An estimated 20,000 people, including visitors from most U.S. states as well as South Africa, South America, Europe and South Korea,
will attend a week of Taekwondo competition and training when the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) hosts its 23rd annual World Expo conference July 8-14 in Greater Little Rock.
The week of World Championships will be filled with martial arts seminars, special training sessions, exciting tournament competition, and the elaborate World Ceremony. This year’s World Ceremony will be held Saturday, July 13 at Verizon Arena at 7 p.m.
The theme for this year’s World Ceremony is “ATA Strong Worldwide” and will feature international competitors, Masters and martial arts pioneers from all corners of the globe. History will be celebrated through the traditional Master’s Ceremony, honoring and recognizing the life-long journeys of Songahm Masters. The team competition will feature the top scoring teams who competed throughout the year and earned a spot to demonstrate their high-flying stunts and performance martial arts in a quest to be named first in the world.
This year, ATA is introducing a new competition at the World Ceremony- the Worldwide Sparring Competition. Audience members will be thrilled to see the combat sparring with competitors from around the world representing their countries. The 2012 Pan-Am Champion, Team USA, will put their speed and accuracy to the test as they vie for the first ever Worldwide Champion title! For those interested, tickets are available through
For competitors, these championship events mark the culmination of a year of hard work at regional and national ATA tournaments to earn a coveted spot among the Top 10 students in their respective divisions. Students will compete in divisions based on age and belt rank. They will demonstrate their skills in traditional forms, weapons, sparring, creative and ATA-Xtreme open-hand forms and weapons, and combat weapons sparring.
These competitions will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center. Top Ten will be held Friday, July 12 and is free to the public. For more information about ATA or the Songahm Taekwondo World Championships, visit ATAonline.com