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    American Taekwondo World Championships coming to Little Rock

    6:32 AM, Jul 9, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- More than 20,000 people in Little Rock this week for the American Taekwondo World Championships. People from 17 countries and five continents will be here for the martial arts action.

    Master Sean Smith with Arkansas ATA Martial Arts - Bowman stopped by "THV 11 This Morning" to talk more about the event as well as two demonstrators.

    The 2013 ATA World Expo conference will be held in Little Rock, Ark. July 8-14 at the Statehouse Convention Center.  The ATA event ranks as the largest annual convention in Little Rock.

    The economic impact of the event is around $5 million between Little Rock and surrounding communities 

    The Top Ten highest ranking Songahm martial artists will vie for the title of World Champion in the following categories: traditional forms, traditional weapons, point sparring, ATA-Xtreme open hand and weapons, creative open hand and weapons, and combat weapons sparring

    This year's World Ceremony will be held at Verizon Arena on Saturday, July 13 at 7 p.m. Main attractions will include the team competitions and the traditional Masters Ceremony. 

    Competition and the World Ceremony are open to the public. You can purchase a 3-day pass for $10, children 5 and under are free.

    American Taekwondo Association Facts:

    • The American Taekwondo Association was founded by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee in 1969

    • Since 1977, ATA has been internationally headquartered in Little Rock, Ark.

    • ATA is the single largest martial arts organization in North America dedicated to the discipline of Taekwondo

    • Songahm Taekwondo is the style of Taekwondo taught by ATA instructors; Songahm translates from Korean to mean "pine tree and rock"

    • There are currently more than 300,000 members of ATA and its affiliates worldwide

    • ATA and its affiliates have over 1,200 individually owned and operated schools and clubs in over 20 countries

    • Students of all ages train in the ATA - those as young as age 3 and even seniors in their nineties

    • ATA also welcomes students of all cognitive and physical special abilities

    • ATA promotes the philosophy of Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee "Today not possible, tomorrow possible."

    • Mrs. Sun C. Lee, widow of Eternal Grand Master Lee serves as chairman of the board for the ATA; the organization's current Grand Master is Grand Master In Ho Lee

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