American Taekwondo Association | Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tae-Kwon-Do
Scientific prospects for extending human life span are good - Fitness - ATA Leadership NOW

ATA Leadership NOW

VIP Zone


My son loves Leadership. It makes him feel special to be a part of such an elite program. He proudly wears his Leadership uniform and uses the cool items with the Leadership logo. As a Mom, I love the difference I've seen in him. Leadership is such a beneficial investment!
– Alicia Jones, mother of 7-year-old Tyler Jones

From ATA World Volume 19, Number 3 Fall 2012

Cole Peterson was born in 2003, prematurely and with a unilateral cleft lip and palate and one intact nostril. He endured three surgeries his first year. He has had eight surgeries since birth.

In July 2011, Cole underwent bone graft surgery. Bone was harvested from his hip and inserted in his cleft palate; his nostril was also reconstructed. The transplant rejected, requiring a subsequent operation. Cole was not allowed to run, bike, swim, play Wii, or practice Taekwondo during recovery.

Cole resumed normal activity in October and prepared for the Chicago tournament. He took first place in Forms, Weapons, and Sparring but later contracted mononucleosis. Cole’s spleen swelled, and Taekwondo was again restricted for two months.

Once healthy, Cole practiced and competed. He earned Top Ten in Forms, Weapons, and Sparring, becoming three-time Ohio State Champ. To prepare Cole for Worlds, Mentor ATA instructors worked privately with him. Through positive teaching and endless encouragement, Cole was ready.

On June 19, Cole underwent oral surgery. The day after, Cole and his dad drove 14 hours to Arkansas.

At the Top Ten competition, Cole competed well in Forms and Weapons, but excelled in Sparring. He beat three talented boys, including two prior World Champs, to become World Champion in Sparring.

Cole is the epitome of ATA Strong. Through determination and perseverance, he fought hard to overcome medical procedures, sickness, and limited training time to win.

David and Christina Peterson
Mentor, Ohio