I have been a fan of Josh Ford’s work for years. I remember seeing his tattooing and machine building work at about the same time and wondered how he was so proficient in both. When I got a hold of him for this feature, I learned that it doesn’t stop there. An absolute workhorse, John is an inspiration as a dedicated father that has a lot on his plate and somehow manages to juggle it all, giving the utmost attention to all tasks at hand and coming out on top.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
My name is Josh Ford, 39 years old and father of two awesome kids. My daughter is 15 and my son is 11.
I’ve been a professional tattoo artist for 20 years and I build and sell custom tattoo machines internationally. I am a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, used to fight professionally in MMA and I’m the head coach for an MMA team in Maryland. On top of that, I do nutrition and have worked with a lot of professional fighters on their training camp nutrition as well a certified strength and performance coach.
I am in the process of doing some life coaching training and education so I can take all of this knowledge and experience to do what I can to start helping others live happier and healthier lives.
I’m able to balance what I do with being a Father fairly easily because I’ve spent the last 20 years following my own path and most of my kids lives I’ve been able to dictate my own schedule and have plenty of time for them. I also talk with my kids frequently about following what makes them happy and do my best to set that example.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
Being a Modern-day Dad has been challenging, but I like challenges. With all of the social media, access to smart phones, tablets and internet it brings a whole new dynamic as opposed to when I grew up. I just try my best and I’m continuously trying to learn to communicate with my kids better and try to see life through their eyes so that I don’t get narrow minded or lose touch with the feelings that they are going through.
My wife and I try to expose the kids to culture, international and domestic travel, consciousness and educating themselves outside of school to seek out who they are and who they want to be. I strive to teach my kids to see past the surface distractions and look deeper into life.
3. How did becoming a father change your life?
Becoming a Father definitely changed my life. My ex-wife and I wanted to have kids young enough that we could enjoy life with them and still be young enough to enjoy life after they were grown up. I was 24 when my daughter was born and it really gave my a purpose to life. Until the kids were born, I wasn’t really doing much but going through day to day life, so they helped me to learn a bigger perspective and think about the future.
They have also been a driving force for me through hard times. Points where I was struggling in life, whether personal or financial, the kids were in my mind as a motivation to get through it and set an example to not give in.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
Loving my kids and being loved back, simple as that. There’s nothing better than one of the kids coming up to hug me and tell me they love me.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
My daughter had her first real boyfriend last year as a Freshman in high school. I finally met him for the first time when they went to the homecoming dance. My daughter had shown him videos of my professional fights, so I think he was a little nervous. The kid is tall, 6’2 and I’m a whopping 5’7, so I’m thinking how funny it’s going to be to have to look up at this kid.
When I took my daughter to her friend’s house to meet up with her boyfriend and some other kids to take pictures I finally got to meet him. I walk up and shake his hand and in a shaky voice he says “Oh thank god! I thought you were going to bring an axe or something!” hahaha! All I could do was laugh.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
Don’t always think you’re right! Don’t ever think you have it all figured out! Make time for your kids, even when you don’t feel like it. Make sure they never question how much you love them! Continue to grow yourself and live your life as an example.
Thanks so much Josh! Keep up the great work!