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  • Mr. and Mrs. Palmisano

Our History of the ATA


This is the story of one man's vision. Enternal Grandmaster H. U. Lee. The founder of the ATA which is this Worlds Largest Martial Art Organization. Eternal Grand Master Lee began his martial arts training in 1954 as a teenager. He taught martial arts to Republic of Korea military intelligence personnel from 1956 to 1959, opening his first commercial school in Osan, Korea after leaving the military. Eternal Grand Master then opened several "branches" to his commercial school, including one at a U.S. Air Force base. This is where Master Richard Reed began training with Eternal Grand Master, and the two forged a friendship that would ultimately result in the ATA. When Reed returned to the United States in 1962, Eternal Grand Master joined him on a "visitor" visa, and began teaching in Omaha. Although he had to return to Korea in December, 1963 while awaiting a "resident" status visa, he returned to the U.S. in 1965 and began working toward a national Taekwondo organization that would be based on good martial arts and sound business practices. As it grew from a regional organization to one of national -- and ultimately international -- scope, the ATA began to establish standards that would ensure consistent curriculum.

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