Coach Tyler Toner was born in Denver and raised in Aurora. He moved to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado, where he got his B.A. in Sociology with a focus on Criminology. Though Mixed Martial Arts has become his primary focus, he is also passionate about hip-hop (he competed for several years as a DJ) and food. Tyler describes himself as a fat kid at heart, and focuses most of his non-training time on BBQ and soul food.
Drawing influence mostly from The Karate Kid and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tyler and his brother begged their parents to enroll them in martial arts classes at a young age. He studied Tae Kwon Do for several years (picking up a point-sparring national championship title in the process), before moving on to study Jeet Kun Do. His JKD instructor at the time always encouraged him to study a variety of martial arts, particularly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Muay Thai.
Tyler stopped doing martial arts for a period while he was playing football and lacrosse. After moving to Boulder for school, he took his first Jiu Jitsu class at Easton, and was immediately hooked. Training two times a week quickly turned into two times a day, and it rapidly took over the bulk of his free time. Tyler has always enjoyed competition, and martial arts has been no exception. In 2005, he started fighting in Ring of Fire MMA promotions, and rapidly became the featherweight champion. He subsequently fought in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), and briefly in the UFC.
Tyler attributes a great deal of personal growth to his time at Easton Training Center, and feels that working as a coach is the best way to help others to enjoy similar benefits. He has a knack for breaking down physical movements into a small series of teachable processes. One of his favorite aspects of teaching is taking a movement that was difficult for him to learn, and breaking it down into smaller parts that are easy to convey and understand. He finds few things more rewarding than taking a technique that took him months to figure out on his own, and teaching it in a way that allows his students to become proficient at it in less than a week.
Having had a relatively long and successful career as an MMA and Muay Thai fighter, Tyler is focusing on his personal improvement and becoming the best fighter he can be. He hopes that this will keep him at top levels of the sport, and afford him several more years of competition. Meanwhile, he is enjoying taking all of his experiences, and using them to help people that are just starting out in the sport, or looking to start a fighting career of their own.