Friday, June 29, 2012

Expo Excellence Tops it All!

Our 28th MSK Summer Expo took place at beautiful Granby Ranch, Colorado, and featured Moo Sul Kwan and AMASEA President Charles F. Hildebrand, CTI President James M. Sautel, an excellent Expo Teaching Staff, dynamic students and wonderfully supportive family members and friends.  Classes ranged from sparring, poomse, parent's self-defense and advanced kicking to MSK Hapkido, wrangling, breaking and more.

Beginning on Friday, June 22, this year's Summer Expo was packed with plenty of action!  The evening classes on the first day included instruction from Grandmaster Hildebrand, Grandmaster Sautel, Master Merinda Sautel, Master John Sautel, Master Erik Albrechtson and other top MSK instructors.  After the classes, most taking place outdoors, teams were put together and each Expo participant were sized up for their Amazing Race 8 tee shirts to be used the following day.

Black belts were up and training at 6:00 AM on both mornings, starting the days out with work in exercise, resistance training, poomse, sparring, staff and the three-sectional staff.  Red and brown belts began their days at 7:00 AM and had the chance to work with Master John Sautel on exercise, sparring, chord training and more.  After the morning warm-ups, classes began for all students around Camp Base One of the Granby Ranch Ski Area and continued until lunchtime.  After the Expo sack lunch, the group pictures were taken and the race was begun!

Amazing Moo Sul Race Team!
The Amazing Moo Sul Race 8 consisted of 17 teams of mixed belt levels and ages.  Each team was named after one of the United States first 17 Secretaries of State.  The teams performed numerous exercises at the base including push-ups, sit-ups, chops, Frisbee throwing, leg pushes, Taegeuk Poomse and Chang-Hon Poomse.  They also rode a chairlift to the top of the ski area, and made their way down the mountain on foot attacking stations like; sparring, breaking, tree climbing, self-defense, one-step sparring and other different Expo stations.  The longest time out was 4 hours and 5 minutes.  The Charles Lee Team came in first place with a time of 2 hours and 43 minutes.

On Saturday evening, the Expo Banquet and Awards Ceremony took place.  Delicious food was served and the 2010-2012 Bi-Annual CTI Competition Awards were presented to the winners.  To see information on the CTI Competition Awards, click here.

Also during the Saturday night fun was music and dancing provided by our own band Hoshin
-Motion and each Campus of the CTI.  Other awards were given to visiting black belts Grandmaster Hildebrand, Nick Slinkard and Gabe Shario.  Also, special  people recognized were CTI parents Sara Spery and Diane Zandin.  The 2010-2012 Lee H. Park Award, top black belt instructor, was presented to Alice Meyung, 4th dan.

Special thanks to this year's Expo Teaching Staff - the commitment and hard work poured into their classes, and the excellent leadership from the staff made this weekend an incredible learning opportunity for everyone!

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

Monday, June 25, 2012

2010 - 2012 CTI Competition Awards

At the recent MSK Summer Expo at Granby Ranch, a special awards presentation took place during the Saturday Expo Evening Banquet.  The top award, the 2010 - 2012 Lee H. Park Award, was presented to Alice Meyung by President of Moo Sul Kwan and the AMASEA, Grandmaster Charles Hildebrand, 8th dan.

Miss Meyung is a 4th dan black belt and instructor at the Green Mountain and Conifer Campuses of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.  Miss Meyung began training at five years old and has been working hard ever since!  Graduate of Colorado College, Miss Meyung is a member of the CTI Black Belt Team that recently traveled to Germany and Austria in 2011.  A lead member of the CTI Demo Team, Miss Meyung is the recipient of the Lee H. Park Award for her outstanding dedication to the students and instructors of the CTI.

Also that evening, the 2010 - 2012 CTI Competiton Awards were presented.  Competition has always been a part of our training.  Competition plays a vital role in creating our well-rounded MSK person.  There’s the physical, mental and emotional preparations that take place for the competitor.  This can be divided into hours, days, months, years and longer.  There’s the “night before the competition" feelings that tie stomachs into knots and make sleep a restless endeavor .  There’s the “morning of” and the feelings of exhilaration and power when warming up to step into the ring.  There’s that feeling of “pure reflex” when the competition begins that you can’t explain to anyone unless you've done it.  Competition brings our students and instructors to other levels that seem almost magical, but of course we know that the benefits of competing are just the result of long hard work and the willingness to compete in the first place.  Congratulations to everyone who took part in our CTI events for the last two years.  The expertise and sportsmanship were incredible!  Here are this year's winners:

Miss Meyung at Camp MSK


Black Belt - Freddy Sautel
Adult - Jennifer McKernan
Junior - Caleb Feagans


Black Belt - Clayton Garner
Adult - Terry Copper
Junior - Erik Ondrejko

First Point Wins!

Black Belt - Abdu Kikhia
Adult - Don Johnson
Junior - Thomas Ma


Black Belt - Thomas Sautel
Men - Rob Sarche
Women - Vivi Brown
Junior - Gabe Gallegos

Staff Poomse

Adult - Freddy Sautel
Junior - Rosie Sokolove

Overall Tournament Champion

Adult - Freddy Sautel
Junior - Rosie Sokolove

Lee H. Park Award

Alice Meyung

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Five

By Sally Morgan, 1st dan

There are five tenets of Taekwondo that we practice at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. During the Silla Kingdom of Korean history, an organization was developed made up of youths from noble families.  This organization was known has the Hwarang, and to be considered for selection, the youth had to be a person of good character and virtue.  The Hwarang were taught arts, dance, literature and the sciences.  They were also trained as warriors in hand to hand combat in order to defend the Silla Kingdom form outside enemies.  The Hwarang warriors were responsible for the development of the Hwarang Code of Conduct from which the Five Tenets of Taekwondo were derived.

Definition:  Steadfast adherence to a strict moral and ethical code.  Honesty and loyality.
How it applies to Taekwondo:  In taekwondo we would never use dirty tactics to win at sparring or to make someone else look bad.  We would never intentionally harm a fellow student.  When implementing techniques in self-defense, emphasis is always placed on the use of only the force necessary to remove the immediate threat and then to get away from the situation.  There is a very fine line between being the defender and becoming the aggressor.  Integrity enables a martial artist not to cross that line.
How is applies outside of Taekwondo:  In everyday life, integrity means knowing right from wrong and always attempting to do the right thing in all situations.  We will come acrooss moments in our lives where we will have to choose to do what we believe to be right or not.  Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult. Integrity is standing up for what is right, even if at times you are standing alone.

Definition:  To persit in an endeavor or undertaking in spite of counter influeces, opposition or discouragement.  Dedication.
How it applies in Taekwondo:  It’s easy to see how this applies in Taekwondo.  We dedicate ourselves to practicing our basics, poomse, one steps and self-defense over and over again.  We continue to fine tune our skills no matter what level we are at.  When we believe we have finally mastered a certain technique, we come to realize how mush more we have to learn.  It’s perseverance that keeps us going.  When we are tired, sore and feel we can’t do another kick or strike, perseverance gives us that boost for one more, and one more!  Our goal is to strive to be better than we were yesterday and our dedication to this enables us to become a more proficient martial artist.
How it applies outside of Taekwondo:  We will face many different challenges in our everyday lives.  How we face these challenges will have much to do with our perseverance.  What do we do when we fail a test in school?  Do we simply give up or keep trying?  Using perseverance, we will strive to reach our goals, no matter the obstacles.

Definition:  Enduring respect for good consideration of self and others.  Politeness and humility.
How it applies in Taekwondo:  There are many ways we show courtesy in Taekwondo.  When we enter our school, we remove our shoes as a sign of respect.  We bow when we enter the work-out area and bow to our instructor before and after class.  Our instructor bows as well, showing respect for his or her students. We are taught to show courtesy to our fellow students by the example the upper belts and instructors give. We show courtesy by raising our hands in class before we speak and by listening to the lessons that are being taught.  Courtesy and respect are such a normal part of Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, that we have to remember to not take it for granted.  As we become friends with our fellow students, it’s easy to fall into complacency with these displays of respect and courtesy.  We should always remember that our behavior towards one another is setting the example for those who come after us.
How it applies outside of Taekwondo:  It can be difficult at times to show the same courtesy and respect in everyday life as we do in Taekwondo.  Not everyone in society is respectful and courteous.  People cut us off in traffic, co-workers and school mates can be rude, and even family members can take their bad day out on us.  It’s easy to lash out when faced with less than appropriate behavior by someone else.  However, the best way to diffuse anger is through kindness.  Put the “pay it forward” approach into action.  Inspire someone by showing courtesy and respect.  They then may inspire someone else, and so on.  Being polite, even in the face of adversity requires great self-control, which brings us to our next tenet.

Self Control
Definition:  The ability of a person to exert their will over the inhibitions, impulses, emotions or desires of their body or self.  Patience and Discipline.
How it applies in Taekwondo:  This means a number of things in Taekwondo.  One being, paying attention at all times in class.  Remaining focus no matter what is happening around you.  It also means practice, practice, practice.  We should always practice outside of Taekwondo on or basics, poomse, one-steps and self-defense.  When we receive criticism by our instructors, how do we react?  Does our attitude become poor, or do we focus on what we are being told, apply it, so we can become a better martial artist.
How it applies outside of Taekwondo:  It can be difficult to come to class after a long tiring day.  Our lives are busy and it would be easy to make excuses for not being there.  When we discipline ourselves to push past the desire to stay  home or do something else instead, we end up feeling better physically and mentally. Outside of our training, it can be tempting to lash out at family member  or a friend when they do something that makes us angry.  Even having the discipline to not have that 2nd can of coke or that 2nd piece of cake, can be really hard.  But if we can keep in mind that having that self-control will only make our lives better, we will stay on the right path and be successful in what we do.

Indomitable Spirit
Definition:  Having the right attitude and maintaining inner strength regardless of winning or losing.  Not allowing one’s principles to be broken, defeated or conquered.  Bravery and Courage.
How it applies in Taekwondo:  Do you have the will to train, even when you are tied?  Do you keep pushing hard for the next tournament, even if at the last one you did not win?  Indomitable Spirit radiates from the heart.  You probably know someone who has indomitable spirit.  What is it about them that brings out their spirit.  Are they positive?  When they are in class, do they have loud kihaps?  Do you see them pushing so hard, that the sweat is dripping off their body.  Have that spirit in your training.  Ask any athlete in any sport and they will tell you, it’s the spirit that separates the good from the great!  Your spirit alone can push you to the next level.
How it applies outside of Taekwondo:  We all have faced challenges in our lives and will probably have more challenges in the future.  Indomitable spirit alone can play a big part in helping to see you through many life-changing events.  People who look at the worlld with a positive attitude tend to lead much happier lives.  It’s the will to not give up when faced with advirsity,  that is at the heart of an indomitable spirit.  It cannot be measured, but it can be inspiritational.

No matter what your personal preferences or beliefs may be, adhering to the Five Tenets of Taekwondo will greatly assist you in your efforts to strive for new goals and achieve those goals.  You will be a better person and will set a powerful example for those who follow.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Camp MSK '12

Camp MSK '12 was definitely one to remember!  It was the largest Camp of all time and one of the best ever!

It all started on Saturday, June 9th.  Checking in was the first thing everyone did.  Rooms were assigned, Camp Teaching Staff meetings took place and dinner was served.  After dinner, the Camp Groups were assembled.  Immediately, the Camp Group Leaders, Abdu Kikhia, Bridget Sautel, Brian Steward, Stephen Sautel, Michael Sandusky, Patrick Vargo and Eric Evans, started drilling their groups on their line-up formations and moves on their Camp Demonstrations.

The week went quickly by.  On Sunday the whole group hiked to the falls after a few classes on self-defense, target kicking, one-step sparring and walking drills taught by Master John Sautel, Mr. Freddy Sautel and Mr. Clayton Garner.  On the way to the falls, students got the chance to see some of the black belt promotion test (which started at 7:00 AM that morning).  This was followed by lunch at the lake and some time spent on group demonstrations and line-up formations.  Later that evening, the Camp MSK Kite Flying spectacle ensued.  The wind was just right for some excellent displays of kite flying prowess - Devon Lewis had the highest flying kite - it took six tied-together spools of string to get his kite so high in the atmosphere!
Black Belt Teens at the Waterfall

Monday started with a black belt early morning workout on Poomse and Staff work.  Then all sorts of things happened!  There was the Zip Line, Horseback Riding, Miniature Golf, the High Zip Line and the Climbing Wall, exciting activities students were able to choose from.  A special High Ropes Challenge Course was reserved for our upper black belts and a bike ride of momentous proportions took place.  Probably the longest activity of the day was the Camp Tie-Dye Project.  Each camper  had the chance to make their own tie-dye shirt.  In addition to the campers' shirts, another 152 shirts were crafted for the MSK Summer Expo XXVIII's Amazing Race!  In the evening there was also some time made for work on Jump Kicking, Poomse and Sparring.  The day ended with some campers going Square Dancing and others hitting the giant indoor swimming pool!

The next day began with some early morning exercise and black belt work on the staff.  Red and brown belts also got the chance to explore staff basics with Grandmaster Sautel.  Later each group worked and showed the upper belts their group line-ups and demonstrations.  This year's demos, with music, were based on inventions by Benjamin Franklin.  Groups were named after his inventions like; the Armonica, Daylight Savings Time, the Franklin Stove, the Lightning Rod, the Fire Company, the Fire Insurance Company, the Bifocals and the Odometers.

After a wonderful lunch, students and instructors worked on sparring, walking drills, evasion drills, blocking, hapkido, target kicking, Great Grandmaster Shin self-defense and the three-sectional staff.  Also on slate for that day was time spent on letter writing, arts and crafts, banner making, duck tape art and a special drawing class taught by purple belt Kelsey Smith.  A huge bike ride then took place with 34 riders attacking the ride from one end of Snow Mountain Ranch to the other!  Along the way, poomse was performed and some GGM Shin self-defense. Later that afternoon there were other mountain bike rides, more demo work with the day ending with our Camp Movie Night!

On Wednesday, the upper belts worked on poomse and sparring after an early morning training session with some Colorado Rocky Mountain rocks!  The annual Camp Group Picture was taken followed by training in poomse and demo work.  After lunch, the 2nd Annual Camp Quest took place!  Everyone was divided into teams, named after a certain breed of dog, and the race was on.  Master Jones, Master John Sautel and Master Erik Albrechtson commanded three teams each.  Teams had to accomplish many tasks like; golfing, one-steps, poomse, baseball hitting,  building design, breaking, bike riding, various exercises put together by Cindy Tusa, kickball, Frisbee throwing and swimming.  Teams also had to bring back items like a feather, a unique rock, a rubber band and more!  Everyone had a fantastic time and the winning team on time was the Alice Meyung Team.

Later that evening, the Camp Board Breaking Extravaganza took place at the Leggett Building.  As the CTI band Hoshin-Motion practiced their songs for the upcoming Summer Expo, students and instructors performed many exciting board breaking techniques.

On Thursday, the last day of Camp MSK'12, special demonstrations
were given for our parents, family members and friends.  Students of all ages displayed their many skills and showed their toughness by ending the week with total effort in their demos!

Special thanks to Cindy Tusa, Pam Sautel and Kimberly Jones for their help!  Also, special thanks goes to our organizers who kept the week so incredibly dynamic; Karen McHugh, 4th dan, Freddy Sautel, 4th dan, Alice Meung, 4th dan, Clayton Garner, 4th dan, Master Albrechtson, Master John Sautel, Master Mindy Sautel and Grandmaster Sautel.

See you next year!  Reserve your spot early.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Thousand Front Kicks

By Eric Evans, 1st dan

Recently a co-worker and I were discussing a project his son had.  In origami it is considered a rite of passage.  His son was tasked with folding 1000 paper cranes.  As an off hand comment, he stated that I should try it sometime.  So I have.  Around 100 cranes in I started to notice something.  I was getting faster with each crane I made.  I was able to modify the size or make the folds more efficiently.  I also noticed that the majority of the folds for the crane are used in other origami figures.  If any of the initial folds were not crisp, the overall quality of the final product was skewed.

In Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, this is similar to our front kicks.  It takes the perfect practice of over a thousand front kicks to become proficient.  The more we practice, the faster we are able to execute the kick. Each front kick can also be broken down into individual components.  Similar to individual folds.  If any of the moves are not crisp, the overall front kick will lack quality and finality.
A front kick must start from a good stance.
The eyes and upper body must be aligned correctly.
Weight is shifted to the front leg.
The knees must rub together as the back knee is raised to the chest.
The kicking foot is brought up towards the back as the knee is raised.
The focus hand is used to provide a target for the kicking foot.
As the Kicking foot is extended, the knee continues to raise.
The ball of the foot is extended as the foot reaches the target.
The leg is re-chambered. This allows for another kick.
Then the leg is placed intentionally back into the starting stance.
These key components of a front kick carry over into the roundhouse.  In a roundhouse kick, stance, eyes, balance, knee position, foot position and re-chambering are all important.  The roundhouse adds complexity by adding a pivot and opening the hips rather than rubbing the knees like the front kick.

Front Kick at the Falls at Camp MSK
The building blocks do not stop there.  The components of a front kick and round house are used in a side kick.  Each of the three basic kicks are then used as the foundation of advance kicks.  This is why it is so important to focus on the basics.  If I attempted to fold the most difficult origami in sculpture, I would most likely fail if I had not practiced the basics over and over.  The same is true for advanced kicks. Thousands of repetitions must be put in place using dedicated effort before a student will be successful at more advanced kicks.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thinking about the CTI Mission Statement

By Bruce Dean, purple belt

CTI - Developing World Class Leaders
There are essentially 3 parts to the Moo Sul Kwan mission statement.  The first part is, “To encourage and develop world class leaders”.  This is the “what” part of the mission statement  - the goal part.  And while we may or may not have presidents or governors come out of the CTI campuses, that isn't the point.  Rather, the point is to build character in the individuals commensurate with that of the best leaders.  Once this character is ingrained, then the individual IS a world class leader, regardless of their position in life.

The next two parts of the mission statement are the “how” parts.  The first of these – educational excellence – means to me that the education will be impeccable, without flaw, and well rounded.  This is reflected in the fact that we aren't simply taught to spar or break, etc, but there are lessons in history and
other topics not strictly limited to a dojong.

The final piece of the mission statement – Moo Sul Kwan martial arts traditions, is important because it is the historical basis of the mission statement. This is the part that has endured, and therefore is most likely to continue to endure.  And as with such traditions with historical basis, the Moo Sul Kwan martial arts traditions endure because of the timelessness of the value they hold.

To be a CTI black belt means first to reflect the CTI mission statement in your life.  But more, it means that you flourish in a crucible meant to forge your character into that of a world class leader.  It is not for everyone.  And I have heard it said that less than one in five hundred white belts persevere to black belt.  But this is not surprising.  After all, world class leaders tend to be pretty rare.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thinking Too

By Shekina DeTienne, blue belt

"To encourage and develop."  So many jobs and positions in today's world encourage people to do more and be better but they don't necessarily enforce that encouragement.  Though self-directed learning is important to personal growth, so many people are happy to remain as they are.  By not putting enforcement behind this encouragement, we are creating people who are not pushing themselves to be the best that they can be. In simply encouraging and developing their students, CTI has already helped them to prepare for what life has in store.

"World class leaders."  By requiring its students and instructors to be world class leaders, CTI has given its students the early lessons needed to become the cream of the crop.  Because they have learned these lessons early, young students are able to utilize them to become stronger individuals throughout school and college.  For adults, reinforcement of leadership requirements helps them to push harder at school, work or home.  This allows them to stand out as trustworthy, responsible, valuable people to have around.  At school, this helps when striving for better grades and learning more advanced materials. When at work, this allows the adult to receive promotions and raises along with more responsibilities.  While at home or with their families, setting this example of being a world class leader helps their family push themselves and as a whole the family functions better. No matter the age or place, a person who exhibits the values of a world class leader will be able to leap ahead in the journey to personal growth.

"Through educational excellence and Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts traditions."  In employing instructors that teach with educational excellence and providing tools that reinforce the traditions of Moo Sul Kwan, CTI is able to ensure that the
information that is passed from teacher to student is correct and firm.  Without instructors that teach the same materials and enforce the same traditions, the organization would be a jumbled mess and unable to function.  If this were the case, the school would last no more than a few years and its initial goal would be void.  Thankfully this is not the case.  Great GrandmasterLee H. Park worked tirelessly for years to ensure the school would live for many more years to pass on its excellent education and solid traditions.

Friday, June 1, 2012


By Thomas Ma, purple belt

We all use it at one time or another; it’s hard to get around.  This word, I assure you, isn’t one that means bad.  People have a tendency to like what this word means, someone even made a song about it!  As a noun, this word (defined by Google) is: “A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.”  As a verb, and loosely translated: a way of showing that fancy definition by Google above.  No other phrases sum up what this word means but “the Key to Life” as Dave Chief said.  This word, ladies & gentlemen, is respect.

If you really think about the word respect, there really is no better way to sum it up than saying that it is the “Key to Life”, as many things are.  If you think deeply about the meaning of this word, it ties into your friends, family, and other people because respect may be one of the only things keeping you together.  I don’t want to sound like one of those people teaching about Karma and stuff like that, but it’s sorta true.  Every feeling we have always has at least a fine thread of respect in it, whether it be a feeling of happiness, envy, or even hate.  Everything we do in our whole life has just a tint of respect, to all the respect physically/mentally possible.

Respect isn't a onetime only thing; it should be used at all times.  Respect also isn't a one-place only thing because we should use it everywhere, even if people are giving you a hard time, because the people who aren't don’t deserve your disrespect.  For example, school and after school activities all should have respectful teachers/chaperons, whether we know it or not.  It’s only right that we show respect back, the good way.

Good things happen when good things are done (I guess I just did pull out a Karma thing…), so when you show respect, you’ll get something in return.  The more good things you do, the more the good things pile up for you, so showing a great deal of respect can’t hurt, quite the opposite in fact.  We all know that we should be nicer to someone than before because the only good that come out of mistreating someone is no, nothing, nada.  So remember to forgive someone this weekend!  And be a better person.