Lifestyle

Auburn's DeMile makes impact at new fitness center

Ken DeMile brings plenty of experience and energy to his work at The Fitness Dojo. - Mark Klaas/Auburn Reporter
Ken DeMile brings plenty of experience and energy to his work at The Fitness Dojo.
— image credit: Mark Klaas/Auburn Reporter

Ken DeMile has the name and the means, and now he has the place.

Auburn's well-known, highly decorated martial artist and fitness trainer continues to expand his offerings at his new gym, The Fitness Dojo, off Harvey Road.

"I really try to stay current and in tune with what's going on – in the fighting world, fitness world, martial arts and the military world," said DeMile, 50, whose family has been a part of the martial arts and fitness community for 50 years.

From soccer moms to special force operators, DeMile customizes workout programs for the individual in mind. He works with a diverse group of people, from all walks, young and old, in meeting their fitness goals.

"I believe that martial arts and fitness is as much about preparing for life as it is about developing a stronger body," DeMile said of his philosophical approach. "I believe that physical action and mental focus can create a powerful catalyst to achieving greater confidence and resolve."

DeMile's dojo offers mixed martial arts lessons and life skills to youth, and a wide range of cardio self-defense classes for adults.

"Our philosophy in martial arts is not so much about how well you throw a punch and kick ... that's important, but how well you conduct yourself at home and in school," DeMile said of his work with youth.

For DeMile, his craft is his passion. The family has deep roots in martial arts and fitness circles. His uncle, James DeMile, was one of Bruce Lee's original and most celebrated students who trained extensively under the martial arts legend in Seattle.

It was Lee who made a strong impression on Ken DeMile.

"He embodied the total fitness package. He was an innovator," DeMile said.

DeMile has had a successful career as a competitor and instructor for more than 30 years. One wall in his dojo is filled with awards, certifications, medals, photos and other momentos.

He has an accomplished background in group fitness, personal training, world-class self-defense instruction, world-ranked athletic competition, personal development, corporate and government team building. He has trained with and taught military special forces from different countries in close-quarter combat and group fitness. He has trained FBI, domestic and international police departments in defensive tactics, reaction speed training, emotional flow and physical threat analysis.

DeMile understands the nature and relationship with his many programs and disciplines.

"In order to talk about self-defense, you have to talk about fitness," said DeMile, a bronze medalist in 1998 as a sports jujitsu competitor. "In reality, self-defense is the most physical thing you'd ever have to do if you had to defend yourself. So we've blended those two realities together.

"The primary emphasis is on the fitness."

DeMile and wife Kimberly, a certified fitness trainer, owner and operator of a Jazzercise franchise, are longtime Auburnites. They have two girls.

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We're open

• Business: The Fitness Dojo, 905 B Harvey Road, Auburn

• Specializing:Personal, group training for all ages; CrossFit; adult self-defense; Bruce Lee’s kung fu; USA boxing; youth martial arts; boxing fitness for men, women

• Hours: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9:30 a.m.-noon Saturday

• Information: www.thefitnessdojo.net

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