Tracy Lee Thomas

Chief Master Instructor T. L. Thomas

8th Degree Black belt
ATA Chief Master

Changing Lives ATA Martial Arts founder, Chief Master Thomas opened the first Changing Lives Academy of Martial Arts in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1991 after four years in the military. As a 8th Degree Black Belt and Chief Master in the ATA, Chief Master Thomas operates four locations in Hampton Roads. Working hard to Change Lives and bring the ATA awareness with members within our community he has become a City Wide “Partners In Education” with the public school system.


  • Chief Master Thomas was born in Cudahy, Wisconsin.
  • He began training in the ATA at age 13 in Racine, Wisconsin.
  • Opened his first school at age 17.
  • In 1985 he moved to Valdosta, Georgia and took the position of a Chief Instructor of a Martial Arts School and fitness center.
  • In 1987 he joined the United States Navy and served most of his military career overseas.
  • He opened his first ATA martial arts academy in Virginia Beach in 1991 beginning his lifelong passion to teach Taekwondo, Karate and other Martial Arts in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia.


  • On September 11th, 2001 Chief Master Thomas was certified by Krav Maga World Wide as an Instructor. Krav Maga is an Israeli fighting system.
  • In June of, 2003, after meeting all of the requirements and certifications, the ATA dubbed T. L. Thomas an ATA Master of the American Taekwondo Association.
  • Chief Master Thomas was dubbed and ATA Chief Master in 2016, one year after obtaining his 8th Degree Black Belt.
  • Changing Lives Martial Arts is a training facility for martial arts of all ages.
  • Global Certification for training the trainer in Martial Arts
  • President/CEO CL Research & Development
  • Business Consultant Coach and Marketing Strategist
  • National Master Instructor for ATA Instructor Certification Camps
  • Seminar Speaker since 1991
  • Developed the Professional Instructor Course Curriculum on Martial Arts-Business-Operations systems