Our Town Crete: Martial arts inspires entire Crete family

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CRETE, Neb. — In Crete, the ATA in ATA Martial Arts stands for “Always Take Action.”

That's is where a Dorcehster native is busy creating tomorrow's leaders, one black belt at a time.

Jack Cochnar is a 5th degree black belt, and knows exactly why his martial arts business has thrived over the past 11 years.

"Family, and not just my immediate family, but our ATA family," Cochnar said.

After all, family is what got him involved in taekwondo in the first place.

"It started with our oldest son. He was eight years old and he was getting picked on in school, getting bullied, so I decided to look for a martial arts school where he could get some training and become more confident in himself," Cochnar said.

Crete ATA did the trick. So much in fact, that Cochnar bought the business 11 years ago.

Today, three generations of his family teach and train at ATA Martial Arts.

In addition to Cochnar's oldest son, Michael, prospering from taekwondo, his youngest son, Nathan, and oldest daughter, Valerie, are now benefiting as well.

“As a kid, I was kinda shy and it kind of helped me grow a little more with my confidence and talking to people and meeting people from other states," Valerie Cochnar said.

That passion also led Cochnar's youngest daughter, Alyssa, to become a four-time world champion.

"It really allows you to express yourself and like try different things,” Alyssa Cochnar said. “It's a cross between like dance, the martial arts, tricking.”

Classes are offered all year long at ATA, and Cochnar urges anyone who is interested to get involved.