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About the American Tae Kwon Do Association

August 23, 2023


logo of the American Taekwondo Association

Tae Kwon Do, which usually translates to " the way of the foot and the fist," is martial arts that originated in Korea.

Axon Martial Arts Academy is part of the American Taekwondo Association, ATA.

The ATA was founded  in 1969 by Eternal Grandmaster H. U. Lee, who was invited to the United States by his student who had been stationed at the Air Force base near his dojang.

Members of the ATA practice Songham Tae Kwon Do, a curriculum whose core consists of poom-sae or forms. A form is a series of planned movements . Eternal Grandmaster created the Songahm forms to better embody the strength and beauty of Tae Kwon Do.

Today, the ATA is the largest martial arts organization in the world. One of the reasons of its success is its continued pursuit to adapt to the changing world without losing sight of tradition.

icture of a pine tree in the foreground and mountains in the backgroudn
Chinese characters for pine tree and rock



"Songahm" means pine tree and rock. Pine trees that grow out of the harsh environment of rock cliffs are a testament to their strength and resilience.

H. U. Lee created  Songahm forms, for students to acquire and consolidate techniques in a systematic way to become well-trained martial artists.

In addition to martial arts technique, Songahm students learn what it means to persevere, to get back up after failing, to learn to handle successes, to be confident as well as humble, to take care of themselves as well as to be courteous to others.


Logo of Songahm style of Tae Kwon Do


This symmetrical 8-pointed star contains all the forms, or poomsei, of Sognahm Tae Kwon Do, from white belt to 9th degree Black Belt. Every poomsei traces a different path of the Songahm Star, but each one begins and ends at the enter.

Eternal Grandmaster H. U. Lee describes how it represents our days:

"Life has a center point.  The complete Songahm poomsei form a star with a center point and eight outer points, which create a circle if connected. Each day we live, completes a circle: we rise in the morning from our place of rest; then, we go through the day accomplishing our goals and overcoming obstacles; and, when evening comes, we return to our place of rest.

"Not only is the circle seen day to day, but also in our entire life. We come from the dust h and our bodies return to dust. During the span between birth and death, we move through life setting and accomplishing goals. This is the reason all forms begin and end at the same spot."

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