Martial Arts Training: How it has helped me in my life….by Tyrone M. Ball


I really believe the old “building” analogy holds true. If you build something with a solid foundation, it will stand the test of time. I feel very strongly that studying martial arts at an early age contributed immensely to my development, maturing, and success in life.

While living in Dayton, Ohio I studied martial arts under Master Manual Taningco for over 5 years (1983-1988). I began at the age of 8, and my only regret is not starting earlier. As I reflect, I clearly see the environment I was exposed to in martial arts was much different than anywhere else. From day one, we were required to recite the
Student Creed:

“To build true confidence through knowledge in the mind, honesty in the heart, and strength in the body. To keep friendship with one another, and to build a strong community. Never fight to achieve selfish ends, but to develop might for right.”

We were taught to talk to our elders with respect. “Sir and Ma’am” were words expected to be used, along with “Master, Instructor, or Shifu.” As a child, your initial excitement of learning martial arts is for the kicking and punching, but somewhere along the way you really begin to learn the important lessons; self-confidence, discipline, respect, kindness, motivation, and patience . Those lessons were ones I carried on into my everyday life at home, school, sports and work. The lessons helped shaped my character, and lay the foundation of which I would build on throughout my life. I suppose the icing on the cake is I feel pretty confident I can defend myself if necessary!

I graduated the President of my high school class, and was very active in sports and clubs. I went on to college to graduate with a B.S. in Finance and an MBA. In college I joined the Army National Guard and served for 6 years. I recall going through the Infantry Basic Training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The mental toughness and discipline I had developed in my childhood really helped prepare me for those trying months. While in college, I was accepted into a highly acclaimed sales internship. Again, by applying a strong work ethic, discipline, confidence and goal setting I was recognized nationally (4th of over 1,000) as a leader in the program. I went on to run the internship at my university and train many interns. I found the most important things I could pass on were solid fundamentals and strong core values. For the past 10 years I have been very blessed with a successful Equities Trading & Consulting career. Through my consulting, I have trained hundreds of traders. Again, the two main things I stress to traders are not specific techniques or strategies, but rather patience and discipline. I’ve enjoyed a fruitful career, but I believe I achieved greatest success in my relationships. I have a lovely wife, and two beautiful daughters. I take great pride in keeping old friendships, and creating new ones.

My eldest daughter just turned 6 years old. She has been practicing martial arts (Kempo Karate) for over a year now. I am proud that she is learning and enjoying the same principles and fundamentals I did as a young boy.
I am very thankful for my parents, teachers, and instructors for helping build my solid foundation. Life on earth truly does go by fast, but while we are here, we should strive to leave a positive footprint. I encourage all readers to challenge themselves, and never become content. Share your gifts and talents with those around you. Do not be afraid to fail, and if you do, get back up quickly and try again.

May God Bless,

Scroll to Top