Excel Martial Arts Warrenton, MO

About ATA Martial Arts - Warrenton, MO

ATA Martial Arts - Warrenton, MO is independently owned and operated by the Van Horn Family of Warrenton, MO. We love sharing Martial Arts with our Warrenton Community!!



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.

ATA International Leadership

  • Grand Master M.K. Lee is a 9th Degree Black Belt, and the presiding Grand Master nominee of ATA International.

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.

More about Martial Arts...

Taekwondo is a Korean Martial Art.  The literal translation of Taekwondo means The Way of the Fist and Foot.  Taekwondo was originally influenced heavily by Japanese Karate.  Many Taekwondo Grandmasters used the term Karate when bringing their art to the U.S. realizing Taekwondo was a word unfamiliar to the average person.  People continue to refer to Taekwondo generically as Karate, even though Taekwondo is an Art in its own right with its own theories, applications, and belt ranking system.  Taekwondo is characterized by its its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques.  Excel Martial Arts teaches Songahm Taekwondo. 

Hapkido is also a Korean Martial Art.  The literal translation of Hapkido means "the way of coordinated power" or "the way of harmony".  Hapkido is a highly eclectic Korean Martial Art in the sense that Hapkido borrows techniques from other martial arts.  Taekwondo is different from Hapkido and the two Martial Arts have different testing requirements and a different color belt system even though some of the joint locks, pressure point strikes, and kicking techniques are found in both Taekwondo and Hapkido.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s Taekwondo became the world’s most popular martial art practiced and still maintains an extremely high degree of popularity worldwide.  Taekwondo has developed a very inclusive culture and belief that a Taekwondo Lifestyle can change the world and make it a better place.  Taekwondo practitioners often enjoy friendly competition and many enjoy and admire the athleticism that is derived from a healthy tournament circuit.  Excel Martial Arts is the only Martial Arts school in the Warren County area that provides access to ATA's World Class Tournament Circuit.  For those looking for a chance to test their skills in a friendly and safe environment, there are opportunities to compete in Missouri, across the country, and even out of country.  There is a HUGE Martial Arts community outside of Warrenton, and tournaments are a great way to get involved and see the bigger picture.

Warrenton, MO Location


 Excel Martial Arts is independently owned and operated by the Van Horn Family of Warrenton, MO. 

phone: 314-83E-XCEL   314-833-9235
facebook: ata.warrenton