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


 Joseph F. Bannon Ph.D., CPS, CSO

Government Special Agent - (Retired) 

10th Degree Black Belt

USMAA Certified

Grand Master



As Founder and CEO of Bannon Institute ~

Bannon Institute was founded as a California S Corporation in 2004 by Grand Master (GM) Joseph F. Bannon for the purpose of empowering individuals, groups and specialized teams in the arts of Mortal Combat, Healing, Protection and Action Media.

The Institute is sanctioned by the United States Martial Artist Association (USMAA) as an officially recognized martial arts and advanced training academy with the authority to grant rank, certifications, colored belts or sashes to any of its domestic or international students. These USMAA approved ranks and certifications are recognized in most locations throughout the world.


As a Martial Arts Grand Master ~

GM Bannon is the USMAA International Director of Chinese Martial Arts and currently holds the rank of Shidan (10thDegree Black Belt) under the United States Martial Artist Association’s Board of Elders, as well as a (15) 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).
  • The London International Martial Arts Hall of Fame (2006).
  • Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Honor (2005) and (2007).
  • The United States Martial Artist Hall of Fame (2004, 05, 07, 08, 09, 10, 15, 16, 17, 20).
  • USMAA Platinum Lifetime Achievement Award (2020).

He is a former international 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 on 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."


As a Senior Instructor at Executive Security International ~

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 of 1994 and 2014.

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

ESI is accredited by the Colorado Office of Veteran’s Education and Training (COVET) and the State of Colorado, Board of Education, and is approved for current and retired soldiers, as well as commissioned and non-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 position. 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 Courses ~


  • Certified Protection Specialist (CPS).
  • Covert Intelligence Agent Operations.
  • Certified Special Operations (CSO) Agent.
  • Private Military Contractor (PMC) Operations.
  • Surveillance and Counter Surveillance Operations.
  • Protective Security Detail (PSD) and (WWPS) Operations.
  • Combat Firearms and Defensive Tactics Relative to Executive Protective 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 / Scout Snipers 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.

Over the course of these 20 years; he not only taught his students his areas of expertise, but in exchange; was taught and humbly learned from theirs as well. 

“Twenty years of studying and learning from hundreds of CONUS and OCONUS Tier One Special Operations / Special Forces Operators as well as Government Intelligence and Protection Agents from around the world, was an incredible exchange of tactics and knowledge, as well as a great honor and privilege. I am extremely grateful to all of you for not only sacrificing your lives for our Country and being my students; but my teachers and heros as well. 

                                                                                                                  Thank You !!    J. Bannon


(Executive Security International Web-Link)


As a Doctoral College Graduate and Professor Emeritus ~

He formally studied Holistic 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 in-service training courses and mandatory annual CEUs.

He received his teaching certification from Golden West College in Southern California as well as government approval from the State of Colorado, Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education as a senior instructor for ESI and COVET (Colorado State Approving Agency for Veterans Education and Training).

Originally studying to earn his doctorate degree and professorship in Theocentric Christian Ministry; Natural Health and Behavioral Sciences; Theology; Addiction and Pastoral Wellness Counseling from Saint Mark Seminary and College - 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 while observing first-hand the ravages of PTSD in both Law Enforcement Officers and Soldiers.

His post graduate studies led him in the research fields of Combat Effectiveness Training, Cyber-Physical Warfare, 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™
  • Evolutionary Fighting Tactics™
  • 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 Hollywood Consultant and Technical Advisor ~

He has consulted on several major media and literary projects to include “Tears of the Sun”starring Bruce Willis. “Dexter”TV Series created by Emmy Award winning writer James Manos who also has written episodes of “The Sopranos,” and “The Shield.” “Shooter”starring Mark Wahlberg to name a few.

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.


(Gerard Butler / Joe Bannon Magazine Article Web-Link)


As a Highly Accomplished and Decorated Veteran Law Enforcement Officer ~

He is a retired Special Agent and Intelligence Officer with the Department of Justice - 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 Detail during the Administrations of Presidents Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr. on several occasions.

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 federally deputized fusion task force agent with the DEA, Military Intelligence, Special Deputy with the US Marshal's Service (America's Most Wanted Fugitive Detail in Los Angeles), and assigned to The Secret Service, Department of State, and FBI Witness Protection Program as well as a Security Professional for several private corporations.  

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 White House under the Administration of President Bill Clinton; United States Attorney General Janet Reno; Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey; DEA Director Thomas Constantine; and California State Attorney General Daniel Lungren. A television documentary is currently being produced about his life and this case.


~ 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 and Inductee in Good Standing With:

  • The Leading Physicians of the World (LPW).
  • The Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare (WLH).
  • National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN).
  • Presidential Advisory Board - (Washington DC).
  • Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).
  • Commission on Religious Counseling and Healing (CRCH).
  • International Matsumura Seito Society - Senior Advisory Board (IMSS).
  • Fellow of the Synodal Academy of Chiropathy (CRCH).
  • United States Martial Artist Association and International Hall of Fame (USMAA).
  • United States Martial Artist Association - International Director of Chinese Martial Arts (USMAA).


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 for your interest.



All Rights Reserved. Bannon Institute. Copyright © 2004.