Earlier this month, I spent three days photographing the 2014 American Taekwondo Association's World Tournament. The word Taekwondo itself is made up of three Chinese/Korean words: Tae, meaning to kick or jump; Kwon, meaning fist or hand; and Do, which means "the way." Loosely (if not literally), it can be thought of as "The Way of the Hand and Foot." You can read more about the history of the ATA and its founders by going here.Little Rock has been the home of the ATA World Tournament. For the past two years, I've photographed the ATA World Tournament for Arkansas Business Publishing Group and for the ATA. Taekwondo and the ATA is a sport and an organization that crosses all ages, races, and nationalities. This years World Tournament drew more than 20,000 participants from around the state, across the country and from as far away as The Easter Islands. The Chileans showed their national pride by competing in traditional face paint. ATA even has divisions for those with physical and developmental disabilities. It's truly a sport that spans multiple generations in many families. I've seen grandmothers and their grandchildren participate on the same day.
The ATA is a wonderful organization and I cannot stress enough how much its members love participating in this sport.
Below are just a few highlights from The Masters Ceremony and the 2014 American Taekwondo Association's World Tournament.