Guest Instructor — Focus Counter Violence
Early in life, Michael was enrolled in special-education classes and endured constant bullying. To compensate for his skinny stature and the social stigma of being in special education, Michael’s mother enrolled him in his first martial arts class in 1980.
Earning several different rankings in various traditional arts, Michael stumbled upon Jeet Kune Do in the late 1980’s. This art, made famous by its founder Bruce Lee, led VanBeek to train with many of the greatest martial artists alive. In the early 1990’s he not only maintained a victorious cage fighting record but also trained with firearms and tactical weaponry as a professional body guard, while finishing his education in Criminal Justice. As a security guard in the greater Chicago land area, Michael was exposed to a side of self-defense/fighting not often seen in the martial arts.
After a few years modifying the way he taught martial arts, Michael began creating the “Anatomy of Violence”, a comprehensive breakdown of the workings of violence from an insiders perspective. He then realized that this was bigger and and more important than just another martial arts system; this was Counter Violence! Many other “instructors” identified with Michael’s message, cashed in their martial arts for Counter Violence and soon Focus had locations throughout the country. With a unified goal and service to educate and train people to save their lives from real violence, without the rituals, uniforms or the time required by most training systems, Focus could now offer “Real Solutions to Real Problems for Real People.”
Today, Michael spends most of his time in service working with special needs children, lecturing and presenting seminars on Counter Violence to families, corporations, security firms, organizations and individuals. In addition to running his company, Michael speaks to groups about performance-related matters, using his story to inspire others.