Michael “Venom” Page (MVP) is a world renowned English martial artist. He is well known for his unorthodox fighting style and his notable dance like movement in competition environments. Michael has carried over this unique fight style into his professional mixed martial arts career, from his background in freestyle kickboxing and sport karate. He can be seen eluding his opponents while most often fighting with his “Hands Down”, a fight tactic which his brother coined the “six30”, resembling the downward position of the hands on a clock when the time is 6:30.
His history in combat sports began at the early age of three under the instruction of his father, a Lau Gar Kung Fu Master, Curtis Page Sr. His aptitude developed steadily and he then began competing in kickboxing tournaments at the age of five, alongside his siblings, who are also kickboxing world champions. Establishing an early appreciation for the strategy, timing and technical precision involved in freestyle kickboxing/sport karate (also known as “point fighting”), Michael constantly seeks out avenues of inspiration that bolster recognition of his identity as a professional martial artist.
Michael has always been creative with his fight style, a truth that many other point fighting enthusiasts can attest to. From making up new techniques such as the “rattlesnake” and incorporating 720 spin kicks effectively into his combat arsenal, there is equally not much that Michael will not attempt, as there is any means of predicting his movement when you step into combat with him as his opponent. The name “Venom” was acquired quite organically. Marvin Francis, a close friend and also a student of Michael’s Father at the time, noticed the unique creative side to Michael fighting style. “One of my all time favorite kung fu movies is a film called the Five Deadly Venoms.” Marvin says.
The name Venom came about from my love for kung-fu movies and the similarities I would see in Mikes mad movement, striking, speed, and power.
- Marvin Francis
The movie is about 5 people who learn five different Kung Fu styles; Toad, Scorpion, Lizard, Centipede, and Snake. Michael was about 12 years old at the time, and Marvin would see that each week Michael would come up with different moves to evade older fighters, that had more reach and power; including Marvin himself.
Each time that he came up with something new it would remind Marvin of the movie. “His movement would be like a snake. His combination like a centipede. His strikes, sharp and clean like a scorpion and he’d evade you like a lizard. Even with all of the hits he would take from older fighters he would not back down, and that would be where the thick skin of the toad comes in. Michael would take some licks (Big Hits) back then, and that’s when we could hit him.”
He had the five deadly venoms and he hadn’t even seen the movie. The name stuck with him across the competition circuit, and as his skill developed, he’d be taking out top level fighters and sending grown men across the room with simple techniques that you wouldn’t expect the result from. The name, at the time, was all about his performance. “MVP” was not yet a signature until Michael later noticed the correlation with the initials of his name.
Michael has won ten world championships in kickboxing, beginning with his first at the age of 12. His accolades are broadened by his achievement of over 25 British championship titles in various martial arts associations. A note-worthy world title win was at the W.A.K.O. World Championships 2007 (Coimbra, Portugal), where he took home the gold medal in the men’s semi-contact division. Appointed as the WKA (World Karate Association) Head Coach, in 2009, Michael led a team to the WKA World Championships in Spain at the end of October that same year. He has also competed at the 2010 World Combat Games, in the 89 kg semi-contact division, winning a silver medal. Michael has been competing around the world from a very young age, where he has had a lot of time to develop his fighting style and become acclimated to competition environments in all different climates and time zones.
Michael now fights out of the London Shootfighters, a camp with a variety of notable names such as Karlos Vemola, James Thompson, Marius Zaromskis, and John Hathaway. He made his pro MMA debut in 2012, winning with an impressive 540 spin kick knockout in the UCMMA promotion. When Michael is not traveling or competing he enjoys instructing and coaching in his academies. This allows for him to pass on his skills and experience to other aspiring martial artist, some as young as five years old.
Michael considers himself a showman. He is often cited as saying he “loves to entertain, and if he could sing, he would embody that craft to the fullest also, whether performing for a small café, or a large televised promotion.” His goal is to become the biggest name in mixed martial arts, and diversify his career by bringing his skill set to film and television along the way. Most of all he hopes to inspire generations of martial artists to come, both inside and outside of the cage.