Ethos Martial Arts with Professor Wyatt Shepherd

By Danny O’Donnell

Ethos Martial Arts in Queen Creek, AZ opened in May 2018 and is an affiliate of the Caio Terra Association. Led by Professor Wyatt Shepherd, a black belt under Jay Pages, the academy promotes the values of Loyalty, Honor, and Integrity through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and striking instruction. In addition to Professor Wyatt, Ethos also has Tyler Larsen, David Hoopes, Russell Woodrome, Angela Shepherd, Drew Yeo, and April Bencomo leading classes. “Ethos has been open for about a year and a half now. Our instructors are active competitors that have been around the game and taught at several different gyms/academies before opening our own academy.” The instructors have experience ranging from professional Mixed Martial arts to local and national Jiu Jitsu competitions.

Wyatt and his team of coaches have led Ethos to 18th place out of 109 academies that make up the AZBJJF 2018/2019 Academy rankings. Ethos competitors racked up 2,415 points with 36 wins and 12 gold, 12 silver, and 9 bronze medals. “The Arizona BJJ scene and community is amazing, like a tight knit family.”  This community feeling along with the high level of the competitors in the state has created one of the top Jiu Jitsu communities in the U.S. “I believe the value of competition in Jiu jitsu is huge. I always encourage my students to compete. It teaches them to set goals, step out of their comfort zone, and challenge themselves. I also believe the fear, anxiety, and adrenaline that is felt before competition and how to deal with these feelings is the best way to prepare for a real-life conflict.”

The Ethos Martial Arts instructors not only encourage their students to compete, but also strive to make their competition experience as rewarding as possible. Wyatt is working to instill the benefits of competition in his students. ”I tell them that it's ok and it’s normal to be nervous. Their opponent is feeling the same things. By doing hard things it helps us grow and the only thing in their control is their preparation. I tell them to prepare to the best of their abilities with whatever their life circumstance is and the time that they have to train and prepare. Lastly, I tell them to not focus so much on winning or losing, but instead trying to take it in, enjoy it, and to have fun with the entire experience.”

The first year of operations for a martial arts school is often difficult, especially with the amount of high quality schools in Arizona. However, Wyatt and his team have proven the effectiveness of their teaching methods and are looking forward to making the most of the remainder of 2019. “We intend to keep becoming not only the best martial artists we can be, but the best human beings we can be. We will keep progressing not only in our Jiu jitsu training and our technique, but in our lives as individuals. Ethos is built on our 3 core values of Honor, Loyalty, and Integrity, and those values will be our guide for the future.”

To learn more about Ethos Martial Arts Academy please visit