Little Rock, AR, Local ATA Center, Once A Refuge, Fails Children 2015
Making a Difference - Determination beats Impossibility
Chief Master Anderson
Today, I learned about a modern day hero. This hero lives in my City. Chief Master Anderson is the hero, and Anderson's Tae Kwon Do & Physical Fitness Center is the place where future heroes are being made.
One day, several years ago, Mr. Anderson got a call from Arkansas. He was living in a comfortable place in Michigan. He owned several Martial Arts facilities, and he was comfortable financially. He said, "this is the type of call you answer!, you don't hang up, and you don't ignore it, I knew where that call came from"
He was called to go to Little Rock, Arkansas. This 'call' or spiritual voice told him, "there are kids dying over the color of tennis shoes in that town". It is true, Arkansas has some of the worst poverty in the nation and the inner-city kids, only had small wishes that could never be fulfilled by normal means. Not an excuse for violence, just an understanding of how desperate poverty makes people.
As an aside, Chief Master Anderson started life in abject poverty. His family used to wait behind the grocery store, for the food that was not fit to sell, so they could eat. At 9 years of age, he promised his mother that the "Anderson name" would be in lights - after years of ATA Martial Arts training, he did succeed in owning several Martial Arts Centers in Michigan and Indiana. His family name was in lights and he kept his promise to his mother. She was the one who urged him to listen to that call.
After the first six months after Mr. Anderson arrived in Arkansas he was broke. He would accept kids into his program, then only have the parents need to drop out in a couple of months, because they could not afford to keep them in the program.
Chief Master Anderson kept the kids without pay, figuring out ways to bring dignity to the kids and parents, by giving them tasks and jobs to do. He continued to teach them without pay. Kids who had been flirting with being in a gang, or had been involved in gang activity, get hooked because they want to learn how to "kick butt".
They soon found out a new world, they learned to travel outside of their city. They realized the their world could go past the Little Rock City signs. They take trips to Las Vegas and to other places for Martial Arts tournaments and meets. The kids found out there is something different in this world besides killing and dying.
In 2010, the TaeKwando Center had 140 students. In the past 2-3 years they have had 60 students graduate from High School and College.
Chief Master Anderson has had to depend on the kindness of others and the Grace of God to supply needs for this facility. Why would any person continue in a place where they have to pay to help students continue? Why? According to Chief Master Anderson, "If you see a child's eyes go from dark to light, all of a sudden he can win a trophy, and all of a sudden he becomes a black belt ...That is why!"
In 2010, Mr. Anderson became Chief Master Anderson. This is not only because of his own martial arts abilities, it is because he has and continues to do noble work. He gives selflessly. He has been awarded Arkansan of the Year twice. Oddly enough, this doesn't come with any type of monetary award. (How about a Scholarship or 2 for his students to College?)
He has given many children and families in Little Rock an avenue to change their own destination and destiny. It is amazing to me how some of the most powerful movements in our world are done on a string and a prayer. Involvement, and determination to help fund and promote a program or mission of this caliber, is what is needed today.
Anderson's TaeKwon do & Physical Fitness Center has had to move several times. At present, they have the use of an Auto Dealership that moved from their location on University Avenue, in Little Rock. The expenses for fixing it up were paid for by Chief Master Anderson.
I am thankful for another kind person, who showed me this modern day Hero. Hundreds, probably thousands of people have been changed and helped, by this one man's desire to make a difference.
Today, there are children attending school who are not on the street corner thinking about making their stripes in a gang. There are less children killing children, and now - because of a man willing and able to Answer "that call". The world has been given future leaders, physicians and public servants.
Thank you Chief Master Anderson for answering that Clarion Call. I hope that you are the person I took you for, and you answer the allegations publicly that have been levied against the center.
In The News - 2015
It is sad to note that the ATA TaeKwando center in Little Rock made the news in the past few days. I am curious as well to what has occurred here. Where there are children and adults paired in the same place, there is a possibility that abuse will transpire.
I know the man who was named as a perpetrator in the news was not Chief Anderson, but it is his center and he will be held as responsible for the maltreatment of children, even if he did not partake. It is his center.
It saddens me to see something good turned into a thing horrible and despised.
Updates to follow as more is learned.
No Response From Master Anderson
- Taekwondo instructor arrested for beating kids, lawsuit filed
On Friday, a lawsuit against the Anderson Taekwondo Center in Little Rock gave insight into alleged corporal punishment against a 4-year-old boy.
Tae Kwon Do and the ATA over 39 years
Chief Master Richard E. Anderson, the highest ranking African American out of almost 400,000 members of the ATA, WTTU and STF organizations, is the pulse behind "Camp Positive". He has been involved with Tae Kwon Do and the ATA for over 39 years.
Chief Master Anderson has dedicated his life to helping inner city youth. "Camp Positive" is a program that reaches out to children from all walks of life. His school is mainly students who come from single parent homes, raised by grandparents or guardians with little or no income. He provides them with a positive path to gain self confidence in themselves and a stable support system in their lives. He does this by implementing the well known motto of "Each One, Teach One". He also believes "It Takes A Village To Raise A Child". Chief Master Anderson and the instructors at Anderson's Tae Kwon Do Center (ATC) reach out to one child, youth or family and give those individuals life lessons. These individuals are then able AND willing to teach other children, youth and those around them that there is a positive alternative than the streets.
There will be a whole generation lost unless someone steps in to make a difference.His first tournament in Little Rock, he jumped over 2 motorcycles, and breaking boards, join him, today he is over 60, and he is going to attempt this feat once again. (See the Video Below)
ATA World Championships Held in Little Rock
Sr. Master Anderson - Board Break Over Motorcycles - 2010 (2013 Below)
Anderson Taekwondo Webpage
- Home Page - Anderson Tae Kwondo
This webpage gives a lot of information of programs offered. If you want to be a part, just follow your heart...
Little Rock Nominates Anderson A Hero
Little Rock, Arkansas
19th Street Posse was entrenched in the neighborhood off of Main Street Little Rock, for many years.
5909 S University Ave, Little Rock, AR 72209 (501) 375-5507
Senior Master Anderson
© 2010 Lori J Latimer
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