New guy here, and I do ATA...

auxiliary

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Hey guys,

Thought I'd introduce myself. I was searching for something online and came across this forum and after reading a couple of posts thought I'd love to join. I hope I can give some feedback on what the ATA is, does, and operates. Currently I'm a third degree and testing for fourth at world championships in June.

Just so you guys know I got my black belt in WTF when I was a child, "Junior black belt", and then took a break and later came back to TKD in the ATA.

I currently run a "successful school" (In my eyes) and have been doing so for the past couple of years. Hopefully I can help some people out with ideas and what not. Of course, I hope I can also get help in continuing to grow and help my students.

Please, leave the ATA bashing for other threads, but like I said I am willing to answer any questions you guys may have about it.

Thanks!
 

andyjeffries

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Welcome to the board. I'm based in the UK, so I have no particular feelings regarding the ata, but I gather (from here) they have a bit of a reputation, so I'm looking forward to spectating at the inevitable debates.

Anyway, welcome mate!
 

IcemanSK

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Welcome to Martial Talk. It's good to have you here. I look forward to your input.
 

terryl965

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Welcome and enjoy the chats here. You will get ATA basher here simply because of alot of the things they do. I have had some come to my school never really doing any contact sparring which I simply do not understand, but that is them and maybe not you. I have had no positive experiences with the ATA in my area that being said I am sure there is alot of great schools out there.
 

StudentCarl

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Welcome. I studied at an ATA school 30 years ago and now attend a KKW school. I think the master matters much more than the organization, and look forward to your input here.

Carl
 

granfire

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Hi there.

It get's a bit heated from time to time, but never really unreasonable. We all hate bad TKD or instructors, regardless of the Organization. A good instructor is just that.

Welcome on board.
 

Twin Fist

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pretty much, if you're good, what group you are with doesnt matter.


if you are bad, same thing

problem is, ata turns out a lot of the latter. But if that isnt you or your school then it doesnt matter
 

seasoned

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Greetings and welcome aboard. We are more into content of character here at MT. Good dialog is a plus and opens the door for sharing, and exchanging of ideas, on a wide range of topics. Do hope you enjoy your stay here, see you around on the boards.
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SahBumNimRush

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Hi, welcome to MT! Always great to have another voice on the TKD forum (which is very active, and the most respectful TKD, KMA forum I've found). Look forward to hearing your input, and like many have just posted, it's not about the org, it's about the instructor.
 

msmitht

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Welcome to mt. I have had a few bad transfers from ata schools. I can't believe that they all suck as bad as the ata around me. Question: why don't they do contact sparring and give out black belts in 2 years?
 
OP
A

auxiliary

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Thanks everyone! I think the biggest thing people need to know is that the ATA is not a franchise, but is a license. I am sure most of you know the difference between the two, but that allows all the schools to be different. Main thing between us is that we use the same forms, our instructors are certified nationally, which is nice, and then of course the huge amount of tournaments that the ATA offers throughout the year. Trust me, I know there are plenty of them that aren't up to par. But, I also know there are a lot of other schools not affiliated with ATA that are just as bad, if not worse.
 
OP
A

auxiliary

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Welcome to mt. I have had a few bad transfers from ata schools. I can't believe that they all suck as bad as the ata around me. Question: why don't they do contact sparring and give out black belts in 2 years?


Every school is different. You can choose to rank test when you feel. Some schools may rank test every month, two months, or every 6 months. It's up the instructor at the school to decide. At my school it takes 3-3.5 years to be allowed to test for 1st degree.

We do contact sparring. The only thing we don't allow is punching to the face with color belts. ATA is developing a new sparring concept that they allow black belts to do at national events. (Spring Nationals, Fall Nationals, and Worlds) that is called Integrated Martial Arts. The sparring allows kicking below the waste, punching to the head, and take downs with 30 seconds on the ground before they have to stand back up. It's not "Point break" sparring but is a continuous 5 minute round (I think, maybe it's 3.) We've also started adding full contact stick fighting to some tournaments. Youtube, "ATA Combat Weapon Sparring." It's a blast to do.
 

granfire

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OH POOP, full contact stick? That's bad, man, in a good way.
We did stick for a while, we had the eternal giggles in class, but we never got far enough to go tournament (ITA gal here, once upon a time we sprung from the ATA)
 
OP
A

auxiliary

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http://ataonline.com/the_ring/standings/tourcurr.asp?vb=B23A&vf=

What does it take for a child, age 1 to 7 years, to achieve 3rd degree black belt in the ATA system?

Like I said, every school is different. At my school students don't even start earning "real rank" until they're 6. 4-6 year olds are in a Tiny Tiger program where they work towards a tiny tiger black belt which takes 18 months to complete. Once they get that they start junior classes at Orange belt which is our second class. Add 3 years to that for them to go from orange to black and then they're 9 years old at the YOUNGEST but also have 5 years in martial arts.

ATA use to have age requirements on 2nd degree which was 12 years old. They have since removed it and left it up to the school to have their own choice. You do have to be 18 to be promoted to 4th degree and there are also age requirements on becoming master (6th degree in ATA) but I'm not 100% what it is.

Most likely those students who are in the 1-7 2nd and 3rd degree are all 2nd degrees. ATA just groups 2nd and 3rd Degrees together for all competition at any age. You could have a student who started normal classes at 4 or 5, the school could have given them real rank of black belt by 6 at some schools. After they receive black belt then they have to have a minimum of 12 months at first degree before they get 2nd degree. At my school it's 18 months at first before second.

Hopefully that answers your question. There are a bunch of people training in ATA WORLD WIDE and there are only 6 of these "types" of students in the entire world on the Top Ten. So you can imagine it's not common.
 

terryl965

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This is why the ATA get so much riff, how can anybody that truely do a martial art let someone 7 or below be a 3rd or even a 2nd degree BB? This is just outrages and give any other adult bb that shaft.
 
OP
A

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This is why the ATA get so much riff, how can anybody that truely do a martial art let someone 7 or below be a 3rd or even a 2nd degree BB? This is just outrages and give any other adult bb that shaft.

My students do the exact same test tha adults do. The only difference is the board they break which is equal to their age. If they can complete the test and do so with a good grade, why hold them away from getting their black belt?

Black belt is an amazing goal to reach and is something to be very proud of. Why keep it from someone that's worked just as hard as someone that's older than them?

I look at this argument like religion. People already believe one thing and it's so hard for some to see another way.

Plus remember...there are over 35,000 people in the ATA. There are only 6 in this ring in the top ten. This is not normal maybe instructor kids....maybe younger brothers/sisters of students. Who have been around tkd ever since they could walk. Wish I could answer but honestly I don't know anyone who is in this situation personally. We have 8 schools in the area and nothing like this. But like I said all ATA schools are different. Don't blame the ATA, it's that schools instructor.
 

dancingalone

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But like I said all ATA schools are different. Don't blame the ATA, it's that schools instructor

You've got to admit if the parent organization, in this case ATA, permits it then they do bear some of the responsibility, regardless of any franchise vs. licensee distinction. It's a cop-out to blame everything on the individual school owners. Nationals has a brand to protect after all - it's up to them to maintain at least some modicum of credibility otherwise the entire group becomes tainted. I had understood that there was a movement of sorts at the organization leadership level to lead a charge to regain some rigor in promotional testing, particularly at Worlds.

Now to be fair however, plenty of TKD orgs permit BB promotions for children. ATA is not alone in this.
 
OP
A

auxiliary

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You've got to admit if the parent organization, in this case ATA, permits it then they do bear some of the responsibility, regardless of any franchise vs. licensee distinction. It's a cop-out to blame everything on the individual school owners. Nationals has a brand to protect after all - it's up to them to maintain at least some modicum of credibility otherwise the entire group becomes tainted. I had understood that there was a movement of sorts at the organization leadership level to lead a charge to regain some rigor in promotional testing, particularly at Worlds.

Now to be fair however, plenty of TKD orgs permit BB promotions for children. ATA is not alone in this.

ATA has started at the top on trying to keep the high ranks looking like high ranks. I have personally trained with a lot of the higher ranks, 8th degrees and grand master a hand full of times, and I can tell you those guys are not slouches. The amount of people that fail for 4th degree and above is high. For 4th degree you have to test at a national event. They are really trying to keep the people that aren't up to par in their place. That with the new physical test helps. The test is push ups, sit ups, kicks, combinations, and punches which you have to get a total of 300 or above to pass. Not that hard if you're in shape, but if not it's an easy way to filter the people out who should and should not test. A lot of school owners I have talked to have started doing this at their own school for students testing just for first degree.
 

dancingalone

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ATA has started at the top on trying to keep the high ranks looking like high ranks. I have personally trained with a lot of the higher ranks, 8th degrees and grand master a hand full of times, and I can tell you those guys are not slouches. The amount of people that fail for 4th degree and above is high. For 4th degree you have to test at a national event. They are really trying to keep the people that aren't up to par in their place. That with the new physical test helps. The test is push ups, sit ups, kicks, combinations, and punches which you have to get a total of 300 or above to pass. Not that hard if you're in shape, but if not it's an easy way to filter the people out who should and should not test. A lot of school owners I have talked to have started doing this at their own school for students testing just for first degree.

I'm all for physical fitness. I would like to see even 2nd and 3rd candidates be tested elsewhere than their home dojang under different examiners. This would go a long ways to making the pass/fail rate more honest.
 

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