CHANGE YOURSELF FIRST! | McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!


Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

Stacey Gregory reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

My family has been with McDonough ATA for several years now and we love it! The staff here is very friendly and Ms. Johnson especially is very helpful and goes out of her way to answer questions and give help wherever and whenever needed.

Carey Klement Daughtry reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

If you want your child to defend themselves against all the challenges that life will bring them as they grow and develop, you need to enroll in this school. I am especially impressed with their "Leadership Program". This school doesn't just teach students to "pass" which is what it seems our youth only cares about... this school raises the bar and tells it's students to go beyond "passing" and EXCEL.

Becca Nell reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

The staff is highly qualified and makes a point to get to know every student individually. They are genuinely concerned that each student is achieving their maximum potential. They are very organized and the studio is kept clean. They also offer numerous other activities that are fun and even offer parent's night out.

Ashley Westphall-Carr reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

My kids have gained so much from going there. They are more respectful and have gained so much self-confidence. I would recommend ATA of McDonough to anyone wanting to take martial arts. My daughter just had her birthday party there in the staff was wonderful. They made her feel so special. Thanks ATA!!!

Stacey Coada reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

This place is a great place for kids of all ages and adults. Very family oriented even if you are just a parent not taking classes you are invited to watch and kept informed of all things going on. Very patient staff and teachers are phenomenal with the fact that all kids/people learn differently and they teach individually while still keeping the group learning as a whole. Walked into the building on a whim and ended up letting my daughter take classes for 4 years and becoming a 2nd degree black belt. She was strong willed stubborn and kinda hard to teach however all the teachers and staff were patient and kept calm helping her to learn respect and to follow rules and also respect to others who may not learn as quick as her so in the end she became a leader willing to help other struggling students. Highly recommend anyone thinking about taking classes to check this place out.

Nims Harris reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

We've been with McDonough ATA for a year now and the growth and positive changes we've seen are incredible. Our family have noticed the changes and have copied what we are doing in one way or another. Staff is great, friendly, and their families are a part of the Black Belt journey as well. Talk about putting your mouth where your money is. Gold Star

Callie Hamric reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

We absolutely adore this studio. My daughter is 4 and she loves her karate instructors and everything she learns! Today they learned about what to do if someone tries to kidnap them and I think it is absolutely wonderful that they teach this! The people are wonderful! I also am so happy that they are so accepting of all cultures. My daughter has two moms and they are more than welcoming of it!

Allison Knight Fedorowicz reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

My kids love ATA! My 7 year old is in the after-school program and begs to attend every camp and parents night out. A four-year-old has already told me he wants to join the after-school program next year when he starts kindergarten. They have both learned so much: martial arts, anti-bullying, self-defense, respect, discipline, and more. I love seeing the look of accomplishment on their faces every time they advance to the next belt. They love their instructors and the friends they have met along the way. What a great experience!

Krista Panick Crews reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

My son and I have been attending this school for about three years now. Great people, great curriculum, ATA rocks

Shelia Evans Gatlin reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
via Facebook

My son is 7 years old and last month marked one year he has been enrolled in classes. McDonough ATA is about so much more than learning cool karate moves. For example, the oath they begin and end class with..."I promise to be a good person, to have knowledge in my mind, honesty in my heart, strength in my body, and make good friends." McDonough ATA and the wonderful instructors reinforce everything (and more) that we are teaching our son at home. Core values...honesty, loyalty, manners, tolerance, commitment, perseverance, discipline, self-confidence, encouragement, empathy, citizenship...I could go on! Not to mention the friendships and bonds he has formed with his classmates...priceless. ATA McDonough excels in molding and creating good people to be our country's future leaders.

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Want to change the world and make a difference?  Want to win big at work, at fitness and at your relationships?  Let’s listen to Grand Master In Ho Lee’s advice and take a long look in the mirror because true change starts from within. Here are NINE ways to do it!


1. Name It

Before you can set out on any journey of self-improvement, whether at school, home or in Taekwondo class, it’s important to know what you’re striving for.  By setting specific goals, you set yourself up for success.

Once you’ve decided on what it is you want to achieve, write it down and establish a date of completion.  Then, make your goal public.

Grand Master In Ho says there are a number of ways to do this.  “For children, they can write down the goal and place in on the refrigerator or a mirror to see it regularly and serve as a reminder.  You can also share your goals with friends and teachers.  Even sharing your goal on social media is a way of expressing what you want to do and enlisting the support of others.”  He adds, “It keeps you accountable.”


2. Put Yourself First

Service to school, work, family and community are an important part of being a well-rounded person.  But if you only focus on the needs of others, your own goals will inevitably fall by the wayside.  Not only will you feel the sting of failure, your energy and drive will be depleted.

For Presiding Grand Master Nominee G.K. Lee, a busy schedule amidst preparing for his upcoming role, means creating a calendar that allows him time for all of the priorities in life.  “It is a must for me to make time for training, for my family and to travel to tournaments and seminars and meet with the people of Songahm.”  In recent months, Grand Master G.K. Lee has done specialized training in Korea, visited instructors throughout the U.S. and even squeezed in a Disney cruise with his children.  “Balance is the key to being a strong leader in all aspects of your life,” he explained.


3. Make a Plan

As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Therefore, once you’ve established what it is you want to do, make a detailed plan on how you are going to achieve it.  Whether it’s personal or professional, having daily steps outlined on your journey will help you stay focused amidst obstacles and will keep you motivated in the face of challenges.

“In my personal life, I set daily goals to reach my long-term goals,” says Grand Master In Ho Lee.  “My long-term goal is to be healthy both mentally and physically.  I get up every day and practice my Taekwondo and have a moment of meditation.  I admit there are days when it seems more difficult than others to be motivated to work out, but I always feel better and more accomplished when I do.”

4. Seek Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere.  If you love music, find a song that gets you excited while you do those burpees.  If you’re a reader, find books and authors that feed your desire to succeed.

For ATA martial artists, you can seek inspiration from Eternal Grand Master’s mantra, “Today Not Possible.  Tomorrow Possible.”

A true inspiration—whether a motto, song or person—will keep you focused on the endless options of tomorrow as long as you don’t give up today.


5. Eliminate Distractions

A distraction is anything that keeps you from reaching your goals.  Yes, this could even mean putting off binge-watching Netflix because you know you need that extra class before testing next weekend.

But it’s not just about Taekwondo goals.  Your martial arts training can actually help with reaching all of your goals.

“This is where martial arts discipline and life skills training comes in,” says Grand Master In Ho Lee.  “We learn as practitioners not to allow distractions to keep us from reaching our goals.  The focus and determination we build in the classroom helps to manage persistence so that we don’t lose track of what’s really important.  Those other things will still be there!”


6. Enlist Support

For Sr. Master Scott Skiles, when he set his goal to become a Chief Master, a lot of his preparation came from utilizing others in the Songahm community.

“When I was training for my 8th Degree testing, a crucial part of my regular schedule was incorporating my ATA family.  I was always taking advantage of workouts with fellow students and instructors.  Sometimes, it was just a call to my senior for encouragement.  That’s what’s great about the ATA network—they are always there to give you that kick in the…for motivation and to hold you accountable when you need it!”

In this day and age, it’s easy to reach out to your ATA worldwide friends for support.  Don’t be afraid to seek help through social media and other platforms to connect with others in this global hub of fellow martial artists.


7. Dig Deep

Whether you’re recovering from an injury, preparing for that midterm at Spring Nationals or putting in extra time to become State Champ, perseverance is the key to breaking through mental barriers you might encounter when trying to reach your goal.  And don’t be ashamed, we all have them.

“There will be times when you feel like you can’t go on,” says Grand Master In Ho Lee.  “Never give up.  There will be times you feel discouraged.  Never give up.  There will be times when you feel the goal is possibly too big to achieve.  Break that goal down into smaller goals and make it happen.  Just never give up!”


8. Renew

From school, to workouts, to family commitments and checking our smartphones, it seems that at times, every hour of the day is already accounted for in some way.  Even in the midst of the chaos, it’s essential to take time to recharge your batteries and assess your life goals.

Grand Master G.K. Lee says, “Work hard but also find times to play hard.  For every time you are going really fast and really hard, you must also find time to simply relax.”

And, he says, you don’t have to take trips to do so.  “It is amazing what regular meditation and Tai Chi can do for improving your mindset.  It will slow you down to regain the composure you need to stay on the right path toward success.”


9. Share Your Success

Want to know something?  YOU are an inspiration to others!  No matter your age or rank, someone out there looks up to you because you are an ATA martial artist.

Grand Master In Ho Lee explains, “You should feel a sense of pride about being part of the ATA.  It represents commitment and self-improvement.”

So, one way you can help others is by sharing your passion.  Being ATA Strong doesn’t mean building more muscle and powering through boards (though you can do that, also!).  ATA Strong is being a person who sets out to achieve their dreams, and once they do, they help others do it, too.

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