In the early 20th century, Stephen Fulton's grandfather worked on the Panama Canal and made ends meet by working as a bare-knuckle boxer in the slums of Panama City. Years later, as a teenager, Mr. Fulton learned to box from his grandfather.
That training will serve him well as he retires Sept. 30 as head of the agency mortgage-backed securities team at Western Asset Management Co. to concentrate on running mixed martial arts training center Tomichi Dome Defense Tactics in Gunnison, Colo.
Building on what his grandfather taught him, Mr. Fulton started training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in 2004 after meeting Rorion Gracie, the creator of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Since then, Mr. Fulton has won six U.S. championships and one world championship in Rio De Janeiro.
In December, Mr. Fulton became the 27th person in the world to receive a black belt from Rorion Gracie and became an instructor at his academy.
“The best way to sum up jiu-jitsu's effect on my life is to quote (Rorion's brother) Rickson Gracie, who many would say is the greatest jiu-jitsu fighter ever. "The biggest gift I received as a martial artist is without question the capacity to be at peace in any situation.' That ability to be in peace, regardless of the situation, serves you as a martial artist, as a person, as a teacher and as a money manager,” Mr. Fulton wrote in an e-mail.