Purple Belt
Mar 24, 2003
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Fargo, ND
I would definately recommend the WTF school, I have never been impressed with any ATA school.

Depending on the instructor, some WTF schools are very traditional and not as much sport. I train WTF in Fargo.

Do you know who the instructor is?


Purple Belt
Feb 28, 2006
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North Dakota
Minot huh? Alright another fellow North Dakotan on the board! Greetings from Fargo!

I am sure you have or will visit each school. Usually you cacn tell pretty quick after a school visit where you belong. Most schools worth their weight will let you try classes free for "x" number of classes. You could do it as a family or you could go yourself and decide (sometimes schools focus on "fun" for the kids instead of training so the kids want to go to school A, but school B may be a better school training wise).

Congrats on your decision to train. We have a couple of families at our school and they are awesome to work with. Good luck and keep us posted!


White Belt
Jun 18, 2022
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As I stated earlier I'm new. So I hope this is the proper place to post.

I took WTF as a kid and loved it, but had to leave due to money reasons. My family and I are currently enrolled in ATA. We don't have many choices up here in Minot North Dakota so I have 4 styles to choose from.
We have ATA and WTF (TKD). We have a guy who has a "Karate" school who claims he really teaches a style of Kung Fu called Sou Shou (spelling?), and a Hapkido school.

Hapkido is not an option for my family, kids are young and the wife has had brain surgery recently. The "Karate" school set me off by the owners demeanor and confusion over what he claims to teach. Karate and Kungfu are two very different styles. ATA and WTF seem the only two viable options left.

I am wondering who has had experience in each, and can you help me with me delima between WTF and ATA.

ATA seems watered down and very weak. They have a 2 yr black belt program which bothers me. I am an old school kind of guy. When my family puts on a black belt I would expect them to defend themselves properly and effectively. I am not expecting them to be stone killers.

I am in the military and believe "you train like you fight". ATA seems to be soft and cuddly not wanting to offend. Martial arts means a "way of fighting" the last time I checked. I am not trying to come off like some sort of brawler, I am just looking for information and knowledge. I hope all this makes sense.

Thank you,
ATA has negative and positive. Test- annoy! When we are in Black Belt Degrees 2. 2 years. Have to take test each 2 months - pay for test. From White stripe, orange, yellow, camo, green, blue, brown, red, silver and black stripe then move to Degrees 3. I hate weapons. Weapons have variety forms. Test for degrees 4 that you have to go National to out state for mid-test and test. I have been at WTF many years. I tried ATA. They are so friendly. I love Combat sparring. Im not going take degrees 4.

J. Pickard

Blue Belt
Jun 8, 2020
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ATA seems watered down and very weak. They have a 2 yr black belt program which bothers me
it is not unheard of, but isn't too common, for Kukkiwon practitioners to get a black belt in just over a year, really it's about hours trained. Choi got 1st dan in Karate in 1939, only one year after moving to Japan, Ed Sell got a 4th dan in TKD in late1965, only 2 years after he started his TKD training. The important thing to note is that these men were training martial arts 6-7 days a week from sunup to sundown. For reference WTF (now WT) is not a style nor is it a governing body for rank progression. World Taekwondo is purely the governing body for the sport of Taekwondo and it's rank and curriculum is dictated by the Kukkiwon in Seoul.

That being said, there are equally as many (arguably more) watered down KKW schools as there is ATA. Every association has its bad schools and its good schools. The best course of action is to first decide why you want to train in the first place. Second visit as many schools as you need to find a school that will give you what you are looking for without breaking the bank. There is no wrong reason for wanting to train but not all schools can accommodate all reasons
The "Karate" school set me off by the owners demeanor and confusion over what he claims to teach.
This is purely for marketing. Karate is a well known term associated with martial arts training so if you want to get new students in the door then advertising "karate" and then explaining your style once they are in the door is definitely the way to go. It used to be Judo way back when, then Kung fu for a while, now it's "karate". It's necessary if you are running a for profit school to make sure you can get new students in the door.