History of Team R.O.C.

In 1996, Greg Thompson received his blue belt from Royce Gracie and opened one of the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Network Schools on the east coast, one of only three blue belts in the Carolinas. In 1997, Brent Pierce started training with Greg in jiu-jitsu as he was running a school called California Combat Concepts (CCC). Brent put on some of the first MMA events ever held on the east coast in Virginia because it was illegal in North Carolina. Greg’s students dominated in those first events. In 1998, Greg changed the name of his school to the Academy of Mixed Martial Arts (AMMA) where he offered Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. Brent started having Greg do seminars at CCC and Greg became their grappling coach. In 1999, they decided to start fighting under the same name, Team ROC (Realty of Combat), the name used to train law enforcement and military. In 2004 Royce Gracie invited his top students to Team ROC and promoted his first Black Belts, Greg and four others.

Our Staff

Greg Thompson


GREG THOMPSON is a 4th degree Black Belt In 2004 UFC legend, Royce Gracie gave out his first Black Belts to Greg and four other students at Greg’s Mixed Martial Arts School – Team R.O.C. Greg has been training Special Operations Units since 1998 and had trained with Royce since the early 90’s. Team R.O.C. is known for training some of the top No Holds Barred (NHB) fighters on the East Coast. Tap Out Magazine has ranked Team R.O.C. the number one MMA School in North Carolina. They have participated in many high level competitions some of which include the Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC), The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), K-1, HDnet, Rumble on the Rock, King of the Cage. Greg also is a certified instructor Kru in Muay Thai with Black Belts in several other systems. Greg's other achievements are: 2003 NAGA World Champion Advanced Division, Triangle Grappling and Guererros Gauntlet Superfight Champion, 2000 Pan-Ams Silver Medalist, Gracie National 200-210 lbs Champion. He is the author of H2H Combatives. This book illustrates, striking, clinching, weapon offense and defense, weapon transition and retention into and over objects. In July 2019 Greg was mentioned in an article by MMAworldreport.com called “The Innovators: Five people who are changing Martial Arts”. In January 2021 Greg was also featured in Retired Navy Seal and NSA agent Clint Emerson’s Book 101 Deadly Skills Combat edition as one of the top Combative Instructors in the World.

Alicia Hernandez-Rosa


Coach Alicia is manager here at Team R.O.C. She began training jiu jitsu in 2013 and has been managing Team R.O.C. since 2015.

Christina Hunter

Front Desk

Coach Christina is a purple belt who began training jiu jitsu in 2016 and has competed regularly. She has been training at Team R.O.C. since 2021.

Sam Hall

Front Desk

Coach Sam started training jiu jitsu in 2016 and has been with Team R.O.C. since 2019. Her jiu jitsu game has been influenced by the first 'home-grown' NC black belts and is reflected in her preference for utilizing fundamentals, pressure and control. Her favorite pass is the Stack Pass and her favorite submission is the Bow and Arrow choke.

Jason Kwast

Head BJJ Coach

Coach Kwast is the primary instructor for our Adult BJJ classes. He is a black belt under Royce Gracie and Greg Thompson.

Jerry Carson

Kids/NoGi Coach

Coach Jerry has been training at Team ROC for over 12 years earning his black belt from Greg Thompson in 2018. He specializes in "Big Boy Jiu Jitsu" and teaches our Kids Group B and NoGi classes.

Isaiah Monroe

Kids/Wrestling Coach

Coach Isaiah received his black belt from Greg Thompson in 2022 and is our Kids Group A, Kids Striking and Wrestling class instructor. He is a professional MMA fighter and an active jiu jitsu competitor.

Ses Stevenson

Head MMA Coach

"MAD Coach" Ses Stevenson Martial Arts Training: MMA Performance Strategy Notable Fighters Trained: Paris Artis Da'mon Blackshear Isaiah Monroe Training Program Development: Coaching Strategy Programs Competition Experience: Amateur Boxing Kickboxing MMA Cornerman Fight Team Management

Cord Harper

Asst. MMA Coach

Denver Lopez

Asst. MMA Coach

Coach Denver has over 12 years of martial arts experience. He is a BJJ black belt and has competed in both BJJ and MMA. He is also MACP and SOCP certified.

Rachael Tatum

Asst. Coach

Coach Rachel began training jiu jitsu in 2017 and is currently a purple belt. She is the assistant coach of our Kids Group A class.

Mike Hunter

Asst. Coach

Coach Mike is a purple belt. He has been training jiu jitsu since 2017 and mixed martial arts since 2021. He is our Kids Group B and Wrestling assistant coach.