From ATA World Volume 20,
Number 2 Ė Summer 2013
L. Taekwon Lee literally grew up in ATA, the youngest son of Eternal Grand
Master H.U. and Sun Lee. A reluctant warrior, he first resisted participating in
martial arts as a young child until he shed his shyness, became a World
Champion, and built confidence through Taekwondo. Now a
Master Nominee, Lee serves as executive producer of the World Ceremony, as well as director of media and communications for ATA.
What does it mean to you to become a Master?
My childhood dream was to be a Master. I looked up to Chief Master M.K. Lee, and when he became a Master that was something I wanted to be. Now that itís upon me, Iím learning that itís so much more than being able to kick and punch. It represents who you are Ė leading by example, taking the right path, and doing whatís right for your juniors, your instructors, your family and friends. I thought that it would be the culmination of everything I would want to be, yet Iím realizing itís just the first step in a much longer journey.
What was it like to grow up in the storied Lee family?
It just made them human to me. Knowing them personally and being part of their family and seeing their success and their faults in an unencumbered perspective Ė I know that anything is possible. I can achieve anything by being the best I can be, knowing Iím human as well and that I will make mistakes. I can overcome those mistakes by continuing to have perseverance and by having the heart that my uncles and father have had.
How do you describe your familyís legacy?
They have had to sacrifice a lot to help people grow and succeed. Thatís something in their heart Ė their care, their desire for everyone to succeed. Thatís something that has motivated me and made me want to become better. You have to change yourself first, and there is always more to learn.
What would your father think of the World Expo today?
I think he would be very proud that we have expanded the training. Our event schedule has 30 different training seminars, and we are continually teaching our ATA school owners how to better their businesses and themselves. Part of his vision was to see the ATA live past him, and I think we did that by inaugurating two other Grand Masters. Weíre growing and thriving in our third generation of leadership. ATA
Editorís Note: Mr. Lee earned the title of ďMasterĒ at the 2013 World Ceremony in Little Rock, Arkansas.