Head Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructors - Rob and Guy Pendergrass Guy and Rob have been actively involved in the martial arts since 1988. Each began their training in Shotokan Karate and Tae Kwon Do, eventually earning black belts in each of those respective styles. During this time both Guy and Rob competed at the local and state level winning numerous tournaments in both kata and kumite. Eventually they moved on to college where they began studying the art of Wing Chun Kung Fu in Greenville, NC. There Guy and Rob learned the finer points of trap fighting. Then in 1996 they learned of a revolutionary style called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after watching the Ultimate Fighting Championships. It was at that time that Guy and Rob began training in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They have had the honor of training with many great instructors such as Gustavo Machado, Renzo Gracie, Matt Serra, Rickson Gracie, Rolles Gracie Jr., and Ricardo Almeida to name a few. Guy and Rob also lived and trained in New York City at the Renzo Gracie Academy from 1999 to 2000. After returning home Guy and Rob began training with Gustavo Machado under Renzo''s recommendation. Both Guy and Rob have competed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the local, state, and national level winning in those events. Each have also competed in Mixed Martial Arts at the amateur level winning on numerous occassions. Currently, each are ranked as Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Gustavo Machado.
Assistant Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor - Sean Zorio
Sean’s first experience in combat sports was wrestling at Wake Forest Rolesville High School during the 2000-2001 season. Then in August 2006 he began his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training at the Pendergrass Academy of Martial Arts. Sean is one of the most personable and nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He is an excellent instructor and assists with both the Adult Beginner and Kid Jitsu programs. Sean currently holds the rank of Brown belt.
Muay Thai Instructor -
Guy and Rob''s Teacher/Guest Instructor - Gustavo Machado
Gustavo Machado began his martial arts journey at the age of 16 under Jean Jacques Machado, who soon promoted Gustavo to blue belt.. When Jean Jacques left Brazil, Gustavo began training at the Gracie Barra academy in Rio de Janeiro. Gustavo has since trained with BJJ legends such as Mauricio "Tinguina" Mariano, Roberto "Gordo" Correa, Ryan Gracie and Marcelo Langunho. Gustavo was a very active competitor, winning and placing in numerous competitions throughout his study. At the age of 19, he was awarded his purple belt by professor Carlos Gracie Jr. It was at this time Gustavo began teaching under the authority of his teacher. In 1996 Gustavo received his brown belt. In 1998, he followed his dream and moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia to open his own academy. He is now the head instructor and founder of Gustavo Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well as the president and founder of the Virginia Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation. Gustavo is also the founder of the Renzo Gracie Competition Team of Virginia Beach. In October of 2000, Gustavo was promoted to Black Belt by Professor Roberto "Gordo" Correa.
3 Tips & 8 Questions You Must Ask When Checking Out a Martial Arts Academy
"The instructors are amazing, not only in skill level but also with teaching skills. They will take the time to break a move down over and over until you can get it. They have a great personality and are fun to talk with, along with the office staff they are just as much fun. I love it here and keep trying to find more ways to be involved."
Student -Christopher A.
"My daughter wanted a martial arts class to join & someone told me about Pendergrass. We''ve been here five weeks and she has learned a lot!! She enjoys each class and the instructors work very well with every age. She has more confident in her abilities. The staff is very personable and are involved. They also give the children parents and adult learners the opportunity to try out different classes. My ten year old enjoys the MMA-Muay Thai Jr. Champion & Jiu Jitsu classes. Try it & stay!"
Mom - Dee B.
"Pendergrass Academy was recommended by a friend for my 15 year old son who is just getting started. We visited other establishments and even participated in some classes but my son felt they did not teach the techniques in detail like Rob and Guy. As a parent I did not feel comfortable in other studios watching the classes, they did not appear to be designed for observation. Pendergrass has an area specifically set-up for parents and others to observe the classes. We have spent the last 30 days “checking out” Pendergrass and not felt pressured by any salesperson or instructors. In fact, my son already feels like one of the group and is comfortable with the diversity of the ages in the adult classes. We signed up this week and in spite of the drive from Raleigh to Wake Forest we feel it is well worth it"
Mom - Sandy
Adults Martial Arts
Our Adult martial arts program is geared to take our students from their current level of fitness and flexibility to a level that will empower them to accomplish their goals. They learn how to defend themselves while at the same time, get in great shape. These classes are an ideal way to build self confidence and self worth and give you the tools you need to overcome any obstacles that get in your way.
Youth Martial Arts
The Youth martial arts program has classes and curriculum that are designed specifically to instill leadership skills in our students and provide them a roadmap to success not only in martial arts, but in their lives. These classes are an ideal way to build self confidence and self worth and give them the tools they need to overcome any obstacles that get in their way.
Children's Martial Arts
The kids martial arts program focuses on the developmental growth of these students to better prepare them for their road ahead in school, at home, and in life. In addition to learning martial arts and how to defend themselves, the students will learn to interact with others and gain valuable social skills via drills and games. A large portion of this program is dedicated to teaching the students self control, focus, and confidence.