He has been practicing single combat for over thirty years. First Tommy studied military hand-to-hand combat from his father; then he had classes in judo, ju-jutsu, wrestling, karate, boxing, Wing Chun, as well as non-classical kung fu styles until he found Jeet Kune Do. Despite the fact that Tommy Carruthers acquired certain distinction as a boxer and received several attractive offers to act as a professional, he decided to leave because he could not find what he found in Jeet Kune Do.
Due to the absence of Jeet Kune Do clubs in the neighbourhood, Tommy Carruthers began to train by himself, pushing himself to the limits of the already mastered martial styles. He tried to assimilate all information that was available on Jeet Kune Do. He attended various Jeet Kune Do seminars in Europe but was not impressed with them. He felt that what they were teaching would not work in the real street fighting conditions. Finally, he came across an article on Gary Dill in an American Kung Fu magazine. He agreed with every word written in the article, so he phoned Gary Dill.
Gary Dill was a student of the late James Lee, one Bruce Lee's private students. And Tommy Carruthers wanted to plunge into the atmosphere of real Jeet Kune Do. At the end of the talk Gary Dill invited Tommy Carruthers to the USA for the preparation as JKD instructor in the intensive program. In the USA he met Jesse Raimond Glover, who was the first Bruce Lee's student and the first American assistant-instructor in Jeet Kune Do. Glover then recommended Tommy to one of Bruce Lee's best and most highly respected students from Oakland era, Howard Williams, as well as one of Bruce's last private students Ted Wong. Upon the completion of his study, Ted Wong awarded Tommy with Jeet Kune Doinstructor ranking, recognised by Bruce Lee Educational Foundation at a formal dinner party with over 200 representatives of Jeet Kune Do association.
In the following years, Tommy Carruthers made lots of efforts to continue his training and build ties with respected JKD experts from all around the world such as Bruce Lee's students like Bob Bremer and Tim Tackett.
Over the years, Tommy Carruthers has acquired a reputation as being a very practical and thoughtful martial artist. He has such a grueling training schedule that the most other athletes (from various sporting background) are overwhelmed and ashamed. Tommy Carruthers has a distinctive features of simplicity, realism and efficiency. All these qualities appeared as a result of being brought up in the rough streets of Glasgow's East End (it is the region with low employment levels and high crime rates).
Tommy Carruthers is an active propagandist of Jeet Kune Do. In 2002 he was invited by the Chinese Boxing Association in Switzerland to come to Geneva to show his technique to the public at the SWISS EXPO stage. Tommy Carruthers visited Odessa (Ukraine) twice, where he conducted Jeet Kune Do seminars and classes with students and trainers from Ukraine, Russia and other post-Soviet republics. Besides, he acted as an advisor for the translation of films about Bruce Lee from English into other languages.