American Taekwondo Association Pledges to Reach One Million in 2006

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The American Taekwondo Association, the largest martial arts organization dedicated to the discipline of taekwondo, has pledged to positively influence one million lives by the close of 2006. The total currently stands at 921,089 and grows each day.

The American Taekwondo Association (ATA), North America’s largest martial arts organization dedicated to the discipline of taekwondo, has pledged to influence one million lives by the close of 2006. The total currently stands at 921,089.

With more than 1,000 schools worldwide, the ATA is committed to balancing the physical training of taekwondo with effective life skills training, including discipline, honor, self-control, respect, courtesy, perseverance and loyalty.

“Unlike other sports, which focus primarily on the technical aspects, martial arts focus on the full spectrum of training to develop a well-rounded individual who will benefit in many different areas of his/her life,” said Jim Wolff, CEO/COO of ATA. “Whether you’ve been with the ATA for 10 years, one year or one day, our goal is to impact your life in some way that can be carried on to future endeavors.”

With active membership exceeding 350,000 worldwide, including 53,000 black belts, the ATA is the founding organization of other international affiliates, including the World Traditional Taekwondo Union (WTTU) and the Songahm Taekwondo Federation (STF).

“The impact the ATA has on a person’s life can be immeasurable,” said Greg Moody, owner of the ATA Academy in Mesa, Ariz. “Whether it is a child facing a developmental disability like ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or Autism, something I can relate to personally, or an elderly person hoping to improve his mobility, martial arts is an outlet that focuses on the individual and teaches him a set of skills he can use for the rest of his life.”

To further change lives outside of the organization, the ATA created an academic scholarship foundation named for its founder. For 13 years, the H.U. Lee Foundation has provided more than $225,000 in funds to eligible, college-bound students who exemplify the Life Skills taught in ATA classrooms.

The ATA also supports several organizations, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Jason Foundation for youth suicide awareness and the American Red Cross.

“It’s not about how many degrees of black belt you have,” says Taekwon Lee, director of the H.U. Lee Foundation. “It’s about the people you’ve touched, how many people you have helped. In many instances, the martial arts training of Taekwondo is secondary to the overall goal of the organization.”

For more information about the American Taekwondo Association, go to http://www.ataonline.com.

Note to editors: For feature stories in your region, please contact Charles Crowson at 501.604.6150.

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