Our instructors offer the finest instruction possible. All ATA instructors go through a multi-year certification process under a Master Instructor. Instructors are required to take continuing education courses in instruction, child development, martial arts techniques, and more. Every staff member and volunteer has been background checked and are all CPR and First Aid certified.
Master Melissa Bilyeu
Chief ATA Certified Instructors – As a 6th Degree Black Belt Melissa Bilyeu began her martial arts training in 1999 at Texas A&M University of Commerce. She graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Music Education and still holds a teacher certification by the State of Texas. She was awarded the title of Master Instructor in 2018.
Mrs. Bilyeu won two World Championships in 2017 and 2018. She is a 16-time Texas State Champion and a 7- time South District Champion. She won the World Bronze Medal in 2002, 2015, and 2016, and the World Silver Medal in Creative Weapons in 2016. She has been awarded the Regional Trainee Instructor of the Year in 2002 as well as the Regional Appreciation Award twice.
She holds certifications in in ATA Legacy, ATA Tigers, ATA Leadership, Olveus Bully Prevention, Protech Gum Do (katana sword), 3-section bo staff (Sam Don Bahng), Dragon Wind Staff, Oh Sung Do (broadsword) Levels 1 and 2, Single Ssahng Jeol Bahng (nunchuku), Double Ssahng Joel Bahng, Single Bahng Mahng Ee (stick), mid range Bo Staff, and Ssahng Nats (kamas)
Mr. Daron Bilyeu
Chief ATA Certified Instructors – Black Collar – As a 4th Degree Black Belt Daron Bilyeu came to martial arts as an adult in 2004 while serving as a youth and music minister. A graduate of Indiana State University, he holds a degree in Music and a Master’s Degree in Education at Texas A&M University in Commerce. During the day, he teaches music and theatre for Pioneer Technology and Arts Academy in Greenville.
Mr. Bilyeu has won the Texas State Championship in 2022, 2020, 2019, 2009, & 2007, as well seven Southern USA District Championships. He has qualified for the Songahm World Tournament of Champions 20 times in his career, winning two silver medals and a bronze in 2022.
Mr. Bilyeu is certified in the Israeli Self-Defense program Krav Maga through ATA Krav Maga under Chief Master Daniel Longoria. Mr. Bilyeu holds certifications in Olveus Bully Prevention, Three Section Bo Staff, Protech Jee Pahng Ee (cane), Ground Fighting Level 1, Long Range Bo Staff, Single Bahng Mahng Ee, and Ssahng Nat
Ms. Harleigh Stegient
Certified Instructor – 3rd Degree Black Belt – Ms. Stegient has been training since the age of eight. She is currently a student at Texas A&M University-Commerce as well as Songahm University program through Lee College. She is a member of Team USA 2023 for and will compete with the National Team. She has won two World Bronze Medals (2018, 2022), seven Southern US District Championships, as well as multiple Texas State Championships. She was awarded the All-Out Award at the 2022 Team ATA-USA Athlete Development Camp.
Ms. Karisma Stegient
Intern – 3rd Degree Black Belt – Ms. Karisma Stegient is one of the first student interns through the ATA’s Songahm University Program. Upon completion of the program, she will graduate with an Associate’s Degree in Taekwondo and Business from Lee College in Houston. She has been training in ATA Martial Arts since the age of 3. Ms. Stegient won the World Bronze Medal in Combat Sparring in 2021 as well as the South US District Championship in 2021 and 2022. She was a Texas State Champion in 2015, 2021, and 2022.
As well as being a quality martial artist and instructor, Ms. Stegient is a Varsity level athlete in high school and a talented soprano singer in choir.
Ms. Tayler Wilson-Calhoun
Intern – 3rd Degree Black Belt – Ms. Wilson-Calhoun is one of the first student interns through the ATA’s Songahm University Program. Upon completion of the program, she will graduate with an Associate’s Degree in Taekwondo and Business from Lee College in Baytown, TX. Ms. Wilson-Calhoun has been on staff since 2020, specializing in the ATA Tigers Program. She has won two bronze medals at the Southern US District Championship Tournament.
Program Manager – 4th Degree Black Belt – Ms. McMackin was previously the owner and head instructor, now she is the program and desk manager. She is a two-time World Champion (2016, 2018) and multi-time South US District and Texas State Champion. She was recently awarded her 25 year service pin by ATA International Headquarters.