With the passing of Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee in October 2000, ATA’s current leadership has taken up the torch of his inspirational guidance and leadership and ensured the values ATA was founded upon remain the focus for today and into the future.
In 2001, Grand Master Soon Ho Lee, after many trials and tests for the Grand Master title, was elevated to be our leader in Taekwondo and guides and focuses the Songahm Taekwondo style. Mrs. Sun C. Lee, wife of the late Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee and the ATA’s Chairman of the Board, continues the legacy of her husband by helping the youth of Songahm Taekwondo through her philanthropic efforts and devotion. Our leadership ensures that the ATA will continue to be one of the most innovative, effective, and widespread organizations in martial arts worldwide.
Grand Master Soon Ho Lee greets the challenges of his tremendous responsibilities with enthusiasm, optimism and diligence. He takes his role as the embodiment of Songahm Taekwondo’s noble virtues to heart, and understands that he is the ultimate role model for all ATA students, teachers, judges and competitors – everyone in the Songahm family. As he must be, Grand Master is living proof that the Songahm “life skills” and training system are truly effective. Maintaining the ability to execute, with pinpoint precision, the finest points of every stance, block, jump, strike, and kick in the system requires him to live with great self-control, self-discipline and self-denial. His travel itinerary is grueling by any standard, appearing at tournaments, rank testings, and training camps throughout the year. Grand Master endures the wear of travel to help grow his Songahm family, and to personally engage, educate and motivate members to reach further and achieve more. ”As long as we know there is always more to learn, anything is possible,” Grand Master Soon Ho Lee is fond of saying. A humble, determined spirit is typical of highly accomplished martial artists, who acknowledge the quest for self-improvement is worthwhile but without end. His humility is genuine, despite the vast expertise and prolific mastership of skills gained through a lifetime of study and hard work.
In 2010, Grand Master Soon Ho Lee decided to retire. To prepare for his retirement, a successor was chosen by the members of Songahm Taekwondo. Chief Master In Ho Lee was decided as the next Grand Master of Songahm Taekwondo. He prepared for the whole year as the previous Grand Masters had trained and groomed. These steps are the same as Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee and Grand Master Emeritus Soon Ho Lee endured.
In 2011, Chief Master In Ho Lee was inaugurated into Grand Master at the Inaugural Ceremonies during the World Championships. He performed a rigorous testing in front of thousands.
From its humble beginnings, today the ATA and its affiliated organizations is beginning to register over 300,000 members worldwide, including 60,000 black belts and 3,000 certified instructors.
In many ways, this is still just the beginning. We know the ATA has many wonderful surprises in store for Taekwondo in the United States and across the world. We hope you will journey with us as Songahm Taekwondo continues to evolve and improve to help students and masters do the same.