Our Martial Arts Coaches’ Stories

Our martial arts coaches and staff are 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 martial arts coaches are active competitors, and have the answers for you based on real-world knowledge. Many of our martial arts coaches and team compete at an international and world level.

Coach Douglas Esposito

Coach Douglas Esposito – Head Coach and Founder

Doug has been training, studying, and coaching martial arts for over thirty-five 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. He started training karate and jiu-jitsu at the age of ten under Sensei Hidehiko Ochiai and added wrestling and boxing to his skills while in junior high and high-school. Doug continued to train in submission grappling and studied Muay Thai when he went into the Marine Corps and was selected to serve as the Chief Instructor at Quantico’s lead school for the Marine Corps’ Martial Arts Program. 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.

jason doucette, bjj black belt. vanguard gym, douglas esposito brazillian jiu-jitsu

Jason Doucette – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Instructor

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 black belt under Coach Douglas Esposito in 2014. 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.

Christian Banghart – Head Kids Coach and BJJ Instructor

christian banghart, bjj, vanguard gym
Christian is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with many tournament victories on his resume to include two silver medals at the Brazilian Pan American BJJ Championships. He is also an undefeated MMA competitor with three 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.
reed miller, bjj, vanguard gym

Reed Miller – BJJ and Thai Boxing Instructor

Coach Reed has been studying martial arts for 12 years and Instructing at Vanguard Gym for the past 7 years and. Reed is currently a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt under Coach Douglas Esposito. He is an experienced MuayThai, BJJ and Mixed Martial Arts competitor. He held an undefeated MMA record at 6-0 as an amateur with titles at 135 and 145. He is currently 1-0 as a professional MMA fighter. Reed enjoys coaching and molding his students into martial artists on and off the mats. When you come to his BJJ class, Advanced Striking class or Open mat he will always have a positive and encouraging attitude!

michael kastroba, muay thai, kickboxing, thai boxing, vanguard gym, coach

Michael Kastroba – Thai Boxing Instructor

Michael has been involved in Martial Arts from a very young age. He began Tae Kwon Do at the age of four and earned the rank of 2nd Dan Black Belt. Michael now trains Thai Boxing, is a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and MMA with us here at Vanguard. Along with his training, he has a considerable amount of teaching experience as well, having taught Martial Arts since the age of 16. Michael greatly enjoys the ability to help guide his students on their path as martial artists, and it certainly shows in his classes!


Luis Henry – BJJ and Kids Program Assistant Coach

Luis is a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with many tournament victories on his resume. He is also has a 1-1 record in Thai Boxing. He helps with the children’s BJJ, adults MMA and adult BJJ programs. As an engineer, Luis brings a unique scientific and systematic approach to the martial arts. He enjoys helping his teammates game-plan, improve & expand their skill-sets while build lifelong friendships.

eric villa

Eric Villa – Thai Boxing Assistant Coach

Eric is a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has competitive experience in Muay Thai, BJJ, as well as MMA. He is a detail oriented instructor who spends the time with his students to make sure they understand and can execute the material they are studying. He also goes out of his way to run a fun and motivating class for you!

Amber Carter – Kids Program Assistant Coach

Coach Amber is undefeated in her weight class. She has competed in various tournaments including Copa Nova, US Grappling and Fight To Win. She won Silver in Fight To Win absolute all belt levels (as a white belt). She has been coaching children and teens for 7 years (basketball). She continues to study Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Gi & No Gi).

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Francis Torres – Thai Boxing Assistant Coach

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