Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Very Special Flag

Last Camp MSK, each of the Campers wrote a letter to a former Moo Sul Kwan brown belt and one of GM Sautel's first students at his first teaching assignment, the Perryville MSK.  His name is Robert Jones and he is now a Lt. Colonel.

Col. Jones was serving in Iraq at the time of the letter writing. Every few days a few letters were mailed to Col. Jones and the impact on him and his fellow soldiers was enough for them to send us a very special flag.

At Camp MSK '11 during the final demos for our parents, family members and friends, Master William R. Jones, brother of Col. Jones, presented this special flag and a plaque explaining the situation.

The plaque reads:
Flag of the United States of America
Presented to
The Students of Colorado Taekwondo Institute
This American Flag was flown over the Al Faw Palace, Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq, during Operation New Dawn on Veteran's Day 2010.  Thank you for your support of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen presently deployed.
Joseph R. Allen, CSM, USA  Command Sergeant Major, United States Forces - Iraq
Lloyd J. Austin III, Commanding General, United States Forces - Iraq

Monday, June 20, 2011


Girl Performing a Kick
Tournaments are a perfect opportunity to make friends, become better with technique and form, and show everyone what you have learned! Imagine a boisterous gym full of kihaps (korean for yell) and power.  A CTI tournament is both a place for competition and fun.  Here you can make friends and bring family to watch.  There are many advantages of going to a tournament.

To begin with, a CTI tournament is the best chance to make friendships and meet new people.  Also, a tournament is an opportunity to have fun.  Since a tournament has lots of competition, the competitors can understand sportsmanship too.

Another purpose of the CTI tournament is to show your instructors and family all you have learned and achieved.  We can learn from our mistakes at our tournament then become better in MSK Taekwondo. Also, at the tournament, when you compete, you can see if you were prepared for competition.

Lastly, CTI tournaments are important because preparing for them improves and advances your training. Tournaments give students a goal to work hard for, so they will compete will. This extra preparation training will take them to the next level.

To sum it up, CTI tournaments are important for many reasons.  It is a perfect opportunity to make friends, become better with technique and form, and show everyone what you have learned.  Tournaments are an essential part to Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Basics of Free Sparring

As we all know by now sparring is one area in our training that can be one of the most stimulating experiences in our Moo Sul Kwan martial arts training. Sparring is not only one of the most difficult things we do but it is as close as we can get to a real life situation where we would need to have the proper reflexes to defend ourselves. In order to obtain these specific reflexes we cannot simply hop into the sparring ring and expect them to come to us naturally. Even as upper belts, we still need to practice many different combinations, thousands of times before we can expect them to work in the sparring ring effectively.

It is nearly impossible to be successful in a sparring match by throwing single moves at a time. Combinations are what will always score the points. The idea is to have enough moves in the combinations that you throw to overwhelm your opponent so you can get in and score your point. Predicting a sparring match is much like predicting the future, it is near impossible, which is why you never know what the outcome will be. However, if you practice certain combinations that work for you, then you are more likely to use these moves in the match as reflexes as opposed to surprising yourself about what moves you throw.

Martial Arts Kids Sparring
As we have heard many times, sparring is much like a chess game, where we need to stay two steps ahead of our opponent. To do this takes a great deal of practice. Make sure to keep your “wall” in between you and your opponent. Do not let them cross this line unless you have a plan and do not cross this line yourself until you know that they are not expecting it.  Get your opponent to react to you by never stopping and always faking.

It is important to remember that each sparring match varies from one opponent to the next. There are many parts of sparring, however, that remain the same throughout each match. Maximum speed with controlled power is needed in order to get in and score the point and get out without being touched. Immediate reactions are always needed because, again, sparring matches are unpredictable. And also remember to always spar your match, have your opponent react to you.

It all comes down to practice! If you practice you sparring exercises then your sparring will improve. These are the basics of sparring.

Monday, June 13, 2011


By Brian Good, Green Belt

Excerpts from a homework assignment.

Modesty – Webster’s New Dictionary and Thesaurus, Concise Edition, © 1990, defines the word modest as meaning, “restrained by a sense of propriety; decent; having a modest estimate of one’s own merits, not vain boastful or pushing; unobtrusive; moderate.”  Webster’s subsequently defines the word modesty as, “the fact or quality of being modest.”

Arrogance - Webster’s New Dictionary and Thesaurus, Concise Edition, © 1990, defines the word arrogance as meaning, “undue assumption of importance.”

I believe that modesty is an important part of being a person and successfully interacting in society in many ways.  In addition to Webster’s definition above, it is my opinion that someone who is modest is also humble (from the Latin root, humus, which means “of the earth” [also per Webster]).  Being modest is a sign of respect to others as it implies that the other person is more worthy, better, or important than you.  Even if this proves to be untrue, it is better for another to disagree and compliment you than for you to assume that they are in some way lower of a person or have lesser skills.

Being modest is important at work, even and especially if you are the boss.  Being arrogant or all-important implies that you are better than the people who work with and for you.  It is hard to lead from this position because the perceived importance actually backfires and others think less of the leader.  One earns more respect by showing deference and respect to the skills and talents of others.  At home, it is also important to be modest.  This can help nurture the skills of children, build their confidence, and allow them to see that when they do succeed, there will not always be someone there to beat them back down.  It is also helpful in spousal relationships which must be based on mutual trust, respect, and admiration.  At CTI Taekwondo, being modest shows respect for the skills of fellow classmates and instructors.  I think that if a person knows they have done a good job, internal congratulations should suffice; no bragging or boasting is necessary.  If someone else compliments one’s performance, that is nice, but is not necessary.  On the other hand, a person is usually their own worst critic, and it is during these times that words of encouragement from others can help bolster the confidence and spirits of someone who might be dissatisfied with a particular event or aspect of their life.

Even though I consider myself a modest person, if I ever start feeling too good about myself or too cocky, that will be the day that I trip in front of a bunch of people, spill my coffee at an important meeting, or have the ketchup packet explode on my white shirt.  Just another lesson in modesty…

Student Winning a Medal After Sparring

Friday, June 10, 2011

Forwards and Backwards

The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs was the site of a fantastic 27th Summer Expo weekend in early June!  Expo participants worked hard and played hard, training in classes from A to Z.  This year's Expo Teaching Staff included master instructors:  Grandmaster Charles Hildebrand, Grandmaster Jim Sautel, Master Merinda Sautel, Master John Sautel and Master Erik Albrechtson. Other excellent instructors included:  Freddy Sautel, Clayton Garner, Alice Meyung, Jamie Sautel, Bridget Sautel,  Abdu Kikhia, Brian Steward, Stephen Sautel and Noha Kikhia.

The action began on Friday after the group picture and line-up.  Michael Sandusky, 2nd dan, sang the National Anthem, and after the opening remarks, classes began.

Classes were held outside all around the campus area - the weather was perfect!  Students picked apart their poomse, one-step sparring, free-sparring, self-defense, basics, breaking techniques, kicking, punching, striking, blocking and more with the theme of this year's Expo in mind - "Forwards and backwards."

Grandmaster Hildebrand, President of MSK and the American Martial Arts Sports and Education Association, taught many great classes in the lodge room which had tremendous views of Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak.  There were also some other rooms used for seminars/dicussions on judging, special parent self-defense and workout classes, junior project classes and other classes that took place during the weekend.

Each year on Expo Saturday Evening, there is always something planned.  This year we were entertained with CTI Campus Fractured Fairly Tales.  The Conifer Campus started first and presented "The Three Little Pigs meet Caleb-locks and the Three Bears".  The Green Mountain Campus followed with "Snow White Belt and the Seven Black Belts".  The Littleton Campus gave their rendition of, "Cinderella meets her Fairy Godfather".  The Westminster Campus was next with "Little Junior Red Belt Riding Hood" and then the Golden Campus finished the skits with, "Grandmaster HIldebrand and the Bean Stalk."

Our own Moo Sul Rock 2011 band was in rare form as they played in between skits and for the rest of the night.  Bruce Dean sang a rendition of "Danny Boy" for Mr. and Mrs. Hildebrand to start off the evening.  The red belts soon got everybody dancing when the band played Mustang Slinkard for one of the visiting black belts.  The Moo Sul Twist Contest, poomse, line-dancing and just a lot of fun rounded out the evening.

After Sunday black belt early morning training, the Amazing Moo Sul Race 7 began.  This year's race broke the record for the longest of all time and presented many challenges to the teams of six or seven.  Each team represented one of the Presidents of the United States.  The John Adams Team won first place with a time of 2:33:25.  The older members of each team had to get up Mt. Park at the beginning of the race while the younger team members headed over to the Target Station.  After reuniting, the teams then made their way through the Amazing Moo Sul Race Course in an around the UCCS campus.

So many adventures in learning and fun took place during this year's 27th MSK Summer Expo.  To get the whole story, check with the students and instructors who were able to take part!

See you next year at Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo XXVIII!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Poomse, Goal by Goal

By Merinda J. Sautel, 6th dan

"Thinking about the Goals of Moo Sul Kwan when practicing your poomse (pattern movement or form)."

Blocking During a Form
Goal one encourages the development of healthful orientation by providing opportunities to learn about how the body works and moves.  Learning poomse directly relates to this goal by the very nature of learning different patterns and the moves within each pattern.  To master a poomse, a student must learn each individual move and how to put it together with a series of moves.  Breaking down each move in a poomse gives the student the opportunity to see how the body functions within the poomse.

Goal two is about setting goals and being a self-directed learner.  Learning and practicing poomse is a perfect way to practice being a self-directed learner.  The student must set an individual goal to learn and perfect a poomse and then he or she must use self-directed learning to practice the moves given to him by the instructor until new moves are given.

Goal three is about preparing black belts to extend the teaching of martial arts.  Poomse is a vital part of each student’s training and without it no student can make it to black belt.  The Colorado Taekwondo Institute is a black belt preparation program.  We don’t train our students to be orange belts; we want quality black belts.  Learning poomse is a core requirement to reach black belt and beyond.

Goal four pertains to training upper belts and extending skills beyond the beginner level.  As each student’s training progresses, poomse becomes more complex which complements the multi-faceted training so necessary in becoming an upper belt.

Goal five promotes scholarly activities and creative endeavors.  In CTI, we learn about each poomse, not just the moves.  We also practice poomse in creative ways such as in groups, mirror image, and in different environments such as outside or in swimming pools.

Goal six is more abstract as it pertains to poomse training.  The goal is all about taking Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo to the public and showing what we have as an important sport.  Poomse can be a powerful demonstration tool.  We work hard in CTI to be able to perform poomse individually and in groups.  One should always practice poomse as if performing it in front of an audience.