It’s simple; there’s no mysticism.

The Vannoken fighting style represents the culture itself: MMA.

Training is just custom fit for each martial artist in the culture. Each individual has their own strengths and weaknesses. We’re all intrinsically equal; yet, we acknowledge our instrumental differences.

So, when you study the Vannoken fighting style, you learn universal mechanics. Then, you’re led to accomplish a series of different tasks with those mechanics.

You’re given a series of 8 very basic universal techniques of the upper and lower body. You’re also taught a basic series of takedowns and grappling techniques.

Then, you’re taught to develop your own personal ability through different trials. You’re not given direction on how to solve these trials.

Because you’re not given direction on how to solve your trials, in the process of solving them, your universal techniques will evolve into what naturally works for you. They will evolve into other more advanced techniques, naturally.

The process will evolve your fighting to be different from other Vannokens.

Then, you’re held to perform well in sparring. And, that’s it.

  • Simple, straightforward, universal techniques
  • Customized practice through solving different problems
  • The testing of your evolution in full-contact sparring

The Vannoken’s unique genetic makeup and inner drive forms them into the fighter nature designed them to be.

The following videos are a demonstration of the Vannoken fighting style, as it was taught in China:

A practice sparring session.
Teaching lessons about telegraphing while it snowed. If you look closely, you can see it fall in the background. Training in the elements, like the snow, is a part of Vannoken training.

The History And Credibility Of Vannoken Martial Arts

Vannoken martial arts directly descends from Jeet Kune Do in its philosophical thought and approach to fighting. Mike Norton started learning martial arts in basements when he was an early teenager. He had three mentors who taught him the basics of Wing Tsun and Tae Kwon Do.

However, Mike was too poor (at the time) to take official lessons. So, he did the best he could with the basics he learned, to fight in the streets for spare change to eat with or buy himself small things (like iPods).

Sometimes, he would win; other times, he would lose.

By the time he had graduated high school, however, he had developed a local reputation for being a street fighter in Sicklerville, New Jersey. He was no official champion of anything; he was just respected by most, with limits.

That small-time local celebrity status he attained won him a job as a martial arts teacher at an Amerikick Karate franchise. At Amerikick Karate, he won the state championship for his belt grade in full-contact sparring. This was an easy accomplishment, though, not one to be particularly proud of. This is because he was only a white belt at the time. He was the only white belt teacher, with a salary, in the franchise.

Amerikick Karate allowed him to be a teacher because his skill was demonstrable. However, he was kept as a technical white belt because he had not spent enough time with the school.

This was no problem for Mike; he understood why this had to be and did not disrespect the school’s protocols. However, he still did not work there long. The pay was not enough; thus, he joined the military.

After he joined the military, he then moved to China when he left college to become an English teacher there. He would teach English to Chinese students in the city of Xi’an during the day. After, he would learn more martial arts from masters at Xi’an Jiao Tong University.

There, he won his first official full-contact tournament. After winning the tournament, he earned enough respect to open a small, open, public martial arts course in China (as shown in the videos above), at which he taught Vannoken martial arts for free.

Some years later, he left China and traveled to Spain. In Spain, he trained in Jeet Kune Do with an official school.

Mike is not an official multi-Dan champion. His experience consists primarily of street fighting and small-time official tournaments, some of them international. He did not pursue a professional career in mixed martial arts, however, because he decided to pursue an educational path in physics.

All Vannokens in the tribe are entitled to free lessons in Vannoken martial arts. Mike recorded his lessons after training in different parts of the world. He saved what he learned in scalable form for future generations of the tribe.