Over our gym’s 10 years, we have offered NoGi classes at various times. For a
myriad of reasons these classes never “stuck”. The coaching staff has continued to
believe in the importance of NoGi Grappling. In 2015 Christian Banghart was chosen
to develop and implement a NoGi curriculum. This change has proven to be the
catalyst to the Vanguard Submission Grappling program at Vanguard Gym.
The approach to our Submission Grappling program is that while Gi and NoGi, at a
baseline level, are both grappling. In order to excel at one, the other or both, you
have to respect that there are differences, and understand what makes them
In our first year as Vanguard Gym’s NoGi program, we competed in about five times.
This grew to 19 tournaments in 2016. To date in 2017, we have already competed
in over 15 tournaments; our goal is 25 by the end of year.
The change from Vanguard Gym’s NoGi program to Vanguard Submission Grappling
(VSG) has created a true team. An exciting edition to this tribal identity has been our
custom rash guards. These rash guards allow us to represent the team, the gym, and
each other when we are on the mat, visiting other schools, and competing.
In order to continue improving our program, and continue growing as a team, we
have concluded that it will be beneficial to implement a VSG ranking system. Even
though it has been established that VSG and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are two different
programs, we will institute a similar ranking system (i.e. White, Blue, Purple, Brown,
and Black) within our VSG program. All ranks up to purple belt in BJJ will be
respected in VSG. Therefore, if you’re a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you will also
be a purple belt in VSG. Alternatively, if you are a brown belt in BJJ, you are not
necessarily a brown belt in VSG.
To be ranked as a brown belt or above in VSG, you
must be promoted to that rank specifically with regards to VSG. We will be awarding
rank certificates to current VSG members who are belted in BJJ, as well as to those
who are solely members of VSG that meet the attendance and technical
requirements determined as essential for each respective rank by the Head Coach.
With all this in mind, we look forward to a strong future for VSG, and growing the
NoGi tribe at Vanguard Gym, as we have with Thai Boxing, BJJ, and CrossFit. Please
let us know if you have any questions or thoughts you would like to share.
– Coach Douglas Esposito and Coach Christian Banghart