Tom Murphy poses with seventh grade superheroes Ryan Luplow and Emma Hare. Photo by Gary Towner.
By Gary Towner
On Jan. 26, Warsaw middle and high school students attended an assembly on bullying with the strange title of Sweethearts & Heroes. Students were even more perplexed to discover that the speaker, Tom Murphy, is a professional competitor in mixed martial arts.
However, after showing videos of some of his matches, Murphy explained that from his perspective, his matches aren’t fighting as in violence, but instead competitions to beat others by using his set of skills against a competitor with similar skills.
“I don’t go in there saying, ‘I hate this guy, I’m going to kill him,’” Murphy said. “I go in there saying, ‘I spent 20 years of my life preparing to get in this.’”
This became a springboard to the real mission of Sweethearts & Heroes.