The true ATA difference is the staff development. Although each location is independently owned and operated, the instruction staff is required to constantly undergo testing and recertification. They utilize nationally-tested best practices to bring the most effective teaching into the school and benefit your family.
Our instructors take their responsibility as role models seriously – teaching students the importance of leadership, strong character, and good values. Each instructor has over 10 years of taekwondo training and experience, in motivating students of all ages, ranks and fitness levels. They work with each student individually to tailor a program to best for their physical, mental, or developmental needs.
Our team knows that each student has a unique journey, because they are still traveling and training through theirs.
Mr. Peterson began training in ATA in 1987. Having had problems with bullies and confidence slipping, his parents enrolled him in the local ATA academy. With new friends, a lot of training and a new perspective, Brian achieved his black belt. After a hiatus to focus on education, he returned to ATA and was encouraged to pursue teaching. More than ten years later, the opportunity came to have his own school.
Mr. Peterson is now a fifth-degree black belt in Songahm Taekwondo, with multiple State and District Championships to his name. He has also competed a number of times for the title of World Champion, winning his first World Champ title in 2020 for Traditional Weapons. Aside from Songahm, Mr. Peterson is also a first-degree black belt in Haidong Gumdo and a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He is a nationally certified instructor, an assistant regional tournament team leader, and certified in Bully Prevention through the ATA’s program.
He lives in Somerset with his wife, two daughters and a number of animals that seem to keep increasing magically. You may see him sneaking away with a cup of coffee to read something, or training in order to achieve one of his goals – Master Instructor.
Ms. Sill, is a 4th degree black belt. She has been training since she was 7 years old. Originally, she did not want to do Taekwondo. Her cousin joined the local ATA school, and her grandfather pushed her to try at least one class. The rest was history. Before joining taekwondo, Ms. Sill was a very shy person who wouldn’t really like to participate in most activities, but with taekwondo she was able to find her own personality. For example, at the start, Ms. Sill wouldn’t want to talk to anyone, but by the time she was 12 years old she was already running classes by herself and teaching different ages. She joined ATA to build her confidence, self-esteem, and learn how to defend herself.
Ms. Sill is the program manager at RVATA. Her favorite thing about taekwondo are the various weapon choices. Her favorite weapons are the gumdo sword and nunchucks. Denise’s goal is to be certified in gun and knife defense and pressure point tactics.
Aside from taekwondo, Denise is an RN. She is a recent graduate of Middlesex County College Nursing Program, waiting to start her BSN at Chamberlain. Her goal is to be an operating room nurse or a forensic nurse. When not at taekwondo, she enjoys watching movies and going out to eat with family and friends. With so much going on, Denise still tries to find ways to keep taekwondo in her life even after training for 15 years.
Mr. Muzumdar is a 4th Degree Black Belt, and started taekwondo at the age of 6. His parents wanted to teach him self-defense, self-confidence, and leadership skills. He was the first member of the Old Bridge ATA Academy, where he eventually met Mr. Peterson and has been training with him ever since. During Neel’s freshman year at Rutgers University, he joined the RU TKD club and eventually became a coach and was on their most competitive intercollegiate team. To this day, he still trains with Rutgers TKD Alums.
Outside the dojahng, Mr. Muzumdar is currently a graduate student at his alma mater and manages multiple research projects for the Cardiac Neuroscience lab. He is a graduate student in kinesiology and physiology. He is studying to become a doctor.
On the weekends, Mr. Muzumdar is an avid netflix binger and enjoys his anime comics. His favorite thing about the fight scenes is that he can mostly recreate them at will.
Miss Eleana is a 3rd Degree black belt who has been training since she was 7 years old. She was first introduced to taekwondo when a friend brought her in for Buddy Day and has been training ever since. During college, she was both treasurer and competitor for the Rutgers Taekwondo team. Her favorite part of taekwondo is getting to use different weapons, especially while fighting.
What started off as a fun hobby, soon became much more. When she was younger she was very quiet and didn’t like to speak up in front of others. Through taekwondo and the leadership program, she has not only learned self-defense but also public speaking and how to become an instructor. At 12 years old, she began assisting and, soon after, running classes for the younger students. She is directly responsible for creating some of the drills we use in our ATA Tigers program.
Outside of taekwondo she recently graduated from Rutgers University and now works as a mechanical engineer. In her spare time she plays tabletop and video games with her friends, and reads a ton.
Ms. Schwiederek is a third degree black belt, and has been training since she was 8 years old. Ever since starting taekwondo, she has been helping with classes and competing. Her favorite thing about taekwondo is sparring because of the fast pace, and she has been very successful as a part of a nationally ranked sparring team.
Ms. Schwiederek came to ATA from another style of taekwondo and was hooked instantly. Adapting her style of sparring and movement to the Songahm style came with practice and effort, but also allowed Emily to succeed in places that others found difficult. She has truly become a leader for our school both on and off the mat. To the outside world, Emily is a teacher and is working toward her Masters Degree at Caldwell University. She has a unique background in special needs education and is the go-to authority for the staff.
When not at RVATA, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Even after nearly 2 decades, Emily still trains consistently every week. She feels that the stress outlet and benefits bring health and balance to her life.