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Neighbors of DuPage

Patti Barnum is the fifth woman in ATA history to achieve the title of Chief Master Instructor

Sep 03, 2015 03:38PM ● By Neighbors Magazines

On July 8, American Taekwondo Association (ATA) Eighth Degree Black Belt Patti Barnum became the fifth woman in ATA history elevated to the rank of Chief Master Instructor. The ceremony was officiated by ATA Grand Master In Ho Lee, and overseen by ATA Grand Master Emeritus Soon Ho Lee.

Barnum’s path to Chief Master started more than 35 years ago when she signed-up for a six-week self-defense course at a local ATA school. Her enjoyment of the class led to more training and an eventual change of career to focus full-time on learning taekwondo and teaching it to others. She hasn’t looked back since.

Chief Master Barnum opened her location in Darien in 1994. While she enjoys being a small-business owner, her true passion comes from teaching. “I’ve lost track of the total number of students who have taken classes at my schools,” said Barnum. “Some join with their focus set on achieving their First Degree Black Belt and leave soon after completing that goal. With other students, it quickly becomes a family affair. I’ve had parents, siblings, and even grandparents sign-up to take classes together.”