About Us

American Sabumnim Association (ASA) is a global network of traditional martial arts teachers who are committed to four goals:

  1. Ensure high professional standards within the martial arts industry
  2. Increase public awareness of the benefits of traditional martial arts
  3. Enhance the business management skills of martial arts school staff
  4. Stive to be the very best teachers of martial arts

Ensure high professional standards

No regulatory body oversees the martial arts industry, which results in diverse performance levels between martial arts schools. We address this problem by setting high standards for our ASA member schools in the categories of safety, cleanliness, skills in teaching kids and families, and professionalism.

ASA offers a number of certifications that provide evidence that a martial arts school meets ASA’s demanding standards.

Increase public awareness

Currently, less than 3% of the US population practices martial arts. As traditional martial arts teachers, we understand that martial arts is the very best activity for kids and families — but the vast majority of Americans have no idea what our sport is all about.

Our goal to make traditional martial arts the #1 activity for kids and families in the U.S.

Enhance business management skills

Two skills make for a great experience for kids and families who participate in martial arts: 1) professional martial arts instruction and 2) professional management of school operations. Often martial arts school owners are outstanding at #1 but lacking in #2.

Our goal is to ensure that ASA member’s staff have excellent business management skills.

Strive to be the very best teachers of martial arts

To become an ASA member school, a school owner must already be an outstanding teacher of one the traditional martial arts that’s focused on kids and families (e.g. taekwondo).

Our goal is to make them even better teachers — thus the use of sabumnim in the title of our organization. In ancient Korea, “Sa Bum” meant “teacher like father” and “Nim” was a suffix added to other titles that meant respect. In modern days, sabumnim means master instructor or, more literally, “someone who teaches good moral values and how to be a light of society.”


Our members gather at an annual meeting to get updated on the ASA martial arts school standards and to learn how to best manage their schools and become better martial arts teachers. Then, throughout the year, they maintain their membership by accessing educational resources on ASA’s private online membership site, attending webinars and conference calls, and interacting with other ASA members on a private Facebook group.

ASA members are committed to providing the very best martial arts experience for their students.

Learn About Becoming A Sponsor of ASA