LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The American Taekwondo Association kicks off its annual world championships and many competitors say they're involved because of bullying.
Taekwondo Instructor Kathy Lee says, "As a kid, I would call my mom to try to take her lunch break late so she could pick me up from school. She realized it was a long time doing that and she couldn't keep doing it. I ended up knowing the best thing to do was to get me involved in Taekwondo."
CJ Burton is a fourth grader and used to be bullied. "They would call me names and be mean to me and I got sick of it," says Burton.
Burton is a red belt and will test for his black belt next year.
"Whenever someone tries to pick on me, I know what to do," says Burton.
Burton's mother, Nikki Walton, says she would advise any parent to enroll their child in taekwondo. "His [Burton] attitude towards things has changed tremendously," says Walton.
The ATA, which is the largest annual convention in Little Rock, is expecting as many as 20,000 combined competitors from almost 20 different countries.