Updated: Mar 25
Tyreeke Saint is a 19-year-old world champion point fighter from Brooklyn, NY and has been making strides in the Men’s Fighting divisions. He started doing martial arts at the age of three at Binns Victory Martial Arts owned by the legendary point fighter, Troy Binns. By the age of eight, Tyreeke had started his competition career. When he was only 14 years old, he had the opportunity to compete in the Men’s Open Weight division… and won.
Tyreeke already has several big wins under his belt including Ocean State Men’s Open Weight Grand Champion, US Capital Classics Open Weight Grand Champion, Athens Challenge Open Weight Winner and Virtual Fight Tour Team Winner. This February, after a year of not competing due to quarantine, Ty won the Men’s Open Weight division at the Kansas City National WAKA USA qualifiers. (Check out a vid of Tyreeke fighting here!)
We decided to ask Ty some questions about his experience and journey as a world-class point fighter.
At the age of 19, you’ve already had a lot of success as a point fighter. Did competition always come easy to you?
Competition came fairly easy for me. I was undefeated for a long time in juniors. Eventually, better juniors came along and that’s when it started to become challenging… However, the better competitors were very motivating for me to step my game up.
When you were 14, you became the youngest person ever to win a NASKA adult division. What do you think contributed to your early success?
My early success definitely came from my instructors and work ethic. My junior class also helped a lot. We were already fighting at an adult level from young and we constantly pushed each other. Mentally I was ready for adults but I physically needed more work - I wasn't strong enough. By outsmarting my opponents I was able to make it work.
Did you have any influential coaches or people that inspired you?
I had plenty of influential coaches: Troy Binns, El-Java, Sam Simeon, Garth Binns, Jadi Tention, Bob and Jarrett Leiker, Raymond Daniels, Ross Levine. I admire all these people and every one of them has made a huge impact on me not only in karate but in life. They have all given me advice that I use to this day. Kameren Dawson also is someone who gives me advice and has helped me out.
You won your first tournament back after not competing in over a year. How were you able to keep your skills up during quarantine and come back stronger than ever?
My first tournament back was a roller coaster. What people don't know is that at that tournament I felt a lot of pressure for some reason. My chest felt tight, I was nauseous and even threw up after my first fight. I was training and I also came off of competing at Jessie Wray's VFT 4. It was a very weird experience because I've never felt like that at a tournament, but I made it work.
Why did you decide to become a private coach, and what do you enjoy most about coaching?
I became a private coach because I enjoy sharing my information to those who share the same passion as me but lack the resources for continuing their growth. What I enjoy most is seeing results. It makes me happy when there is something that is being practiced and it finally gets used or you have a complete understanding of whatever it is.
(Check out this blitzing tutorial from Ty!)
What can a client expect from private lessons with you?
What a client can expect is for me to dissect your fighting game and let you know what you need to bring your game to the next level. Not just to fight like me. Also, breaking things down so that you can easily understand them no matter what level you're at.
What's one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to become an elite-level point fighter?
We all know the same techniques. At the highest level it's about understanding. You have to have an elite level of understanding spacing, distance, timing, judges, footwork, positioning, percentages. Knowing what technique is likely to score from the position YOU PUT YOUR OPPONENT IN. At the highest level fighters don't react!
Takeaways for Competitors
#1: Be motivated by good competition and always seek to compete against the best
#2: Have several coaches and mentors that you take guidance from
#3: Outsmarting competition can be more beneficial than being physically better
#4: Even the best competitors feel pressure - What separates them from the rest is they are able to push through adversity
Tyreeke is currently an instructor at Binns Victory Martial Arts, where he started his martial arts journey. He is also teaching one on one lessons as well as group seminars.