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Today's Family Magazine

Mentor ATA Martial Arts builds confidence and develops important life skills

By Laura Lytle

Kids and adults can build confidence, achieve personal goals, gain perseverance, and stay fit by training at Mentor ATA Martial Arts and Karate for Kids, an associate school of American Taekwondo Association – one of the largest taekwondo organizations in the United States.

When Jason Gehring, co-owner of Mentor ATA Martial Arts, was a kid he struggled to find the right sport.  But after seeing the original Ninja Turtles movie at the theater with his mom he knew that he had to try martial arts.

“I begged her for weeks to sign me up for martial arts classes.  I had tried other sports and quit, but I stuck with it.  I trained through school and joined the tournament circuit during college – where I met Jason Ratay.  A few years later we were both teaching and decided to team up, move back to my hometown (Mentor) and start Mentor ATA Martial Arts,” said Gehring.

“It’s amazing to consider where we started and where we are today, 15 years later… our move into our current 4,500 sq. ft. studio was a big change. However, I am most proud of our students, some of which now own ATA Martial Arts studios.  Its very rewarding to see their commitment and talent develop to a point where they’ve helped us expand into five schools across Cleveland,” added Gehring.

Mentor ATA has affiliate schools in Chardon, Twinsburg, Avon Lake and Westlake, led by former students.

ATA Martial Arts is more than just kicks and punches; it inspires strength, discipline, confidence and focus in its students while encouraging them to find their inner leader.

All of the male and female instructors are not only great teachers, but also talented martial artists themselves, holding national awards and world titles.  Each instructor must complete hundreds of hours of teaching and certification testing to join the ATA Martial Arts team.

“Our kids are valuable treasures.  We teach much more than the physical elements of martial arts, it also gives students a place to get away and become part of something bigger then themselves,” added Gehring.  “As a parent myself, I know the challenges of raising confident and focused children in an age where there are more distractions than ever.  It’s not what we teach but how we teach it that makes our program stand apart.  We are helping develop tomorrow’s leaders.”

Karate for Kids program is divided into two groups, both of which teach the fundamentals of martial arts.  ATA Tigers is for students ages 4–6 years old while Karate for Kids is for more developed students, ages 7–12 years old.

Mentor ATA Martial Arts will also host birthday parties for children ages 5–12 years old.  Kids can enjoy games that teach courtesy and respect while having a fun-filled time in a martial arts class followed by pizza and cake.

Individuals interested in training and self-defense can meet the instructors and try out a class any day of the week at Mentor ATA Martial Arts at 1900 Mentor Avenue in Painesville Township, or call 440-354-9944.

New student special offers are often posted online at and

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