During the 1970s, Tolly created innovative, cutting-edge methods for developing human potential and created the world's first firewalking class. In the 1980s, he founded the Firewalking Institute of Research and Education, started working with large corporations, and began training instructors. The 1990s saw his firewalking.com transform his work into a mushrooming corporate trend.
A renowned motivational speaker, Tolly Burkan has coached celebrities, including Andrew Weil, MD, Geraldo Rivera, and Anthony Robbins (who later went on to be the most well known firewalking instructor). In addition to authoring three books that are available in several languages, Tolly has been featured in thirty books, hundreds of magazines and newspapers, and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.