This year my 4-year-old daughter declared that she wanted to be a ninja ~ by Adrienne Schroeder

July 12, 2013

Posted By: Shaunescy

This year my 4-year-old daughter declared that she wanted to be a ninja when she grew up.  Ever the supportive mom, I suggested we check out some martial arts classes for her.  I’ve always told my kids they can be whatever they want… I have a couple of friends whose children take Tae Kwon Do from Cunningham’s ATA Martial Arts so I decided to check it out.  We observed a class and my daughter was totally into it so we signed up right away.  She’s been at it for a few months now and she loves it.  (And she looks so cute in her uniform I can hardly stand it.)

I’ve completely enjoyed watching my daughter in her Tiny Tigers class.  The kids are adorable, they are learning about respect and setting goals, they’re exercising and empowering themselves.  It’s great.

I recently had the opportunity to observe a black belt class and it was amazing.   I’m used to watching a beginners class with 4-7 year olds.  The black belt class was impressive.  Those students were kicking and jumping and sparring with such skill and agility.  They were one focused group of teens.

In fact, two of Cunningham's ATA Martial Arts students took first place in their divisions at the American Taekwondo Association Northwest District Championships on June 1st and are heading to World Championships this month.  Ben Jorgensen won the sparring competition in the boys’ first-degree black belt 12-14 year-old division.

Their other competitor won traditional and creative weapons for the women’s first-degree black belt 60+ division.  Aside from Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham, this is the first time Bozeman ATA students have ever qualified to compete for the title of "world champion". The Songahmstyle World Championships will be held in Little Rock, AR, on July 13 and will attract competitors from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

On July 26 & 27, Cunningham's ATA Martial Arts is hosting its second regional tournament, called "The Big Sky Showdown".  Competitors from Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah will compete, along with others from around the Northwest.  Our guest will be Grand Master In Ho Lee, 9th degree black belt and head of Songahm-style taekwondo worldwide. We believe this is the first time the leader of an international martial arts organization has ever visited Montana.  The tournament will be held on July 26 & 27 with the main competition being held at MSU's Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Saturday the 27th.

After watching a black belt class recently, I would venture to say the tournament is going to be pretty cool to watch.  I have no doubt your kids will think it’s very cool.

For additional information about the tournament or classes in general, you can check out Cunningham’s ATA Marshal Arts website at or you can reach them at 556-8792.


Adrienne has a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell.  You can check out her blog at

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