When it comes to fighting the obesity crisis, Doug Exum feels he’s doing his part.
As sensei of Arlington’s Northwest Karate-Do, the commissioner of the Washington Games karate-do instills discipline in kids and teaches them to make the right, healthy choices in life.
Thanks in part to Exum’s commitment to leading by example, his students came home from the National Karate Championships in Houston in mid-July with three gold medals and several more silver and bronze medals. Of their outstanding performances, Vienna Krumwiede, a student in the Everett school district, qualified for the U.S. National team, and will compete this August in the Pan-America Championships in the 12-year-old bracket.
As a sensei, Exum emphasizes the importance of a strong work ethic.
“Nothing comes about without hard work,” he said. “Everything that is achievable in life must happen through dedication, hard work and focus. Karate is very good at teaching these attributes and much more.”
Exum has been studying karate since 1985 and has learned many forms of it. He is currently ranked Roku-dan, or sixth-degree black belt out of 10 degrees. He is also a founding member and president of the Washington State Karate-do Federation. As an official, Exum is a national referee with the USA National Karate Federation and is a continental referee with the Pan-American Karate Federation.
But despite his students’ success, a trip to compete in Beijing this summer was beyond their grasp.
When asked if karate doesn’t get enough attention, Exum said, “Internationally, karate is huge. We’re hoping that by 2012, karate will be an Olympic sport so our athletes have something to dream for.”
The Washington Games are a non-profit organization that focuses on health and fitness through Olympic-style sporting events offered throughout Washington. At the Washington Games karate tournament July 26 at Edmonds Community College, Whitney Lucas, a student of Doug Exum, won double gold medals. A complete list of the non-traditional sport competitions can be reached at their Web site, www.washingtongames.org.
Exum offers classes for all age groups at Northwest Karate-do, located in Arlington’s Gold’s Gym.