A Life Renewed Through Martial Arts


Frederick’s ATA is home to a spectacular martial arts program in Helena, Montana. Owned by two-time ATA World Champion, Mrs. Elena Frederick, she and her team of instructors, provide a safe and fun learning environment for students and families.

One of the most beloved ATA instructors of Frederick’s ATA is Mr. Devo Lewis. Devo is a 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, and teaches the Tiny Tigers program alongside Mrs. Elena. Devo has also earned his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is currently serving in the National Guard, recently completing 15 years of military service.

Devo’s infectious personality and sense of humor give the students of the Tiny Tigers and Juniors’ Programs a sense of calm. Jillian Pritchard is the mother of two daughters, and aunt of a niece, and two nephews active in Frederick’s ATA programs. When reflecting on Devo’s teaching ability, Jillian stated, “Mr. Devo treats the children like family. If a student is having a rough day, he notices. He is amazing at giving pep talks or just going over some key components of the students’ studies to help ensure they can achieve their goals.”

With Devo’s enthusiasm and passion for teaching, many may be surprised to learn that Devo has battled depression for years. In 2010, at the age of 24, Devo deployed to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division. Devo states: “I was practically by myself throughout most of my deployment. I had so much going on. Prior to leaving for Afghanistan, I was fighting with family members, dealing with difficult leadership, and had fallen into debt.” While deployed in Afghanistan, everything seemed to be getting worse for him. Devo recently commented on his personal demons, “I felt so depressed, and had reached the point of considering suicide as my only option. At the time, I felt that I had no purpose in life. I thought I was a joke and wasting my existence…”

After returning from Afghanistan, Devo was still struggling with life. “I faced a life-changing decision. I could either go back to Cleveland, still being in the wrong state of mind and knowing I could end up doing something that would get me into trouble, or I could find a change of scenery.” In 2012, Devo left active duty and joined the Montana National Guard. “When I finally got settled into my new home in Kalispell, Montana, I was looking for something new in my life. That’s when I found SBG gym. I met the owners of SBG, Travis and Kisa Davison, and my studies in martial arts began. I trained under Travis for 3 years in Jiu-Jitsu before moving to Helena and earning my Blue Belt.

It wasn’t until 2016 when Devo finally got his breakthrough. “I first met Mrs. Elena while I was doing Judo at her school. I knew immediately that there was something special about her school. Frederick’s ATA reminded me so much of SBG. The school’s environment gave me the same vibe I got while training under Travis.” Devo officially joined ATA on his 32nd birthday and has been training with Mrs. Elena ever since. During his time with Frederick’s ATA, Devo has earned a number of Taekwondo honors, including two State Championships, two District Championships and a National Championship. On his 34th birthday, Devo was awarded his 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.

“Being a champion from the state to the national level was huge for me, but earning my Black Belt means so much more than winning championships has brought me. I’ve worked day in and day out, and when I finally got my belt I was like, ‘Man, I can’t believe this is now mine to wear.’ With my passion and love of martial arts, I have finally been able to reclaim my life, and have the confidence to share my story with others in hopes I can help others facing similar demons.” From a guy who came so close to ending everything, to now being a living symbol of perseverance, Devo is not just a champion in the ring, but a champion in the hearts of his friends, family, students and most importantly, himself. His story shows that no matter where you’re at in life or what you’ve gone through, you can Make It Possible. 

Back to Newsroom

The 2021 Virtual Spring National Results Are In!

Tiffany Haag and Northwest Austin ATA


2021 Spring Nationals Update – March 4, 2021

Anecke Viljoen and the Traditional Taekwondo Academy

Press Release: February 19, 2021

Faith Clevenger and Summit Martial Arts

Press Release: February 9, 2021

Letter From The Tournament Department - February 2, 2021

2021 Spring Nationals Update - January 22, 2021

2021 Spring Nationals Update - January 19, 2021

Press Release: December 22, 2020

Letter from the Masters’ Council: December 2, 2020

Press Release: December 1, 2020

Press Release: November 25, 2020

Press Release: November 16, 2020

Press Release: November 13, 2020

The 2020 Wolrds Results Are In!

Press Release: October 9, 2020

Press Release: October 6, 2020

Press Release: August 31, 2020

ATA HQ Tournament Update: August 20, 2020

Press Release: August 11, 2020

Press Release: July 23, 2020

Press Release: July 22, 2020

Press Release: July 17, 2020

The 2020 Spring National Results Are In!

Clean the Clutter

Power Me Up with Bananas

Not A Morning Person


Master of Discipline


To The Letter

Student Spotlight

Healthy Heart Tips

The 2019 Fall Nationals Results Are In!

New Thanksgiving Traditions

Choosing To Be Happy

Eternal Grand Master’s Legacy

A Life Renewed Through Martial Arts

What Exactly is Self-Esteem?


Policy Letters

Smart Snacks

The 2019 Worlds Results Are In!

Super Senior: Robert McGee

Heart of a Champion

ATA’s “Super Ken”

Make It Possible

Keep Calm

The 2019 Spring Nationals Results Are In!

Songahm Superfoods

Don’t Stop Believing…In Yourself!

Flexibility Facts

Martial Hearts

Discipline Yourself

Change Yourself First!

Winter Checklist

Arm Yourself for Martial Arts

Happy Thanksgiving

The 2018 Fall Nationals Results Are In!

Buddy Up!

How To Build Endurance

Food for Thought

Honesty It Is Still the Best Policy

Watch Your Tech Etiquette

Get That Black Belt Attitude

Protein Prescription

Happy ATA Founder’s Month!

Find the JOY in YOU

Balance Yourself

9 Fast Facts About Presiding Grand Master Nominee G.K. Lee

Mind Your Manners

Train For Speed

Songahm Superfoods

Better Together

WE18 Results

Join the Journey


Proudly at Peace

A Worldly Experience

9 Hot and Healthy Summertime Habits

ATA Official Facebook Frames

History is Made by Four Songahm Legends

Presiding Grand Master Nomination Announcement

Break Like A Master


Grand Master In Ho Lee Passes the Torch for the Future

Road Ready


Mind Body Spirit

Tournaments 101

Ready for Worlds!

All in the Mind

ATA Leadership and Life Skills Excellence

Packing a Punch

You Better Believe It!

How To: Improve Your Core Strength

Got Calcium?

The 2018 Spring Nationals Results Are In!

Ready for Routine

Carbs: The Good, The Bad, The Complex

How To: Master Your Test

Dynamite Discipline

Don't Forget!

How To: Crank Up Your Cardio

Snow Day

ATA Students Know: There’s Always More to Learn

The Masters' Council Presents: ATA Unity Workout

Spring Nationals Hotel Stay Giveaway!

How To: Create A Team Sparring Success Story

Urgent Tournament Bulletin: The ATA Tournament Standings have been updated!

9 Ways to Develop Self Control

How To: Master The Sword

As Natural as Breathing

Results are in!

Thank you, Veterans!

Rev Up Your Reading

How To: Get Your Kicks

Self-Esteem: The Leadership Life Skill that Starts Within You

Check out Marvel's Inhumans, starring one of ATA's own...

2017 Worlds Mid-Term & Rank Testing Results

The 2017 Spring Nationals Mid-Term & Rank Testing Results Are In!

One of ATA's very own is on the big screen!

"Utah Boy with Autism Wins World Title in Taekwondo: 'I Cannot Wait to See What the Future Holds for Him,' Says Mom" - People

"ATA Taekwondo championships return to Little Rock" - THV11

"ATA International To Locate Headquarters In Little Rock, Arkansas" - Area Development

"H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden" - Atlas Obsurca

News Release: ATA International breaks ground for new World Headquarters

Back To Top