Thomas Crooks started his martial arts training under Peter Williams in 1992 at his dōjō in Epping, Sydney – and then with Pat Harrington soon after. He made his first visit to Sekiryūkan in Fukuoka with Sosuishi-ryu Australia (now Lotus Dojos Australia) in 2000. Returning to Fukuoka in 2006-2007 he lived there for a period of time and trained daily at the Sekiryūkan, commencing his study of true Sōsuishi-ryū Jujutsu and Koshi-no-mawari (Iai-jutsu). He was very fortunate to receive direct instruction from the Headmaster and 16th Inheritor, Shitama Manzo Sensei, Dai Shihan, as well as his son, Shitama Shusaku Sensei (who is next in line to inherit this ryūha). On returning to Australia in 2007 Thomas established and built up a strong dōjō in Newtown, NSW before relocating with his family to Perth, Western Australia. He was made a member of the Karo (leadership council) of Sosuishi-ryu Australia in 2004 and was appointed as a director of that organisation when it changed its name to Lotus Dojos Australia in 2016. In October 2016 he and Peter Williams were appointed as representatives of the Sōsuishi-ryū Jujutsu Kai in Australia. Thomas left Lotus Dojos Australia in March 2017 and founded Kumataka Dōjōs with Peter Williams. They formally established the Sōsuishi-ryū Jujutsu Kai Australia (SJJK-AUS) in 2018, which they direct, and which is overseen by Shitama Sensei.
The purpose of Kumataka Dōjōs is to provide training in legitimate koryū and gendai martial arts of Japan and Okinawa, in the spirit of budō.
Thomas holds the teaching title of Kyōshi in Sōsuishi-ryū Jujutsu, conferred on him by Shitama Manzo Sensei in 2018. He is a member of the Sekiryūkan Sei Kaiin, holding full membership with the dōjō. He opened his own dōjō in Bayswater, Perth, WA in 2016. Along with Peter Williams, he leads ongoing training visits to Sekiryūkan. Thomas has satisfied the ‘Coach Judo’ requirements as part of the Judo Australia Coaching Accreditation Framework (CAF).
Trained as an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, Thomas worked in private practice for just under 10 years. More recently he moved into academia and is the Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at Endeavour College of Natural Health in Perth.