The Evolution of American Taekwondo Association
The American Taekwondo Association (ATA) is the first North American organization dedicated to the martial arts discipline of taekwondo. It is also the founding organization of other international affiliates that include the World Traditional Taekwondo Union (WTTU) and the Songahm Taekwondo Federation (STF).
In 1980, the American Taekwondo Association became the first martial arts organization to launch a centralized computer record keeping system. This innovation enabled the organization to maintain rank histories and other important information about the thousands of its members.
The history of the ATA was set on a new and unique course in 1983 when, at a Certified Instructor Camp in Little Rock, Eternal Grand Master introduced the Songahm system of Taekwondo.
The Songahm system represented the culmination of years of study by Eternal Grand Master Lee. The ATA had used the Chang Hun Taekwondo forms since 1969 — and the “Pinan” forms prior to that — but he had noticed something missing in the forms.
That same year, the American Taekwondo Association began publishing a tabloid entitled “ATA News” which has evolved into the international magazine “The Way of Taekwondo”, published quarterly to keep Taekwondo students informed about upcoming events, appraised of new programs and knowledge about the physical and mental aspects of Taekwondo.
Today, the association already has over 1,500 licensed schools and clubs.
Although the first class was taught years ago, the focus of the program is still the same up to now. That is to provide students the highest quality martial arts training available in a safe and encouraging learning environment that people of all ages can relate and take pleasure in.
Instructors and trainers combine excellent student instructor ratios with modern training facilities. This has helped establish the American Taekwondo Association schools and clubs as the leaders in the martial arts industry.
Each instructor is a graduate of an instructor program and has undergone more than thirty years of research and development. These instructors are beside the students all the time to guide them into reaching their individual goals.
There are several programs to cater to a variety of purpose, ranging from basic martial arts, self-defense, esteem and life skills building, etc.
Over the years, the American Taekwondo Association has come to realize that there are many reasons for studying Songahm Taekwondo.
The people behind this have worked long and hard to develop programs that will help realize these goals rather than forcing the students into one, linear area of study and practice.
The Taekwondo martial art itself is always evolving. That is why there is a continuous need to develop new programs and update the existing programs to ensure that students have as much access to the different aspects of Taekwondo as possible.
Some of the programs being offered are:
1. Black Belt Academy. This is dedicated to enhancing your physical capabilities and maximizing your self-defense skills
2. Karate for Kids. A comprehensive Taekwondo instruction for students who are wanted to start at a young age.
3. Tiny Tigers. This program is developed specifically for preschool age children ages 2 to 6.
4. Protech Training. The more advanced martial arts training. This program includes training in weapons and highly specialized self-defense tactics.
From its humble beginning, the American Taekwondo Association and its affiliated organizations is beginning to register over 300,000 members worldwide, including 53,000 black belts and 3,000 certified instructors.