"JIU-JITSU REPRESENTS THE TRIUMPH OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE OVER BRUTE STRENGTH"

Royce Gracie Academy of Lake Norman proudly serving Denver since 2010

Royce Gracie Academy of Lake Norman offers group & private classes in Denver, NC for kids & adults of all ages & experience levels.

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Who we Are And How We Can Help You

As an official member and representative of the Royce Gracie Jiu-jitsu Network, Royce Gracie Academy of Lake Norman is a proud to represent the Gracie family name, and carry on the tradition of Jiu-jitsu as a self-defense art.  With multiple black belts on our staff personally tested & promoted by the legendary Royce Gracie himself, we are the only source for authentic Royce Gracie Jiu-jitsu in the Lake Norman area! 

We are dedicated to our Mission of enhancing the lives of each of our students, by helping them to achieve their individual goals and optimize their physical, mental, & emotional well-being by providing the highest quality martial arts training, focusing on developing realistic self defense skills in a safe, clean, professional, family friendly environment.  

Our dedicated staff of instructors takes pride in their ability to get the best out of each and every one of our students, regardless of age, gender, ability or experience level, to help them overcome their obstacles and achieve their goals, through the use of Jiu-jitsu, as a vehicle for personal development and self-improvement! 

 Through our program, students not only learn the necessary skills to keep them safe & healthy, we are confident the training they receive will enable them to become better version of themselves!

Get To Know Our Dedicated World Class staff Instructors

About Us

Jon Plyler

Royce Gracie Lake Norman Owner/Head Instructor
– 3rd Degree Black Belt under Royce Gracie/Steve Hall

Jon began his formal Jiu-jitsu training in 2004 at Alliance of Charlotte, under Professor Paulo Elsimaani & Professor Luis Togno, from white to brown belt. After Professor Togno tragically passed away in February of 2011, Jon continued his training under Professor Steve Hall, Head Instructor at Fight to Win Jiu-jitsu of Charlotte. On December 9, 2013, Jon was personally tested by, and received his black belt in Jiu-jitsu directly from the legendary Royce Gracie. Along with his partners at the time, Jon began Fight to Win Lake Norman in 2010.

About Us

Ryan Leggett

Royce Gracie Lake Norman Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
– Black Belt Under Royce Gracie/Steve Hall

Ryan began training  Jiu-jitsu in 2007 under Professor Greg Thompson. After moving to Charlotte, Ryan joined the Fight to Win family in 2010. On October 7, 2018, Ryan tested for, and received his black belt in Jiu-jitsu under Royce Gracie. Ryan is currently employed as a full-time law enforcement officer & law enforcement trainer, and is a supervisor with a police tactical team. Ryan is also certified by the NC Justice Academy as a defensive tactics and advanced ground defense instructor.

About Us

Brent Simpson

Royce Gracie Lake Norman Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
– Black Belt Under Royce Gracie/Steve Hall

Brent began his martial arts journey studying traditional martial arts, boxing and kickboxing through his childhood and teenage years. Brent began training with the Fight to Win team in 2010. Brent received his black belt directly from Royce Gracie in October of 2021. He has extensive military & law enforcement experience, and currently serves as a full time sworn law enforcement officer & defensive tactics trainer for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

About Us

Luke Amos

Royce Gracie Lake Norman Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
– Black Belt Under Royce Gracie/Steve Hall

Luke Amos started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Yamasaki Academy in 2004 in Northern Virginia. After moving to NC, Luke became a part of the Fight to Win team, and was an integral part of the creation of the original Fight to Win affiliate location in Denver, NC. After 17 years of training, Luke was tested & promoted to black belt by Royce Gracie in October of 2021. Luke is a former physical education teacher and an active duty law enforcement officer.

About Us

Joey Plyler

Assistant Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
– Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt

Joey began training at only 5 years, old has trained consistently, since then, even training with the adult students at a very young age. At the age of 15, with the approval of Master Royce Gracie & Professor Steve Hall, Joey earned his blue belt. He was promoted to purple belt in January 2021, becoming the youngest purple belt on the team, and earned his brown belt in October 2022.   Joey has been a very active competitor and has taken a leadership role in working with our youth & adult students alike.

About Us

Landon Ferguson

Assistant Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
– Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt

Landon began training with the Fight to Win team in April 2016 under Professor Jon Plyler. Landon earned his brown belt in January of 2023. Landon has a background in coaching youth sports, & regularly assists with teaching in both the youth & adult Jiu-Jitsu programs. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

About Us

Phil Cohrs

Assistant  Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
– Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt

Phil began training with the Fight to Win team in February of 2018. Phil quickly became a fixture on the mat, consistently training multiple times per week, sometimes, multiple times per day.  Phil earned his blue belt in just under one year of training, and began helping out with the youth Jiu-Jitsu program. In July of 2021, Phil received his purple belt from Professors Jon Plyler & Steve Hall, and earned his brown belt in April of 2024. Phil has taken on a leadership role within the adult team members as well, regularly helping to share his experience with newer students.

About Us

Gus Hamdoun

Assistant  Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
– Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt

After many years of training & teaching in other traditional martial arts, Gus began training Jiu-jitsu in 2014 under Professor Jon Plyler. In July of 2021, Gus earned his purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Professors Plyler & Steve Hall, and earned his brown belt in April of 2024.  Gus regularly assists with our Youth Jiu-Jitsu classes. His helpful nature and positive mindset is a great influence on all of our young students.

About Us

Carrie Plyler

Royce Gracie Lake Norman Program Director/Youth Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
– Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt

Carrie first stepped on the mat in August of 2018 at the age of 39. She earned her blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu, being personally promoted by Royce Grace in October of 2020. She earned her purple belt from Professors Jon Plyler & Steve Hall in January 2024. Her kind nature and passion for inspiring kids makes her a perfect addition to our Youth Jiu-Jitsu classes. She is a vital part of our Women’s Self Defense program as well, mentoring & encouraging all women who walk through the door.  After years working in the corporate world, she now dedicates herself full-time to the academy as our Program Director. 

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Royce Gracie Academy of Lake Norman provides martial arts classes to Denver, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson & Charlotte communities

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