Tyler Smith

GREENSBORO, N.C. - 17-year-old Tyler Smith’s dreams came true this past week when he captured the World Ninja League Elite crown at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Tyler became the first competitor in eight seasons to clear all three stages in the Elite division at the world championships.

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“This is definitely one of my bigger dreams come true,” he said. “I have been training for seven and a half years and competing in this league for six years and slowly made my way up. I was 10th, fifth, and third and I was really happy to win the whole thing this time.”

Tyler trains five to six days a week, often at a farm Ninja gym in a barn in Dorsey and also at Shinobi Fitness. Tyler lives in Holiday Shores.

Tyler’s mother, Leila, said she was so proud of her son for such a remarkable achievement.

“I think being proud of him might be an understatement,” she said. “He has worked so hard the last seven and a half years. He has been competing constantly and is improving and improving. He trains five or six days a week and now some younger competitors have reached out to him for private lessons. He also coaches a team of younger competitors in a class on Wednesday night.”

“Ninja has been such a big part of his life since 2016. He has done extensive traveling all across the country. His sister, Sydney Smith, also now competes.”

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Tyler won a $5,000 cash prize for the world championship, his mother said.

Tyler said he had a good feeling when he cleared the first two obstacles this year and when he approached the third stage, he cleared it and it ended up happening.

“There were definitely well over 10,000 people there and they were from all over the world, even France, Australia and more,” he said. “I meet so many cool people.”

Tyler said when they train, they do it for three and a half to four hours each time.

“It is mentally and physically challenging and you have to try to make it fun,” he said. “It is one of the hardest things. It is so hard but I still love it. I am going to do it as long as I can. There are a lot of excellent younger people coming up so I am going to have to continue to work hard to stay on top.”

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