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Excel Martial Arts - ATA Martial Arts - Warrenton, MO

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Mike Chat, ATA Instructor and Actor, talks about ATA

ATA International

ATA International is the world’s largest organization dedicated to teaching martial arts to the entire family! With Licensed Locations around the globe, there are over 950 independently owned and operated licensed facilities. Licensees of the ATA have trained over one million students since ATA’s inception in 1969.

Since that first class was taught many years ago, the focus of ATA International has remained the same: to provide students with the highest quality martial arts curriculum available in a fun and positive learning environment that people of all ages can enjoy. Each Instructor is the graduate of an intensive certification process that represents more than fifty years of ongoing curriculum research and development.

Fast Facts

  • ATA International was founded by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee in 1969.
  • The ATA is one of the largest martial arts organizations in the world and is dedicated to the Songahm style of Taekwondo.
  • There are more than 130,000 active members in the organization worldwide.
  • The ATA world headquarters is located in Little Rock, Arkansas and has called the state capitol home since 1977.
  • ATA International has licensed over 950 independently owned and operated martial arts locations, currently in operation in over 21 countries.
  • ATA offers many curriculum programs for all ages and a variety of purposes ranging from basic martial arts, to self-defense, life skill building, bullying prevention and more.
  • In 1995, the H.U. Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund was established and has since provided more than 900 students with nearly $1 million in scholarships.
  • In addition to the World Championships, ATA sanctions over 300 tournaments each year worldwide.

ATA International Leadership

  • Sitting Grand Master G.K. Lee is a 9th Degree Black Belt, and the Grand Master of ATA International.
  • Neil Morton, is the Chief Executive Officer of ATA International and is responsible for all business operations of ATA.
  • Mrs. Sun C. Lee, widow of Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for ATA and Chairman of the H.U. Lee Memorial Foundation Scholarship Program.

History of ATA International

Eternal Grand Master Haeng Ung Lee’s martial arts training began in 1953.  In 1962, he moved from South Korea to the United States and opened a Taekwondo school in Nebraska.

Seven years later, he formed the American Taekwondo Association (ATA), which quickly become the largest martial arts organization in America, boasting approximately 120,000 members and 800 schools. In 1983, Lee copyrighted Songahm Taekwondo.

The organization is internationally headquartered in Little Rock and has called the state capital home since 1977. With active membership exceeding 300,000 worldwide, ATA is one of the world’s largest martial arts organization dedicated to the discipline of Taekwondo. 

ATA is a pioneer in the martial arts industry because of its unique style and high quality of curriculum and instructors.

History of Taekwondo

Although its roots can be somewhat traced back to ancient Korea, it is a historic fact that Taekwondo as an organized art is relatively modern. In fact, the only documented history begins in the mid 1900's.

The actual beginnings of Taekwondo are obscured by time, yet many historians believe it originated from a Korean martial arts form known as t'aekyon practiced over 1,300 years ago.

In the early 1900's, the art evolved with the introduction of Chinese and Japanese techniques, a practice which concerned some because these influences did not demonstrate the incredible kicking power of the art nor its traditional values or philosophy.

The actual name (and art) of Taekwondo wasn't official until 1955. At that time, Korean General Hong Hi Choi organized a movement to unify Korea's various martial arts styles (called Kwans) and presented the name "Taekwondo" to a committee specially formed to select a name for the new art. On April 11, 1955, Taekwondo was recognized as the name for the newly unified, officially recognized Korean martial art.

As an interesting side note, the word Taekwondo itself is made up of three Chinese/Korean words: Tae, meaning to kick or jump; Kwon, meaning fist or hand; and Do, which means "the way." Loosely (if not literally), it can be thought of as "The Way of the Hand and Foot."

In the 1960's, Taekwondo began to spread internationally and evolved throughout the late 1900's (along with most martial arts) into primarily a combat sport, although self-defense, fitness, and the philosophy of the practice (including self-discipline and self-knowledge) are still crucial elements of Songahm Taekwondo, the style of Taekwondo developed and supported by the ATA.

Taekwondo made its debut as a demonstration Olympic sport at the 1988 Seoul Games, and became an official medal sport at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Taekwondo is currently the most popular martial art in Korea, and ranks among America's and the world's most popular martial arts.

ATA Certified Instructors

In many martial arts styles, the assumption traditionally has been that once students earn their black belts they are ready to teach other students. But the ATA does not believe that simply being able to do something well qualifies a person to teach it. During the last 30 years, the ATA has developed an intensive instructor training program to insure that all instructors are professionally skilled teachers.

Before becoming certified, black belts spend 2-3 years as instructor trainees, during which time they are required to teach at least 300 hours under the supervision of a senior instructor. All potential new instructors are required to earn certification in CPR and Youth Protection, attend instruction camps, and undergo a background check.


American Tae Kwon Do - ATA Karate - Songahm Taekwondo - Korean based Martial Arts Taekwondo \ Hapkido

Excel Martial Arts

An official ATA Martial Arts Licensed School.  Independently owned and operated by the Van Horn Family of Warrenton, MO.  Located next to the Dollar Tree.  Within walking distance of Warren County R-3 Daniel Boone Elementary and Black Hawk Middle School.  We train Champions in the Art of Taekwondo!

phone: 314-83E-XCEL   314-833-9235
eMail: Info@Excel-Martial-Arts.com
website: ata-kicks.com
facebook: excel.n.life


Located at 702 East Booneslick Rd, 63383 - Next to the Dollar Tree

If you live in Warrenton, Turesdale, Pendleton, Innsbrook, Wright City, Jonesburg, Foristell, Hawk Point, Holstein, Hopewell, Pickney, Treloar, New Truxton, Truxton, Marthasville, High Hill, Cappeln, Prices Branch, Troy, Moscow Mills, Flint Hill, Wentzville, New Melle, Femme Osage, Old Alexandria, Dutzow, McKittrick, Hermann, Rhineland, Bridgeport, Case, Bellflower, New Florence, Gilmore, Josephville, Washington, Ethlyn, Lake St. Louis, Montgomery City, Danville, Mineola, or Wellsville, then you are close enough to train with us!


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