Bannon Institute of Combat Neuroscience
Integrating Mortal Combat with Medical, Martial and Media Arts
                  About the Founder


 Joseph F. Bannon Ph.D., CPS, CSO

Government Special Agent - (Retired) 

10th Degree Black Belt

USMAA Certified

Grand Master



Grand Master (GM) Bannon is an internationally recognized "Certified Personal Protection Specialist / Expert" (CPS), and "Special Operations Expert" (CSO), and is a former Senior Instructor at Executive Security International (ESI) in Grand Junction, Colorado between the years 1994 and 2014 which contracted through the Bannon Institute. 

ESI is the number one and oldest "intelligence based" executive protection and protective intelligence operations academy in the world, next to the United States Secret Service and Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service.

ESI is accredited by the Colorado Office of Veterans Education and Training (COVET) and The State of Colorado Board of Education, and is approved for current and retired soldiers, as well as non commissioned and commissioned officers to earn their credentials as security intelligence agents, special operators, and protection specialists. Upon successful graduation, they either remain in the military, or transition into some other paramilitary organization, government agency or corporate security setting. ESI has been referred to in major international magazines and media shows as, "The Harvard of All Bodyguard Schools" and "The Standard for the Protection Industry."

At ESI GM Bannon taught the following certification and credentialed course curriculums ~

  • Certified Protection Specialist (CPS).
  • Covert Intelligence Agent Operations.
  • Combat Firearms and Defensive Tactics.
  • Certified Special Operations (CSO) Agent.
  • Protective Service Detail (PSD) Operations.
  • Private Military Contractor (PMC) Operations.
  • Surveillance and Counter Surveillance Operations.


As an instructor at ESI since 1994, and as a Class of 1990 ESI Graduate himself; he has taught Government Agents, SWAT Officers, Special Operators, Presidential Level Bodyguards, Private Military Contractors, Navy SEALs, Army Delta and Special Forces, Marine Force Recon and several other individual operators, specialized teams and agencies from around the world in the arts of Mortal Combat (Gun / Knife Fighting); The Combat Brain, Physiology of Combat, Survival Mindsets, Protective Details, Hand to Hand Combat, Motorcade Operations, Small Team Operations, Surveillance, Counter Surveillance, Intelligence and Covert Operations, as well as other high risk Martial and Protection Arts.

(Executive Security International)

Based on GM Bannon's extensive experience and education in the Personal Protection Industry, Specialized Law Enforcement, and as a Traditional Martial Artist since the age of five; he founded the Bannon Institute in an effort to empower people of all walks of life to learn how to effectively protect themselves and their loved ones to survive against a violent attack. The concepts he teaches at the Bannon Institute are based on similar principles taught at ESI and used by the Department of State ~ Diplomatic Security Service, as well as The United States Secret Service to protect the President and other high level officials.

In 2013, Bannon was the Character Study and Secret Service Technical Advisor to the movie, "Olympus Has Fallen" starring Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett. (See Film Production Page).  

He formally studied Oriental Medical Philosophy domestically and abroad as it relates to both healing and the martial arts. He was further certified in Addiction Counseling and Post Trauma Intervention at Cornell University,  RBC, and California State University along with several other college accredited inservice training courses and mandatory annual CEUs. He received his teaching credential certification from Golden West College in Southern California.

Originally studying to receive his doctorate degree in Christian Ministry; Natural Health Sciences; Theology; Addiction and Pastoral Wellness Counseling; his career and educational goals were redirected towards the path of Military and Law Enforcement Brain-Physical Warfare Training and Post Combat Debriefing and Reintegration after spending (12) years as a member of the San Francisco Police Behavioral Science Unit and observing first hand the ravages of PTSD in both Cops and Soldiers.

His studies led him in the research fields of Combat, Brain Anatomy and the Limbic System's role during the stress of Mortal Combat.
He completed his Emergency Medical, Post Traumatic Stress, and Intervention Counseling Internship at Doctors Hospital and the Nassau County Medical Center in New York; The Freeport Office of Employee Assistance and Counseling; The California Behavioral Science Institute (2 year internship); and (12) years collateral duty and in-service training with the San Francisco Police Department - Behavioral Science Unit (BSU). 
For several years, GM Bannon has integrated the Martial Arts with the Scientific Arts in his teachings which led him to the development of the following cutting edge combat training programs which paved the way for his induction into the United States Martial Artist Hall of Fame as "Pioneer of the Year" in 2009 for advancing the martial arts in general to a more highly effective and scientifically based level and practical understanding:


  • Brain Fighting™ 
  • The Protective Mind
  • Cyber - Physical Warfare Training™
  • Surgical Strike System of Shaolin Dim Mak - Gung Fu™
  • TRIAD - Training Regime Incorporating Aggressive Disciplines
  • Mortal Combat - Special Operator High Risk Military / Para - Military Training™ 

As a Highly Accomplished and Decorated Veteran Law Enforcement Officer ~

He is a retired Special Agent and Intelligence Officer with the Office of the Attorney General - Criminal Intelligence Bureau - Anti Terrorist Unit in Los Angeles, California; as well as Tactical and CAT Team Commander for the Attorney General's Protection Detail in 2000. He was formerly assigned as an Allied Agency Task Force Agent Counterpart to the United States Secret Service Protective Intelligence and Close Quarter Presidential Protection Details during the Administrations of Presidents Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr.

During his (30) year career as a San Francisco Police Officer / Sergeant, Investigator and Specialized Government Law Enforcement and Protection Agent; he has been  assigned as a fusion task force agent with the DEA, Military Intelligence, US Marshal's Service (America's Most Wanted Fugitive Detail in Los Angeles), The Secret Service, Department of State, and FBI Witness Protection Program. 

As a former Police, State and Federal Narcotics Agent; Bannon was the lead undercover case agent assigned to one of the largest and most politically connected (2) year narcotics investigations in the history of the State of California. It was here that Bannon found himself caught in the middle of the Local, State and Federal Government as a Double Agent which gained international media attention when it elevated itself to the Oval Office of the White House under the Administration of President Bill Clinton; United States Attorney General Janet Reno; Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey and California State Attorney General Daniel Lungren.

Bannon has been cited as being one of the most diversely experienced; educated and highly commended and decorated law enforcement officers in the state by various private, state and federal agencies; mayors, senators, congressmen, chiefs of police, police commission, civil service commission, government officials, law enforcement organizations, as well as the President of the United States. 

He is a current member in good standing with:

  • The National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN).
  • The Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).
  • The Commission on Religious Counseling and Healing (CRCH).
  • The United States Martial Artist Association and International Hall of Fame (USMAA).

As a Martial Arts Grand Master

He is a former student and course graduate of the Golden Lion Academy of Dim Mak - Gung Fu in Australia where he  traveled to and studied Chinese Medicine and Dim Mak Gung Fu under Grandmaster / Dr. Tsui Po.... GM Bannon  is also a senior instructor / disciple at the Lau Kune Do Taoist Temple of Chinese Gung Fu in Southern California directly under Founder and Grandmaster Hing Woo Tsim.

Between the ages of (5) and (11) he studied Military Based Martial Arts under his father who was the commanding officer of a combative tactics unit in the US Army during WWll. In 1986 he was adopted into a traditional Asian Family martial art style where at his 51st birthday he was promoted to the rank of Grandmaster by the founder of this family style. GM Bannon then left to develop his own style of "Modern Combat" based on his own life experience and more modern Secret Service Related Techniques and Philosophies paired with Traditional Chinese and Filipino Martial Lineage and Values which he teaches at the Bannon Institute (Xian Dai De Wushu).

Xian Dai De Wushu (Surgical Strike System) is a martial art that exemplifies the statement; "A Warrior who embraces the ancient ways of martial arts along with the new."

  • He is the USMAA International Director of Chinese Martial Arts and currently holds the rank of "Shidan" (10th Degree Black Belt) under the United States Martial Artist Association Board of Elders, as well as a (14) time inductee into the following Martial Artist, Professional, and Law Enforcement Halls of Fame:


•    Cambridge Who's Who (2009).

•    The American Police Hall of Fame (2007).

•    Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Fame (2005), (2007).

•    The London - International Martial Arts Hall of Fame (2006).

•    The United States Martial Artist Hall of Fame (04)(05)(07)(08)(09)(10)(15)(16)(17). 


As the Chief Defensive Tactics Instructor

For the Department of Justice in Los Angeles; he was directly responsible for the tactical / health and wellness training and program development for all special agents assigned to Southern California, as well as the new recruit agents attending the Department of Justice - Special Agent Academy at Beale Air Force Base. During this time he developed the revolutionary martial art concept of Brain Fighting™ which is a Chinese Medicine, Physiological based fighting technique used to shut down an attacker's brain function.

Further details relative to GM Bannon's certifications, college transcripts, or specific government assignments are available upon a "specific need to know" request through the Institute or the specific government agency concerned.


Thank you again for your interest in the Bannon Institute.

Sincerely Yours in the Specialized Mortal Combat and Healing Arts,


Grandmaster Joseph F. Bannon

Founder and CEO


All Rights Reserved. Bannon Institute. Copyright © 2004.