Tycho was a mugger living in Ba Sing Se who had always dreamed of attending "the university". However, when his family found out he meant Spa University, as opposed to Ba Sing Se University, they disowned him, refusing to help pay his tuition. In desperation, he fell into a life of crime to pay his debts.
Tycho ran into Iroh in one of the back streets of Ba Sing Se. Seeing his change, he took out his knife and threatened Iroh, demanding he would give him all his money. He was taken aback, however, by Iroh's calm and unimpressed demeanor, as the elder man commented that Tycho would have no chance successfully robbing him with the poor stance he was displaying, as that left him completely unbalanced. Tycho was subsequently disarmed and pushed to the ground, proving Iroh's words to be true. However, much to his shock, Tycho was helped to his feet and received a lesson on how to improve his stance. When Iroh told him that he did not look like the criminal type, Tycho sighed and readily admitted that he was just confused, a sentiment that prodded Iroh to serve them both a cup of tea in order to facilitate good conversation and sort things out. Tycho found a friend in Iroh after the latter said that he believed Tycho could be a good masseur. Tycho showed much gratitude for Iroh's vote of confidence in his abilities, as no one had ever done that for him, and the two parted ways on good terms.