The strength of the ATA and Songahm Taekwondo comes from the strength of its people. Songahm founder, the late Grand Master H.U. Lee, knew he was not alone as he built the largest unified martial arts organization in the world. There were students, families, peers, and advisors who walked with him as he began to achieve his vision and dreams.
There are Songahm Chief Masters who were with Grand Master from the founding days of Songahm Taekwondo:
Chief Master Robert Allemier
the highest ranking American born Master
excels in ProTech training
Chief Master Robert Allemier’s journey to Songahm Taekwondo was not a direct route. He began his martial arts training at the age of 10 after his mother signed him up for self defense classes. Chief Master Allemier quickly excelled and the love of a lifetime was born. However, by 1968, his original instructor had passed away, and in his own words he “was a radical person on a bad path in the 1960’s. I had the wrong motivation for training and competing. I was at an open karate tournament in Phoenix and heard about a new instructor. In 1969 I read an article in Black Belt magazine about then Master H. U. Lee and Dick Reed, and how they had started the mid-west karate association, so I thought I’d give the number a call and go and check it out.”
In October 1969, he drove to Omaha, Nebraska and met Grand Master H.U. Lee. He recalls, “I had long hair, a bad attitude, and terrible technique. Grand Master Lee made me get a haircut, then put me through some very humbling workouts.” Chief Master Allemier was surprised by the respect and honor that the students and other instructors gave Grand Master H.U. Lee. “I knew that this was a different type of training than I’d received in the past.”
From the moment Grand Master H. U. Lee accepted Chief Master Allemier as a 19 year old kid with a bad attitude, his life changed. Over the years, he has experienced many testings, but his recollection of his testing for 2nd degree stands out. It was 1971 and he appeared before then Master H.U. Lee, then - Mr. Soon Ho Lee, and General Choi Hong Hi in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was apprehensive. “I was so nervous that my form was terrible but the worst was the board breaking, “he remembers. “My holders’ backs were to the judges’ table and when I kicked to break, I knocked the holders onto the table into all the judges.” The result? “Needless to say, I received a ‘NO CHANGE!’”
Since that testing, Chief Master Allemier has set and achieved many goals. He is an integral leader of the Protech unit of the ATA and has developed and taught weapons training and ground fighting. Over the years, he has many students the philosophy and art of Taekwondo and is currently responsible for thousands of active students training within the ATA. He has helped Junior Instructors become school owners and operators and Songahm Masters. “It is an incredible feeling to watch someone you have taught and trained participate in the Masters’ Ceremony and take on the mantle of mastership. It’s a humbling experience and awesome responsibility to know that you’ve made a difference in the world, and have impacted society by changing lives.”
Despite his busy ATA schedule, Chief Master Allemier remains very active in his community and is a member of two area Chambers of Commerce. His influence extends to various state and local police departments where he has helped develop effective defense tactics, women’s self-defense courses, and children’s awareness programs.
Chief Master Allemier’s dedication and loyalty to Taekwondo and the ATA are an inspiration to the Songahm family. In training, teaching and business, he reaches for the top, and makes a path for others to follow.
“We are the seeds of the vision of Songahm Taekwondo from
Grand Master H.U. Lee and we will see that vision grow in the future.”
- Chief Master Robert Allemier