Your Martial Arts Guide
Ryan Wheaton is the head instructor at Arrowhead Martial Arts and helps adults in Salt Lake City learn self-defense, get into better shape, and grow their self-confidence all at once.
Ryan has devoted nearly 30 years of his life to the martial arts. He started in TAE KWON DO, a sport-oriented martial art that is in the Olympics, while in High School. After years of daydreaming about it, he got the final push to take a trial program when a friend encouraged him to get started. The rest, as they say, is history.
While attending his first semester of college he discovered KENPO, almost by accident. He signed up thinking “how different could KENPO be from TAE KWON DO?”. He instantly made the switch after watching a demonstration and seeing how effective it was for self-defense.
Ryan studied with many talented instructors including Frank Elsasser, Karl Kennedy, and Doug Anderson. Now, he’s an internationally certified 8th-degree black belt under Paul Mills, 10th-degree black belt, from Evanston, Wyoming. He has studied with him for over 20 years.
He is a regular seminar instructor at the American Kenpo Karate International bi-annual gatherings. He is also a member of the AKKI Board of Directors and has also been the Northern Utah Regional Representative for that organization since 1997.
Over the last 30 years, he has taught well over 5,000 martial arts classes and taught hundreds… if not thousands… of people. The greatest satisfaction he has is giving back to his community and helping transform the lives of his students through the martial arts.
A Chance Meeting
In 1990, Ryan was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Ed Parker, 10th-degree black belt and Founder of AMERICAN KENPO, just two months before he passed away. At that moment, he knew KENPO was going to be something he would do for the rest of his life. Mr. Parker was in town conducting a black belt test and was an experience he says he will never forget.
“When I met Mr. Parker, he was sitting behind a desk and stood up when I entered the room. He extended his hand with a smile and introduced himself; like I didn’t know who he was. After we shook hands, he sat back down and said ‘Wheaton? … Wheaton? … that’s a movie star name.’ His hands seemed like bear paws and he seemed to look right through me. That said, he still put me at ease and seemed very personable. I feel fortunate to have met him.” — Ryan Wheaton
Black Belts Awarded by Ryan Wheaton:
- Price Bethel (1st Degree Black)
- Shawn Gough (3rd Degree Black)
- George Thomsen (4th Degree Black)
- Jess Leonard (2nd Degree Black)
- Rex Stratton (1st Degree Black)
- Kelly Renfrow (1st Degree Black)
- Christine Malone (1st Degree Black)
- Steve Schultz (1st Degree Black)
- Josh Ramsey (2nd Degree Black)
- Jessica Taylor (1st Degree Black)
- Joel Weight (1stD egree Black)
- Cheryl Laxton (1st Degree Black)
- Blake Miller (1st Degree Black)
- Aaron Ford (2nd Degree Black)