Bryce Shepard-Mejia Bio
Bryce’s love of competition began at a young age. He participated in many sports as a young boy, including baseball and (noteably) high level gymnastics. Growing up in Eugene, OR, aptly nicknamed “Track-town USA”, he discovered cross-country racing and competed on the national level until he graduated from Churchill High. Bryce attributes many of the talents and traits that make him the exceptional martial artist he is today to his distance running career.
After spending time in a youth penetentary, and discovering the then new and exciting sport of MMA (professional mixed martial arts), he became curious about learning. Bryce soon found himself wanting to move to San Diego: a well-known mecca for MMA in the US. So, with nothing but a car full of clothes and an old TV, he set off to Ramona, CA to live with his grandma and train.
Not long after making it to Ramona, Bryce found the International Self Defense Center in the yellow pages and met his Sensei (“one who has gone before”), Nick Mechling. Nick and his brother, Chris, have since become Bryce’s only teachers and a mainstay in his martial arts career.
Bryce fell in love with martial arts and attended class 5 times a week (3+ hours/day) even after his grueling day job of landscaping and masonry. Having a natural affinity for the sport, it wasn’t long until he had ascended the ranks of his school and became an instructor. Since joining ISDC, Bryce has been to Thailand to fight professional Muay Thai 7 times, and is the first American to ever hold a stadium title belt (Fairtex Stadium, Pattiya, +70 kgs). Bryce has been to Japan twice, and had the enormous honor of training Judo with the Elite Guard at the Emperor’s Imperial Palace as well as Kodokan University, the best Judo school in the world. In 2011 and 2012, he spent 6 months in Rio de Jinero, Brazil teaching at Team Blackhouse alongside UFC legends such as Rodrigo and Rogerio Nogueira, Anderson Silva, and Junior Dos Santos.
Bryce spends what little free time he has hanging out with his family, golfing, slacklining, barbequeing, and trying to stay out of trouble. He is a partner of Ground Game Submission Series and Empire MMA.