Get to Know: Derek Washenberger
Helping others reach their goals with a ‘white belt’ mentality.

Get to Know: Derek Washenberger

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Photos by Troy McQuillen.

Derek Washenberger of Hub City MMA & BJJ teaches a variety of practical martial arts to students of all ages here in Aberdeen, providing them with the skills that they need to achieve their individual goals. His gym welcomes competitors and hobbyists of all experience levels, and he and his staff work together to ensure that all students can grow to reach their full potential.

Q. How does your work reflect your passion?

A. I get to see my passion reflected through our members. Martial arts training is a unique individual journey. Everyone has unique goals, reasons for training, and challenges they will face. I’m really passionate about having members with different levels of experience working together to push each other towards their goals. I’m so happy to see how welcoming and supportive our team of members are. It makes me very proud.

Q. What is something that you love about the Aberdeen Community?

A. I love the sense of connection within the local community. We have members from all different walks of life, and I enjoy watching them succeed outside of the gym as much as in training.

Q. What do you like to do in your free time? 

A. I enjoy spending time with my family and our two dogs. We enjoy the outdoor recreation areas in and around Aberdeen. 

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Derek Washenberger teaches several classes to all age groups.

Q. Where is one of your favorite places to go in Aberdeen? 

A. I love getting outside and running in the summertime. Aberdeen has so many great recreational trails, it’s tough to pick just one. But if I had to, I’d say the track at Holgate Middle School. When the weather allows, that’s my favorite place to go for a run, zone out, and get some exercise. I really enjoy the wide open space and the peace and quiet up there on the track. 

Q. What is one word you would use to describe yourself? 

A. Learning. I’m ALWAYS learning. I try to approach everything I do with a ‘white belt’ mentality. Whether it’s business, coaching, training, or anything else that I do; I’m constantly learning. 

Q. Why is community involvement important to you? 

A. A community is shaped by the people who live in it. I want to provide something more for the Aberdeen community and its youth. Martial arts training has many benefits, both physical and mental. And I want to share those benefits with as many people as possible, because it’s had such an incredible impact on my life.

Q. Have you noticed a positive impact in the youth you work with?

A. Absolutely. I’m fortunate to see their development firsthand. Even more amazing is the feedback from their parents. Almost every week I get feedback from parents in our youth program. The development in these kids’ confidence, communication skills, behavior and overall health is amazing. I’m fortunate to be able to play a role in helping the youth in our community find confidence and a love for exercise. It’s something I wish I could have had when I was growing up here in Aberdeen. //