Mid-way through your post I was already thinking this before actually reading your question. I don't know how one could learn Vim without learning Vim first... That said, you don't need to become proficient in Vim to use Vintageous (or Vim, for that matter). (I for one find Vim customization cryptic most of the time, for example.)
I would definitely recommend going through the tutor a couple of times; it won't take much time (certainly not weeks). Try to understand what it means you are doing and the cornerstones of Vim usage: modes (in general), normal and insert mode, motions, counts + motions, actions, counts + actions, motions + actions, count + motions + actions, motion + count + action... Then try more advanced things like text objects (which are a sort of motion), jumps, other modes, the command line, registers... There's no specific order in which you should learn things besides the basics (modes [normal and insert], motions, actions and counts come first).
Vim documentation is comprehensive, but it's often wrong or confusing, and it won't give you an structured overview of the editor anyway (there are entry-level topics and you should probably read them though; check out :help toc). But that's likely to overwhelm you if you want to try all of that during your first sessions. Whatever you try, I would try to understand the concepts behind Vim rather than learning every single trick.
My recommendation for a begginer in short: There's a good number of vim cheatsheets out there. Find one that looks nice and try to understand what it means after going through the tutor, then check the documentation when you don't understand something in the cheatsheet.
Once you have a good grasp of the basics, you need to realize that almost anything you want to do is possible --you just don't know how it's done. (What it's more, there are things you don't know you want to do, but you can.) Also, that there's probably more than one better (faster, more concise, etc.) way of doing stuff you do constantly. Just try to go from your own usage and optimize your habits.
Lastly, a word of warning when you use Vintageous: It has flaws compared to Vim. It works rather well, if I may say so, and I hope it will get better, but it's different, and sometimes it just doesn't work as it should.