Press Release: November 25, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2020
Chief Executive Officer
ATA Announces Formation of its New Songahm Masters’ LATAM Council
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS (November 25, 2020) – ATA International, the world’s largest organization dedicated to teaching martial arts to the entire family and with licensed locations across the globe, is pleased to announce that the Songahm Masters’ Council has put in place a Songahm Masters’ Latin American (LATAM) Advisory Council to work directly with the Masters’ Council in the United States.
The Masters’ Council nominated Chief Master Vincent Raimondi to be the link between the two councils. Raimondi said, “The future is bright as we work to bring all regions of the world closer together and accelerate our global expansion to help spread Songahm Taekwondo.”
Chief Master Raimondi and the LATAM Council issued the following announcement on November 16, 2020, to its school owners regarding the testing and rank advancement procedures:
As of the date of this communication, all Black Belt and Collar Level (levels of instruction) examinations must be carried out only with the approval of the official representative of each country, following the standards and directives that they determine in their respective countries. Only the Official ATA Representatives of each country have the power to authorize the dates and places of such examinations. All exam reports must be made only through each country’s Official Representatives, who in turn must send the corresponding report to ATA International Headquarters for the issuance of the corresponding certificates. ATA International will not process any examination report that has not been expressly authorized by each country’s Official Representative.
The LATAM Council will provide guidance to all active ATA schools in Latin America. Any National Tournament held in Latin America must have an official sanction from ATA International, which will be granted based on the advice of the LATAM Council. Additionally, any midterms or rank testings in Latin America for third-degree black belts and above shall only be conducted in accordance with policies established by ATA on the recommendation of the Masters' Council and the LATAM Council. Midterms and rank testings for students below the rank of third-degree must be approved by the Official Representatives in each country.
The Official Representatives of the Songahm Latin America Advisory Council are:
- Brazil: Senior Master Ademar Andrade and Senior Master Ricardo Plentz
- Paraguay: Senior Master Marcelo Ferrer
- Argentina: Senior Master Agustín Spiess
- Chile (Colombia, Panamá, México): Senior Master Claudio Sotomayor
- Uruguay: Senior Master Alexis Cabrera
- Peru: Master Guillermo Gutiérrez
Due to the special situation of this year with the pandemic generated by Covid-19, it has been determined that the high ranking exams (4th degree and above), as well as the Certification and Re-Certification of Instructors (Black Collars) exams that already had the complete requirements and the examination request (application) previously approved by the Latin American Council of Teachers and by ATA International, may be carried out during the national exams in their respective countries. This is an extraordinary measure and as of 2021, the normal procedure for the presentation and approval of high ranking exams during the Pan American Tournament or Congress of Instructors and during the World Championship will be reinstated.
“On behalf of ATA International, I want to express our gratitude to Chief Master Raimondi and the members of the LATAM Council. We look forward to the future and bringing all the regions closer together,” said Neil Morton, CEO of ATA International.
About ATA International
The ATA was founded in 1969 by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee. The organization is internationally headquartered in Little Rock, AR and has called the state capital home since 1977. With active membership approaching 300,000 worldwide, ATA is North America’s largest martial arts organization dedicated to the discipline of Taekwondo. ATA is a pioneer in the martial arts industry because of its unique Songahm style curriculum.
For more information about ATA, visit www.ataonline.com.