Instructor Insights: Al Alexander

Al Alexander’s fiery passion for judo was first ignited in middle school, when he joined his school team. Since then, Al has achieved the rank of godan kōdōkan—or fifth-degree black belt— according to judo’s Kōdōkan Kyū-Dan ranking system.

Al began teaching judo at the WAC in 1994 and has taught generations of WAC members, something he says makes the experience worthwhile.

“Since I teach family judo, I have taught siblings, parents and their kids, and more,” he says. “I feel like it’s not just fitness, it’s family. Teaching makes me feel like I’m a part of that family.” Member Mark Drewfs and his daughter currently train under Al. “Making progress and maturing together is a big part of it,” Mark says.

Al speaks highly of the life lessons taught by martial arts—especially about safety and self-defense. “It teaches you to never give up,” he says. “It’s about using your judo skills to navigate even the worst situations.”

Along with teaching judo, Al holds a doctorate degree and teaches advanced mathematics and computer science at Decatur High School in Federal Way and the University of Washington. In his free time, Al enjoys playing tennis, swimming, and surfing.

—Al teaches Family Judo at the WAC from 7–9 pm on Wednesdays and 8–10 am on Saturdays.

As published in the July/August 2022 issue of WAC Magazine

—Posted July 8, 2022

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