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General News - News - ATA Leadership NOW

ATA Leadership NOW



We enrolled our son into Leadership to improve his confidence and communication skills. Now he greets people with a smile, looks them in the eyes, gives them a healthy handshake and introduces himself. We couldn't be happier!

General News

ASK THE EXPERT:  Chief Master M.K. Lee

ATA’s head of instruction, legendary leader Chief Master M.K. Lee, 8BD, shares his wisdom on balance and life in this ATA World, Fall ’13, interview.


IN FOCUS:  Community Signs

When students and instructors at ATA Martial Arts in Odessa, Texas, met Kaitlyn Pool, who was born deaf, they taught her Taekwondo and she taught them to sign. ATA World has the story.


KIDS' KORNER:  Weapons Trick - Body Roll

Heed a true winner’s advice on how to perform the “Advanced Body Roll” with a Jahng Bong in a step-by-step photo lesson and – exclusive to – a new video presentation. Choose to learn, choose to lead!


Feature:  All in this Together

Take a cue from a DRAGON BOAT CREW and discover how your RELATIONSHIPS with others will get you closer to your GOALS – and make for a fun ride, too! ATA World charts the course.



Kids' Korner:  Onward, Great Relationships!

ATA World wants you to put the ship in your relationships! Make a pact with a partner to “be in each other’s boat” – and build strong bonds with your family, friends, and community. We’re rooting for you!



Ask the Expert (in training): L. Taekwon Lee

The youngest son of ATA founder Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee literally grew up in the organization and now plays pivotal leadership roles. On the brink of obtaining his Mastership title last summer, Mr. Lee answered intriguing questions for ATA World, reflecting pride, humility, vision and hope for his remarkable father’s legacy. Learn more about this accomplished young man and ever rising star.



Feature:  The First Respect is Self-Respect

To respect others, you must first respect yourself! ATA thinks you are worth it – and you should too! Legendary leaders explain why self-respect is “step one” to success in this ATA World article.



Kids’ Korner: Weapons Trick – Ssahng Nat Elbow Pop

A young Black Belt in California breaks down the steps needed to pull off a flashy trick with a pair of Ssahng Nats in words, pictures, and video.



In Focus: Living the Example

One Dad decides to physically embody his values for his daughters – and lose nearly 100 pounds in less than a year with ATA’s help. He’s also a champion competitor and a President’s Challenge winner! ATA World presents his amazing story.



2nd Degree Instructor Trainee Wins First-Ever “Leadership NOW” Scholarship

Congratulations to Miss Monica Dollive of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for earning a brand new scholarship award from the H.U. Lee Memorial Foundation, and for “choosing to learn, choosing to lead” in pursuit of a career that will meet the (N)eeds of (O)ur (W)orld – truly showing Leadership NOW!




Feature:  Global Punch

ATA Spreads the way of martial arts around the world. Together in global partnership, Taekwondo devotees commit to the universal language of Songahm. ATA World explores the past, present, and future of Songahm Taekwondo’s worldwide impact in this feature article.


Ask the Expert: Chief Master Cesar Ozuna

ATA World interviewed Chief Master Ozuna recently about his passion for Songahm Taekwondo and his experiences bringing it to the people of South American nations and elsewhere. Read his compelling responses in this brief interview.


Community: Guarding the Flock

In a letter to ATA World, a law enforcement officer praises a young Black Belt for quick thinking, good judgment, and self-control in a potentially dangerous situation.


For Kicks: A Daughter Inspires a Novel

An author, Mom, and former deputy prosecuting attorney was inspired by her 2nd Degree Black Belt daughter, who learned and adopted leadership life skills through ATA training, to write her second novel for teens. Discover what she found in the training and in her daughter’s personal growth that motivated her to include elements of both in her compelling fictional story.


In Focus: Strong Against Odds

ATA World Champion and tournament judge Kristy Lipe lets nothing get in her way – not even cerebral palsy. Read about  this young leader’s determination and victories in an inspiring story from ATA World.

Feature: Terrific Taekwondo Teens

ATA teens who keep up their Taekwondo training use their dojahng skills to stay strong and confident in all aspects of their lives – even during the difficult adolescent years. This generation of leaders is truly ATA Strong! ATA World features several to watch and learn from.

Leadership through Songahm Taekwondo heralded in Portuguese Human Resources Magazine

Mr. Miguel Loureiro, 5BD, chief instructor at Shim Jun Songahm Taekwondo School in Lisboa, Portugal, was recently interviewed on leadership by HR Portugal, a major human resources trade journal. He highlighted the importance of Songahm Taekwondo not only for the training of future leaders but also for personal development - "changing the world one black belt at a time."

“…being a leader is not being a bully, not just being in command, but it is a position where we have the opportunity to help others and to contribute actively to the community. For me being a leader is to be someone for the benefit of all.” - Mr. Miguel Loureiro

Here is a PDF of the full interview (in Portuguese):


Kids’ Korner: Weapons Trick – Ssahng Nat Elbow Pop

As featured in the Spring 2013 edition of ATA World, 14-year-old 2nd Degree Black Belt Arturo Escamilla Jr. of Pride Martial Arts in Chula Vista, California, demonstrates his signature move with the Ssahng Nat, a trick which helped him earn second in Creative Weapons at the 2012 Songahm Taekwondo World Championship. His advice: “Focus on feeling the weapon – trying to hear and feel where you are.” The magazine has a step-by-step breakdown, but here’s a live demonstration of the Ssahng Nat Elbow Pop. Thanks to Mr. Escamilla and his instructor, Mr. Sean Berry, for sharing the video on!


Remarkable Young Lady Shares Teaches Katie Couric to Front Kick

Martial Arts dynamo and two-time national champion Miss Channah Zeitung, age 4, a Leadership color belt student at Church’s ATA Martial Arts in San Diego, California, was featured on “Katie’s Wonder Kids,” a special segment
of Katie on ABC-TV on March 1, 2013. Watch the video clip of Channah and her instructor, Mrs. Trish Church, 5BD. Ms. Couric was officially inducted as an Honorary Black Belt in the ATA. Great job, ladies!



Family Ties: To Compete is to Win!

In ATA it’s not about wins, but about learning from your performance and working toward improvement. (And making friends, too!) Find out why tournaments make everyone a winner – even without the trophies – in this article from ATA World.



Ask the Expert: Chief Master William Babin

Rock musician, martial artist, school owner, businessman and blogger Chief Master William Babin, 8th Degree Black Belt, talks about the ‘Master Skill of Success’ – setting goals and sticking with them – to reach, achieve, obtain, and become anything we want in life during this recent interview with ATA World.



Community: Training That Worked and The Very Best Inside Him

In letters sent to ATA World magazine, a young Leadership member tells about skills that literally were a lifesaver, and a proud mother describes the amazing progress of her son with autism, now a 3rd Degree Black Belt!



For Kicks: Moody’s Bullying Research

As candidate for a Doctorate of Philosophy last year, Master Greg Moody, 6th Degree Black Belt, conducted in-depth field research and presented his findings in a dissertation on martial arts and bullying prevention. See what he discovered in this short article from ATA World. Congratulations, Doctor/Master!



Feature: Grab Your Weapon – And SPAR!

2012 was only the second year for World Champs in Combat Weapon Sparring. And yet, that padded blue Bahng Mahng Ee has powered into our training days. Here’s how it happened and how sparring with a weapon will make you a better martial artist.


Ask the Expert: Senior Master Mark Sustaire

Senior Master Mark Sustaire, 7th Degree Black Belt, World Champion competitor and influential school owner, fields questions from ATA World about his martial arts philosophy and amazing career.



Feature: He Never Gave Up

More than 50 years have passed since Eternal Grand Master journeyed to the United States to plant the seeds of Songahm Taekwondo. Without his vision and perseverance, the ATA/WTTU/STF would never have grown to reach six continents and change over a million lives!


Family Ties: Check Your Tech Etiquette

Use your life skills of courtesy and respect to keep technology in its place. Manners online aren’t that different than in real life.


For Kicks: ATA Black Belts on Stage & Screen

A Black Belt champion from Georgia survives the first round of auditions for So You Think You Can Dance, while two ATA Black Belts from Nevada and California land starring roles in an independent supernatural martial arts movie now on DVD.


Community: What have you done to make your community a better place?

ATA World asked Facebook followers how they are making a difference through their good deeds. Here are some of their responses.


Ask the Expert: Chief Master Nominee Kathy Lee

Chief Master Kathy Lee, 8th Degree Black Belt, participates in a Q&A with ATA World about her remarkable career in Songahm Taekwondo.


One Solid Foundation

Twenty years of the H.U. Lee Memorial Foundation has meant more than $750,000 in college scholarships for martial artists around the country. Meet some 2012 recipients and learn why ATA is unwavering in support of this great cause.


Print the page then gather a 6-sided die, some coins, and friends to play this ATA Leadership-themed board game. 


In FOCUS: 5th Degree. Tenth Decade

He entered the dojahng at age 59. Now, 89-year-old Dr. Harlan Van Over is an instructor and 5th Degree Black Belt, among other honors (like WWII vet). ATA reports on an amazing achiever and inspiration to all.


Community:  Another Smile Operation

ATAWorld introduces Mr. Rob Green, 4th Degree Black Belt, from Brandon, South Dakota, shows outstanding leadership as an ATA Instructor and a medical volunteer for Operation Smile. With humble service he genuinely shows “Leadership meeting the Needs of Our World (Leadership NOW)!” Follow the link to a fascinating blog about his experiences.


Community:  In Memoriam of Senior Master Menneke

In spring of 2012, the world prematurely lost one of its most gifted teachers and best men. A respectful and moving tribute at his service was reported by colleagues in a letter to ATAWorld. Follow the link to a special memorial page on Facebook.



For Kicks:  ATA Black Belts on Stage & Screen

Three young Black Belts compete and win prestigious spots performing at Lyric Opera in Chicago. A young woman receives her 2nd Degree Black Belt after testing – and a big surprise – in a touching episode of ‘Coming Home’ on Lifetime Channel. A Black Belt without arms is highlighted in an episode of ‘Beyond Belief’ on the Oprah Winfrey Network.


Community:  What's Your Definition of a Leader?


A True leader strives to be a living example of what he or she expects from others and will help others grow even if it goes above and beyond him or herself.


Mr. Joe Gilbert, Offensive Line Coach for the Indianapolis Colts, applauds ATA Martial Arts, teaches Teamwork & Team Building to Instructors

ATA Instructors from Region 102 and Region 106 recently seized the unique opportunity to attend a private seminar on "Teamwork and Team Building" lead by Mr. Joe Gilbert, Offensive Line Coach for the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team.



ATA Student to Appear on Lifetime Television Network March 18th, 2012!

Kaitlyn Mudler, an 11 year old Leadership student and 2nd Degree Black Belt at Pride Martial Arts in Chula Vista, California, was selected to appear on the Lifetime Network show “Coming Home” about military families being reunited after long deployments. Not only was she honored to be awarded her 2nd Degree Black Belt, she was shocked to receive it from her dad who had been away for quite some time. The episode is scheduled to air on Lifetime Television Network March 18th at 10pm/9c.

Founder's Month

October is honored in the ATA as Founder's Month. It's one time a year when everyone in the ATA family takes some time out of our busy schedules to remember and reflect on the life of Eternal Grand Master. It's the perfect time to do something special to share his legacy with others.

Health and Fitness through Martial Arts

Grand Master In Ho Lee & ATA promote Physical Fitness through Martial Arts taking the President's Challenge

Grand Master is taking the challenge – personally and literally. He is a passionate advocate for daily exercise and balanced nutrition. Now he's inviting everyone to learn why Martial Arts training is one of America's most fun and most effective ways to get and stay healthy and fit.

Learn how to "Move It-Log It-Earn It" with ATA (PDF) or get detailed instructions on How To Register (PDF).

A Life of Service Well-Lead

Songahm Taekwondo Grand Master Soon Ho Lee Reflects on a Remarkable Career, Plans Active Retirement

Martial arts history is being made in the largest centrally-administered martial arts organization in the world, the American Taekwondo Association (ATA), founded in 1969 and based in Little Rock, Arkansas, since 1977. The power and glory of the international association's top position - and its awesome responsibilities - will soon be passed from one capable leader to another.



ATA Black Belt Academy's Local Board Break-A-Thon Raises $35,000 for Breast Cancer Research

In October 2010, students from three ATA schools set out to raise $10,000 for breast cancer research with a drive called "Breaking Breast Cancer." Through leadership, hard work and community support, Instructors and students raised 3-1/2 times that much for the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Central and Southern New Jersey. The drive, spearheaded by Ms. Laurie McInerney, 6DB, CEO and head instructor of ATA Black Belt Academy in Marlboro, NJ, culminated with a spectacular and exciting demonstration of Taekwondo power before 525 people. Instructors broke 480 boards in one hour, representing the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer each day. "We are very proud of all our students, particularly our Leadership students, who really took the initiative that allowed us to succeed," said Master Jack McInerney, 6DB, owner of ATA Black Belt Academy in Old Bridge, NJ. "This experience allowed them to not only practice public speaking and meeting new people, but also the chance to benefit the local community and affect change for people they may know."