Our coaching staff is dedicated to helping you reach your training goals. All have extensive experience in their area’s of expertise and undergo our rigorous in-house instructor development program. All of our instructors are active competitors, and have the answers for you based on real-world knowledge. Many of our instructors and team compete at an international and world level.
Vanguard Gym Head Coach and Founder – Douglas Esposito
Doug has been training, studying, and coaching martial arts for over thirty years. As a professional instructor, his experience teaching adults has included curriculum design at all levels and literally thousands of hours of formal instructional training and coaching. While on active duty he was the Head Instructor for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program’s lead school in Quantico, VA and was a combatives instructor for over five years for the Marines. He has extensively trained in Weapons Handling (firearms, bladed, and others), Combative Engagements, Wrestling, Boxing, Judo, Grappling, Thai Boxing , and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), in which he is a Black Belt under the world famous Leo Dalla. His competition resume includes an undefeated Thai boxing record and multiple Pan-Am medals at the black belt level. He is also a CrossFit Level One Instructor and USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sport Performance Coach.
Coach – Jason Doucette
Jason started wrestling in Junior High School on 1984. He wrestled through High School and wrestled Division One with VMI. He has coached youth wrestling for Marsteller middle school, coaching them to multiple regional champion titles. He has been studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 1999. He received his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under Douglas Esposito. Jason has trained in Thai Boxing with Vanguard’s head coach, Doug since 2002, which helped prepare him for his entry into mixed martial arts. With competitive experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to include being a Pan-American silver medalist, MMA, wrestling, and coaching Jason brings valuable knowledge to the team and those desiring to test themselves in a competitive arena.
Manassas Facility Manager and CrossFit Instructor – Mike Pope
Mike is a CrossFit Instructor, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sport Performance Coach, Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, accomplished grappling competitor, and very successful amateur Mixed Martial Arts fighter. He leads Thai Boxing, BJJ, wrestling, and CrossFit classes at the Manassas location and manages the day to day operations for the gym.
Manassas Wrestling Instructor – Elder Ramos
Elder is a highly successful, active mixed martial arts fighter with many years of wrestling experience and a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Elder’s style of coaching is technical, builds a great base, and then develops a well rounded base off of the fundamentals. He loves working with young wrestlers and seasoned veterans alike. Elder has closed the books on his winning amateur MMA career and now fights professionally in MMA.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Children’s Program Assistant Instructor – Christian Banghart
Christian is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with many tournament victories on his resume to include a silver medal at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan. He is also an undefeated MMA competitor with two fights under his belt. He enjoys helping with peoples’ progression in martial arts and goes out of his way to be a great team mate. He enjoys working with the kids and seeing their growth.
Thai Boxing and Children’s Program Assistant Instructor – Reed Miller
Reed is an assistant Thai Boxing Instructor, CrossFit Level One Trainer, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt, and an accomplished grappling and MMA competitor. He helps lead the children’s classes as well, sharing his knowledge and love of the sport with the kids.