Digital Original: 73-year-old with black belt creates martial arts class for seniors


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – For five decades, the American Taekwondo Association International has been changing lives through martial arts – and it’s not just for kids.

At 73-years-old, Chief Master Al Dilegge is an 8th-degree black belt.

He says he saw a need for longtime members, like himself, to get training.

“What we are trying to do is saying if you can continue doing Taekwondo you can keep being active and working out. You’ll stay forever young,” explains Dilegge.

The “super senior” training course is called Forever Young and is for those 60 and older.

“This is the first year we have this,” says Dilegge.

Unlike the fast paced, high intensity moves most commonly seen in the sport – “Forever Young” courses are modified for the individual and their body, explains Dilegge.

“My body has changed,” says Dilegge. “I simply just make the changes for it.”

The 2019 ATA World Expo is a week-long martial arts convention that attracts competitors from across the globe while bringing thousands of visitors to downtown Little Rock.

The event is open to the public and will run through the weekend.

For more information about 2019 ATA World, click here.

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