ATA West Chester’s Jouan earns title Master

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Master Maria Jouan of ATA West Chester.

WEST CHESTER — While literature is full of cautions about serving two masters, a local taekwondo dojo is now actually able to boast about being one of the few in the region with two teaching Masters in house.

On Wednesday, June 21, Maria Jouan achieved a goal she had been working towards for her entire martial arts career at the American Taekwondo Association World Championships in Little Rock, Ark.

She earned the title of Master Instructor in the Songham style of taekwondo with the ATA. Master Maria Jouan is the co-owner of ATA Martial Arts of West Chester located in Bradford Plaza along with her husband, Master Marc Jouan.

In order to be eligible to begin the year long Mastership process, Maria had to achieve the rank of 6th degree black belt at which point she became a Master Candidate.

As a candidate, she had to show that she had met the rigorous training requirements necessary to be accepted and begin her journey as a Master Nominee. Once a nominee, Maria Jouan spent the following year training physically and mentally to prepare for the final leg of the Mastership journey, a week of training with the other Master nominees at the headquarters of the ATA in Little Rock.

The final ceremony is held at the ATA gate and garden, also in Little Rock. Here the inductees go through the last steps and are inducted as Master Instructors by the Grand Master of the American Taekwondo Association. Although only open for attendance in person by those attaining the title of Master or higher, the event was live streamed, to allow family, friends and students to watch live, as many did in the Chester County area.

Many from the ATA West Chester family note they are honored to have not one, but two Master Instructors to learn from. It is a rarity for a school to have such a high ranking instructor team.

They also point out that they are especially proud that Master Maria Jouan is only the fourth female master in the Northeast US, from Maine to Maryland. Her strength and dedication make her an incredible role model for girls and young women in our community.

The students and instructors at the dojo said that Master Maria Jouan continues to make them proud as they learn from her and are privileged to train alongside her.

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