Monday, December 18, 2017

'Twas the Night Before the Tournament

By Holly Madayag, 1st dan,


‘Twas the night before the tournament,
And all through the school
Students were practicing poomse,
Staying calm, staying cool.

The trophies were placed
On the head table with care,
With hopes of Grand Champion
Filling the air.

The instructors were busy
With final preparations for the show
And hoping that this would be
The absolute finest demo!

Judges checking scorecards
Scorekeepers checking time;
The band practicing lyrics
To ensure all words rhyme.

Then from one of the rings
There rose such a kihap;
That it made even the top-bleacher spectators
Turn, Look and then Stop.

The Black Belt division
Was about to begin;
No better way to start the competition
Than to watch an amazing Yul Shin.

When, what to our wondering eyes
Should appear,
But the clocks spinning forward to morning
The Superbowl is here!

With students checking in
And ring stands holding steady;
No snow stopping us today
We are all chunbi ready!

More rapid than eagles
The competitors they came
And they bowed and they stretched and
They did jumping jacks with no shame!

On Hana! On Dul!
On Set and Net!
Students rushed to their rings
Shouting, “Yes, Sir!” you can bet.

And then in a twinkling,
I heard my name on the speaker
It was my turn to spar
And I started feeling weaker.

As I drew in my breath
And was turning around,
My fiercest competitor
Made not a sound.

He was dressed all in white
From his head to his foot
He checked his handpads, his headgear
His mouthpiece, his boot.

We spoke not a word
But went straight to the bow
Which made me feel more relaxed
And stronger, somehow.

A number of techniques he had mastered
I knew.
So I just kept my feet moving
And, to my training, stayed true.

And then, in a twinkling,
I heard in my head
The CTI motto -
I had nothing to dread.

We exchanged various kicks
Each worth two points – they were smooth
But he got me with the reverse punch –
Our bread and butter move!

I was happy with the outcome
It was just like a test
Give 100%, work hard and just

We gathered at the end of the day
As we’re accustomed to
To congratulate each other
For all that we do.

It is then that we realize
That winners we all are;
Moo Sul Kwan is our art
And with that, we’ll go far!

We loaded our cars and
And drove out of sight;
Ho Shin leaves us feeling proud -
We’ll all sleep well tonight!

Monday, December 4, 2017

19th Lee H. Park Team Championships

The 19th Lee H. Park Championships was a complete, outstanding day of competition, demonstrations, learning and fun!  372 Moo Sul Kwan martial art students and instructors celebrated our 9th CTI Hanmadang at Alameda International Junior/Senior High School in Lakewood, Colorado.

The LHP Team Championships is a day of peace and celebration of Moo Sul Kwan and founder Great Grandmaster Lee H. Park.   There were exciting competitions for all belt levels and ages in;  Team Poomse, Team One-Step Sparring, Team Breaking, Team Staff and more like the Most Kicks in a CTI Minute and CTI Basic Challenge and more!

Four martial arts women doing a Taekwondo poomseThe day began at 7:00 AM with black belt meetings followed by black belt team competitions.  First up was Black Belt Team Poomse followed by Team Staff competition, Team One-Step Sparring and Team Breaking.  When the second group arrived, the under black belt competitions began.  To start with, the National Anthem was sung by black belts Michael and Doug Sandusky and all of the MSK black belts and spectators.  Then the many teams from across the CTI competed in Poomse, One-Step Sparring, Breaking, and the always dynamic, Creative Basics competition.  This year's Team Creative Basics were performed to the song "Santa's Beard" by the Beach Boys.  Incredibly, the very full day was over before 3:30 PM, with everyone happy and exhausted!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Food For Change

By Sarah Luper, red belt

Taekwondo students helping at local food bank

Being part of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute also means being part of the larger community. During the 11th annual CTI Food and Clothing Drive a hard working group of students went out to local neighborhoods and collected items for those who are less fortunate. 

That morning, our large group gathered at the Green Mountain Campus despite the chilly forecast.   Everyone was excited to get out and collect as many items as possible. Everyone was paired up with a driver and some younger students. After each group had been assigned a section of neighborhoods, we all set out. 

It was so much fun to see our junior students so excited to go out and collect food to help those outside of our school. The little ones in our group were especially excited to be near their own neighborhoods. They wanted  to have a competition to see which group in our car could collect the most items.  I agreed, but of course they wanted to pick the teams. 

Because of their self-control and respectfulness, we mostly let the younger girls do the talking at the houses. They were very good at telling people where we were from and what items we needed.  Even near the end of the morning when everyone was getting tired, our  group was still upbeat, positive and trying to squeeze in every last house.

When we got back to the Green Mountain Campus, I was amazed at how much food people had collected. When our car pulled in, there were already mountains of cans scattered throughout the parking lot. As other groups returned with their bounty of items, everyone would rush up and grab armfuls to be sorted into piles. After everyone had returned, we all began to load the food up and deliver it to the King's Cupboard Food Bank. We also sorted more for the Jeffco Action Center. Contributing to this large task made me think of all the people we were able to help.  It was definitely the highlight of my month.               

Thursday, November 9, 2017

CTI Students - Leaders in their Community

By Lynne Deane, red belt

In general, an effective leader breeds an organization of followers with like qualities.  For good or ill.  A leader with compassion, empathy, and ethics will draw to them and build an organization that works towards a positive goal complimentary to those traits.  Leaders who breed followers by intimidation and bullying will breed an organization of bullies.  Both can be effective in getting their way – but as an organization working for the good of the community, it is imperative why the CTI promotes effective leaders of good.

Colorado Taekwondo Institute - martial arts instruction for students of all agesWith so many distractions and focus on the negative, the CTI student has a real potential to positively impact their community, their class, their work environment, or wherever they interact with people.  CTI students need to be leaders in their community to promote a positive impact on that community.   A lot can be done with leadership by example.  A CTI student, younger or older, can lead their peers by being a good example and by being proactive when it comes time to helping the class or work environment, and also by going above and beyond with activities such as volunteering.

As a result, we all benefit from the CTI student taking on a positive leadership role and the school’s credibility grows and with that grows the school’s potential future impact.  The CTI student’s positive impact on their community is a positive donation to the karma bank – which implies that only good can come of it for all impacted.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wild Horses

By Eric Evans, 2nd dan

It is not everyday you get a chance to drive out to the country in Colorado, and help out on a ranch.  Recently, the Moo Sul Kwan Black Belt Team did precisely that.  It was a great experience and we were able to give our help and show our appreciation for someone who has done so much for our Moo Sul Kwan family.  If you have been to a Camp MSK, you know that we owe all the great food and planning to Cindy.  Thank you Cindy!

Cindy started out the day by giving us a tour which included some of the history and challenges she has faced since purchasing the property.  We were introduced to the multiple chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, 4 horses and her cow.  Two of the horses are wild rescues and are Mother / Daughter.  They are beautiful. It was then time for the 25+ black belts to get to work.

Black belt martial artists helping out by doing community serviceA team set out to teardown and stack the irrigation line that ran across 3 sections of the property.  We had no idea what we were doing, but after a little trial and error we found a good pace and had the piping stacked up in no time.  At some point during our adventure a couple of the ducks were loose and group of had a great time chasing them around.

One of the other teams set out to demolish the overgrown garden.  It is amazing how quickly such a daunting task can be accomplished when a group of people with good leadership are set to it.  The group tore into the weeds and brought down the old fence in record time.  They celebrated with a large bonfire leaving the weeds and tree limbs  in a nice ash pile.

At one point some of the team was seen riding bareback around the property.  The horses were given quite the workout that day.  The cow was even given a special treat.  We had to push and drag that cow out of its comfortable stall.  She did not want to leave her “safe place.”  But after we drug her into the field, she was prancing around, jumping and trying to get the attention of all the neighbor cows.  It reminded me of how students must sometimes feel.  There are times their parents must drag them kicking and screaming.  Once they are in one of our dynamic classes, they are happy, punching, kicking and enjoying themselves.

Yet another group was set to shovel the horse and cow stalls into what seemed like 70 wheelbarrow fulls of what Greely calls the smell of money.  Only a few mishaps with the wheelbarrow occurred and the team was smiling ear to ear at the end.  Mr. Orton came prepared with his chainsaw to make short work of tree trimming one of the other black belts found his calling with the organization of the barn workbench tools, nuts, bolts and miscellaneous items.

After loading up the trailer a team was off to the dump.  The trip was largely uneventful, but we did get to know each other a little more.  At the dump we were slightly concerned that we may have to restrain Mr. Scott and remove any of the ‘small treasures’ he might find there.  The team then continued on to clean out a storage unit and return the items to Cindy and her kids.

Cindy served a wonderful lunch for the entire team and we finished the day off watching our master instructors construct an engineering feat.  Cindy would no longer need to drag a hose from trough to trough.  The group had created a watering system that could be used to fill all the troughs at the same time.

In all it was a very successful day.  It was a great example of how big of an impact we can have on our community.  Our 11th Annual CTI Food and Clothing Drive is another example.  We had the chance to recently fill the food banks and give hope to those in our communities that need it the most.

We can make a difference. What may take a single person weeks or months to accomplish, we can knock out in a single morning!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Family at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute

By Courtney Moen, green belt

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute is a family martial art school

At the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, many families go there to learn self-defense, compete, and have fun.  When you train with your family, you have a best friend(s) there to help you learn and understand things, while also teaching the other.  This could be better because you get to have more practice at home with someone else, so you can figure out more things you need to fix from another's eyes.

As a student at CTI who goes with my sister I can say that I definitely feel like I remember more things when we get home and practice.  Training with family is also a bit more of a fun experience, because you can learn alongside your younger or older siblings or parents, and you are treated the same.  You are the same age.  You all learn the same thing eventually.

The best thing is definitely when you can see the progress that you have all made.  It really does show.  You not only learn self-defense, but you also get a better personality.  Respect, Integrity, and humility can be seen in your family when training at CTI.  You can see the progress that you have made, you are proud.  Not only of what you did, but how your family did, even if they did get a higher score on a test or tournament.

Colorado Taekwondo Institute also bonds your family.  The people you think you know the most about come out with new strengths and weaknesses, and being a family, you help fuel the strengths and fix the weaknesses, as they do you.  After a while that younger or older sibling you thought you hated becomes your best friend and you want nothing more than to watch them succeed and make them proud with your own accomplishments. CTI helps build a better relationship with everyone, because here, we are all family.end.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Black Belt Symposium a Smash!

Martial artists at MSK Black Belt Symposium in Granby, COThe 22nd Moo Sul Kwan Black Belt Symposium took place October 13 - 15 at The Inn at SilverCreek in Granby, Colorado.  The largest symposium group ever assembled, spent the intensive three day weekend training in classes and seminars on Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts.  The special weekend, devoted to the training of Moo Sul Kwan black, red and brown belts, was the 22nd straight year that black and brown belt students got together in the mountains for their own special weekend.

Training in sparring, poomse, one-step sparring, breaking, tournament judging, teaching concepts and much more were covered.  Classes began on Friday evening and concluded on Sunday at noon.  Each day started out with a 6:00 AM workout with Grandmaster Sautel, followed by classes until lunch time.  After lunch and some group photos, excellent afternoon classes took place. 

In the evening, the Symposium Banquet started promptly at 6:00 PM.
Great food and fun entertainment provided by the black belts made for an excellent evening.  There was music, games and even a stand-up comedian performing to the delight of the crowd!

On Sunday, everyone was up early working hard in the pre-dawn workout and the many classes that followed.  Everyone pushed hard till the very end - which was sparring - where they pushed even harder!

The theme of this year's MSK Black Belt Symposium was - "Back to the Future III".  Focus was on the foundation of Moo Sul Kwan martial arts and the principles of movement and strategy.  The Symposium teaching Staff led by Grandmaster James M. Sautel included excellent leaders; Mindy Sautel, 6th dan, John Sautel, 6th dan, Erik Albrechtson, 6th dan, Alice Meyung, 5th dan, Clayton Garner, 5th dan, Andy McDaniel, 4th dan, Dustin Wheeler, 4th dan, Abdu Kikhia, 4th dan, Bridget Sautel, 4th dan, Brian Steward, 4th dan and Brian Steward, 4th dan.