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. At that time there were only three blue belts in the Carolinas. In 1997, Brent Pierce started training with Greg in Jiu-jitsu as he was running a successful
school called California Combat Concepts (CCC). Brent had been putting
on boxing and kickboxing events. Some of the first MMA events ever held
on the east coast were by Brent over the Virginia line because it was
illegal in North Carolina at that time. Greg’s students were in the
first MMA events and dominated. 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 monthly
seminars at his school and Greg became their Grappling coach. In 1999,
they decided to start fighting under the same name, Team R.O.C.( Realty
of Combat). This was a name they were using to train law enforcement and
military together as a team. In 2004 Royce Gracie invited over 100 of
his top student to Team R.O.C. and gave out his first Black Belts, to
Greg and four other students. Over the past several years Team R.O.C.
students have opened up schools all over the east coast.
Some of Greg’s students that started with him in the 1990’s as white
and blue belts are now Black Belts and have their own Team ROC School:
Spencer Canup, Jason Culbreth, Billy Dowey, Jason Palacios, Brian
Mingie, Brandon Garner, Mazi Heydary.
Team R.O.C. has been featured in MMA Worldwide Magazine.
Team-ROC fighters have appeared in some of the top shows in the world
including: K1, UFC, IFL, StrikeForce, King of the Cage, Bodog Fights,
and HDNET Fights.
Some Pro-Fighters from Team R.O.C. Tim Kennedy (185) Jason Palacios (155) Aitor Canup (185).
Brandon Garner (145) Tara Larosa (135).
Team R.O.C. has approximately 15 schools across the east coast. Team
ROC currently has 8 black belts under Royce Gracie and continues to
develop top level competitors.
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