American Taekwondo Association | Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tae-Kwon-Do
Changing Destinies - Dr. Brett Gunnink - Student Leaders - Get Inspired - ATA Leadership NOW

ATA Leadership NOW

Get Inspired


Through my Taekwondo training I've learned how to defend myself, but as a Leadership student, I also received advanced lessons with traditional weapons. I never imagined that using something as simple as a Bo Staff could be so empowering! Although I hope I never have to defend myself against an attacker, I now have the confidence and ability to do so.
–Christina Morales, Brown Belt, 18 years old

Leadership Profiles

Dr. Brett Gunnink

  • 2nd Degree Black Belt
  • Level 1 Instructor Trainee, Cunningham's ATA
  • 2006 Black Belt of the Year
  • Civil Engineering department head, Montana State University
Black Belt Service Project:

Organized Board Break-A-Thon that raised enough funds to build an entire school for girls in a Pakistan village through Central Asia Institute (Sept 2006)

Why this Project:

"I met Greg (Mortenson, Director of the Central Asia Institute) over dinner at an ATA tournament. I learned about his remarkable story that evening, and later after reading his book 'Three Cups of Tea' I decided I wanted to help this guy!"

About this Project:

"We held the Break-A-Thon at a local mall and several businesses sponsored us. The entire school was involved, with students getting pledges for the boards they planned to break. Greg was there. We did pledge breaks and challenge breaks, and allowed spectators to break for a donation."

Favorite Taekwondo Benefits:

"Most important is that I always feel good after Taekwondo training. It is great stress relief and great fun. I love the challenge. I love the raw visceral feeling that accompanies a great round of sparring."

"I am a better martial artist as a result of teaching it to others."

About your Instructor:

"I number Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham among my favorite people. I greatly admire Mr. C's talents and accomplishments as a martial artist and as a persevering business owner. He has created a school and teaching environment that I very much want to be a part of. In my opinion that demonstrates great leadership."