California. In most versions, Diego learned his swordsmanship while at university in Spain, and created his masked alter ego after he was unexpectedly summoned home by his father because California had fallen into the hands of an oppressive dictator. In order to divert suspicion about his identity, Diego hides his fighting abilities while also pretending to be a coward and a fop.
Zorro is an agile athlete and acrobat, using his bullwhip to swing through gaps between city roofs, and is very capable of landing from great heights. Although he is a master swordsman and marksman, he has more than once demonstrated his prowess in unarmed combat against multiple opponents. He uses his fox-like and sly mind, and well-practiced technique, to outmatch an opponent rather than brute strength.
In some versions, Zorro keeps a medium-sized dagger tucked in his left boot for emergencies. He sometimes throws his hat like a frisbee as a warning to enemies. But more often than not, he uses psychological mockery to make his opponents too angry to be coordinated in combat.