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We had an amazing turn out at our first Carlson Gracie Jr. Seminar. 

Thank you to everyone who joined use for a day of amazing jiu jitsu!!!

First night of wrestling camp is in the books. We are fortunate enough to be able to have a local wrestling club meet at our school. If you have a middle or high school aged child interested in starting wrestling or wanting to improve before next year's season. Message the school and I'll gladly put you in contact with the wrestling coaches that run the program, Beyond the Whistle.

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We are proud to annouce that we are the first gym in the area to offer the adopt-a-cop program, which kicked off in January 2023.  This is an amazing program that allows law enforcement officers to train BJJ for free until they obtain rank of blue belt.  Please check out to see if you qualify.  Just let them know that Carlson Gracie Nash County is your preferred gym! 

Adopt-A-Cop | Pray for Law Enforcement | Prayers for Police

We hosted our first ever corporate defense seminar in February 2023 with Filter Easy of Wilson, NC.  We are excited to continue to help train corporate and private groups in the art of self-defense.  This program empowers individuals to handle themselves in a variety of scenerios and instills self-confidence.  Please see our programs page for more details!

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What Makes Us Unique

At Carlson Gracie Nash County Black Sheep Jiu Jitsu, we are a part of an extensive world wide network of  Carlson Gracie Jr's team that has been rooted in the USA since 1996.  Here at Black Sheep Jiu Jitsu we believe in you!  This is truly a gym for everyone, from beginners to professional fighters.  We believe that everyone has their own journey, and we strive to cultivate a respectful, encouraging and uplifting environment for students of all ages.  We believe in setting personal goals, be it getting in shape, learning self-defense or training for your next fight.  


With 26 years of BJJ experience between them, owners Mark Bryant and Timothy Smith have adopted a comprehensive curriculum from Day One that will allow students to track their own benchmarks, as they gain confidence and learn self-dicipline.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment to see our facilities and have any questions answered about the art of Jiu Jitsu, MMA, scheduling or prices!

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  • We aim to grow together and celebrate our collective achievements

  • We aim to grow not only our own gym family, but also build and maintain connections throughout the BJJ community


  • With each lesson we strive to build each student's confidence as they progress not only on their martial arts journey but in different aspects within their life 


  • We strive to both teach and hold ourselves to the highest of standards.  We adhere to the foundations of character including trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and compassion

meet the staff


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Sensei Kenyon


Sensei Kenyon is our Judo instructor who started martial arts in 1992 and has a varied background since that time.  He initially trained Tae Kwon Do under Thomas Lee Alpin, before transitioning to Stround’s School of Martial Arts studying Hakko Ryu Jiu Jitsu, Shito Ryu Karate, and Kodokan Judo under Shihan “Doc” Stroud, where he remained for four years.


In 1997, Kenyon Joined the Army and completed five years as a Scout 19D, during this time his training was intermittent due to deployments. 


Upon discharge from the Army in 2004, Kenyon went back to Shihan Stroud’s gym and chose to start from scratch in all three disciplines.  He slowly progressed through belt promotions and was promoted to Sensei in May of 2014 in Hakko Ryu Jiu Jitsu, Shito Ryu Karate, and Kodokan Judo.  In August of 2020, he was promoted to Nidan (2nd degree) in all three styles.  He continues to train, advance his skills, and teach others

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Professor Mark

Professor Mark began his martial arts training in 2006 and in 2011 began teaching grappling at CORE MMA.  During this time, Professor Mark helped to assemble and train a successful MMA team with a 170 title win for Next Level Fight Club. 


All the while, he continued his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, competing in several BJJ tournaments and winning titles in both North Carolina and Virginia.


On November 4, 2017 Professor Mark obtained his rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 


In 2018, he became the head instructor of BJJ at Tap Out fitness in Raleigh, where he taught for just under a year, before transitioning to Pendergrass Academy of Martial Arts.  In December of 2020, Professor Mark was awarded the first degree on his black belt.

Professor Tim


Professor Tim has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past 10 years, achieving the rank of black belt this past year.   He has also trained in boxing.

Professor Tim competed early in his BJJ career, with several podium finishes.  He has also taught BJJ classes periodically at several other gyms.


Not only does he have a passion for training BJJ but is passionate about teaching and self-defense.  He has received both his level 1 and 2 Gracie Survival Tactics Certificates and was featured in the GST teaching video library.  He also holds several other certifications he holds for teaching law enforcement officers throughout the region.

Professor Tim brings this training and experience into the gym as well, hosting self defense seminars and weaving those lessons into the regular curriculum.

Sensei Chris is a 5th degree Isshinryu Karate (Traditional Okinawan Karate) black belt and a 2 stripe blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  He has competed in the Isshinryu Hall of Fame Tournament and placed 4th over in the world and 3rd in weapons.  In this tournament, he fought the number one fighters from Ukraine, Canada and Russia.

Sensei Chris as since started coaching and states that his greatest accomplishments are coaching MMA fighters.  He has coached those who have ranked #1 in the state and #20 in the Southeast Region at 170lbs, the #1 in the state at 135lbs and #2 in the state at 125lbs.  

Coach Rodriguez


Coach Rodriguez grew up in Northern New Jersey, where he started wrestling in his freshman year of high school, and has been involved in the sport as a collegiate athlete, coach and parent for over 20 years.


Rodriguez wrestled 4 years on varsity for Wayne Hills High School where he was 3x All-County, 3x All-Conference and a 3x Regional Qualifier. He went on to wrestle for Division III powerhouse The College of New Jersey (Trenton State College) which was ranked in the top five all four years of his career.


Rodriguez is also a Bjj brown belt who  for the last 20 years has coached and trained martial arts competitors. Since 2012, Rodriguez has been coaching youth wrestling and lead the Hurricane Wrestling Program in Burlington. Now living in Raleigh, Rodriguez has coached with the Junior Wolfpack wrestling program and now leads Raleigh Area Wrestling .. an elite level Middle school program.

Sensei Chris



1033 Suites A and B Carriage Trail, Rocky Mount, NC 27804

(On the corner of Carriage Trail and N Old Carriage Road)

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