UWG alumnus, Tyler Martin, has participated in athletic competitions such as Ninja Quest, The Green Beret Challenge, the Leap Parkour Competition, Crossfit’s Little Burn and even the USA Parkour Cup. He has also appeared on phone commercials and competed on shows like America’s Got Talent and most notably, the popular sports entertainment show, American Ninja Warrior (ANW).
“Securing a spot on Ninja Warrior was fairly easy,” Martin says. “People assume it’s a sport, and while that has a lot to do with it, it is really a reality show. Your story is your key in the door. My story was how my mother passed away when I was twelve and parkour saved me from a troubled life.”
Martin’s first appearance on ANW took place in Atlanta in June of 2016, where he went against 14 other competitors.
“Competitions generally don’t scare me, but thinking in my head about them does,” Martin says. “It really depends on the size of the competition. The obstacles were fun to me, but the most difficult moments would be before the show aired on TV. I was nervous of how everyone would react because I couldn’t say anything about what I was doing until it aired.”
Although Martin has done three seasons of ANW, with the obstacles growing more in difficulty each time, his favorite season was his first.
“On my first year on Ninja Warrior, I’d already been training those guys and training with them,” Martin says. “I had to step my game up. It was an underdog kind of feel, though. It’s the year I remember most on the show. I met a lot of people and got to do what I love.”
Despite Tyler Martin’s extensive appearances on TV, he considers himself more of an athlete than an actor or celebrity. Many celebrities are constantly updating their social media, looking for more ways to spread their brand and thinking of ideas to generate more income. This is not the case for Martin. As a professional free runner and traceur, he looks at what he does as exciting, rewarding and a way to push himself further.
“I’m always having fun,” Martin said. “I play, and I get paid. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I was taking care of myself with what I earned.”
After his competitions, events and training, Martin must edit and submit his own video footage of his work. This footage goes to different gyms he works for where he trains children in parkour. According to Martin, this is something that takes a lot of time.
“The editing is what takes forever,” Martin says. “The actual training is easy. The hard part is finding good angles and footage of me in action to show what I can do. Then I have to edit that footage and add music and subtle effects to make it interesting.”
One of Martin’s favorite aspects of being successful is the impact it has had on his life. Although it took years for him to gain recognition, he sees it all as completely worth it since it has given him an opportunity to become closer with his family while doing something he enjoys.
“Last year was the first time my Dad saw me compete,” Martin says. “He didn’t see me when I was on Ninja Warrior. When I was younger I used to be the trouble kid. Now my dad won’t stop bragging about me. It’s just awesome because I get to have fun with what I do.”
Tyler Martin is currently teaching parkour to children while continuing to better his career. As a young athlete, Martin wants to continue making a name for himself.