Talented Tom Crosby is a professional Mixed Martial Artist based in Middleton, who is fast becoming a well known figure of the local community for representing the sport nationally. Not only is this man winning gold away from home, but by day he is a childminder at Crosby’s Little Angels.
Tom, nicknamed ‘The Viking’ is from Middleton and is a professional Mixed Martial Artist (MMA is also known as Cage Fighting). Alongside this he competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ); both being full-contact high combat sports.
Originally a rugby league player, Tom decided to practice MMA and BJJ for extra fitness. However, the hobby soon required more time, turning his focus from potential professional rugby player to MMA intstead. Before turning professional Tom represented the UK as an amateur and had a total of 21 fights with 14 wins, 6 losses, and 1 no contest. Five years on and ‘The Viking’ now competes professionally in MMA as a welterweight (77kg and 5’10”) and has won two bouts so far, one by TKO (Technical Knockout), and the other 2-0.
I can’t help but wonder if there’s any transferable skills between MMA and Child Minding? Perhaps the sharp attention to detail, the energy it takes helping keep the kids active or balancing the demands of toddlers which helps? Tom said, “There’s so much to learn from both children and the sport.” Tom got into childminding whilst helping his mum out looking after his little brother, something which naturally led to them opening their own successful childminding business. I asked him what the parents think, he said “They love it!” With training starting at 6am, and then again straight after work, he demonstrates the value of discipline for a younger generation.
Tom also teaches both sports at the local gym, and this is blended with the childminding business by bringing the older boys they look after for Martial Arts training too. There’s also no shortage of support that Tom receives from his family, and his pre-fight ritual includes writing his wife and kids names on his hand wraps.
Tom recently competed and won the British Open in BJJ two weeks ago (13 May 2018) at blue belt level. Tom explains it can take up to ten years to become a black belt in BJJ as it’s all about ability and when your instructor says you’re ready. He says the BJJ is one aspect of MMA which is a submission sport including grappling and knee locks, and ‘tapping out’ your opponent to win. He says it’s a fun thing to do in between MMA contests and keeps him busy!
He is set to go to Spain this weekend for his next BJJ contest and is looking forward to getting away and competing. You can follow South Leeds Life for updates or his social media.