Friday, April 26, 2013

Taekwondo: Unity of Mind and Body

In a world that can be violent and threatening, a working knowledge of self defense is an invaluable skill. And there are many forms of fighting to choose from – boxing, wrestling, kick-boxing, and many others from different parts of the world and different traditions. But for those who want to learn a method of fighting that extends beyond a confrontational situation and permeates throughout one’s life in a positive manner, taekwondo is a unique opportunity.

Taekwondo is a traditional Korean form of martial arts training that has developed over a period of 5000 years. Its name is derived from three words: tae, kwon and do. “Tae” means to smash with the foot. “Kwon” means to smash with the hand. “Do” refers to a practice, art or discipline. When put together, taekwondo essentially means the art of using one’s legs, arms, feet and fists in the “right way,” a way that is centered on control and promoting peace and unity.

It is with this mindset that the Korean-style martial arts training is considered a form of self defense. It isn’t rooted in hot-headed, random aggression. It is firmly planted in the unity of mind, body and spirit. Those who master the art use it to promote a similar unity and peacefulness not only in themselves, but in their communities. Compared to many other styles of fighting, it is exceedingly level-headed and spiritually balanced.

If you’re thinking this sounds more mental than physical, think again. Taekwondo requires immense physical focus and control. A single pose, one that is interweave with a sound mental focus, takes extensive practice and dedication. When mastered, it creates great destructive potential and fighting capabilities. It is a form of self defense, but it is extremely powerful and intimidating against one’s enemies.

The ability to fight is a long, hard-earned skill that will serve the person who is willing to put in the work very well. And while the ability to protect oneself is a reward in itself, the benefits of taekwondo extend beyond physical force. It creates a balanced unity of mind and body that keeps its practitioner of a sound, peaceful mind, a balance that serves to increase the peacefulness of all society. If you’re looking for a martial arts training method that will become not only a hobby but a way of life, taekwondo is for you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Mental Health Benefits of Colorado Taekwondo

Having a handle on your emotions allows you to think more clearly and stay focused, leading to better decision making skills and intellectual accomplishments. It will also allow you to sleep more steadily and soundly, which is essential to cellular rejuvenation and brain health.

It is common knowledge that physical activity improves health and longevity. We run, lift weights, and if we practice Colorado taekwondo, we kick and spar. But many people underestimate are the health benefits taekwondo brings not only from its physical training, but its mental strengthening.

While physical activity is essential to a healthy body, it is only half of the workout you will receive as a taekwondo student. Your taekwondo instructor will place great importance on the practice of calming and focusing your mind into a peaceful state. This isn’t an arbitrary exercise; attaining a calm mind can add years to your life and reduce your risk of illness.

How is this possible? The mental strengthening you will receive from Colorado taekwondo instruction will teach you how to deal with anxiety and stress in your daily life. Having a handle on your emotions allows you to think more clearly and stay focused, leading to better decision making skills and intellectual accomplishments. It will also allow you to sleep more steadily and soundly, which is essential to cellular rejuvenation and brain health.

Just how bad is stress? Bad. Stress activates cytokine molecules, which lead to bodily inflammation, which can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases such as obesity and Alzheimer’s. Research has also found stress linked to advanced aging on a chromosomal level, accelerating the signs of aging by 9 to 17 years. Basically, your body goes into protective mode when you are stressed, making it work harder and run out faster, two things you don’t want to encourage.

The benefits of physical activity, like that you will receive from your taekwondo instructor, are undeniable. They lead to a fuller, healthier life. But the benefits of the mental strengthening you will receive are just as, if not more, important, and should be one of the main motivators of dedicating yourself to Colorado taekwondo. A healthy mind in unison with a healthy body will be your lifelong reward.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Annual Colorado Taekwondo Institute Summer Camp Focuses on Leadership Skills

Westminster, Colorado (April 29, 2013) – This summer, Colorado Taekwondo Institute (CTI) will be hosting its 16th annual Camp Moo Sul Kwan to educate children in martial arts training and leadership skills.

Camp MSK ’13 will take place June 8-15, 2013 at Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park, Colorado. The overnight camp is aimed at children with all abilities, ages 7 and up.

In addition to improving their training and skills, campers will also have the opportunity to enjoy activities such as miniature golf, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, indoor roller skating and playing basketball. For an additional fee, campers can participate in horseback riding, zip lining or use the climbing wall.

“MSK is a great place for kids to have a structured and positive learning experience,” said Erik Albrechtson, one of nine camp council members. There will also be five members of the camp council to supervise campers throughout the week.

At CTI, students discover the rewards of goal setting behaviors; these goals allow students to set small, achievable steps as they experience success.

Camp space is limited, so campers are asked to reserve a spot soon. Parents can call CTI at 303-428-5377 for a camp reservation. Cost is $575 and includes lodging, meals, a Camp MSK ’13 uniform, all training, activities and events.

Parents, family and friends can also expect a special demonstration on the morning of the last day.

Colorado Taekwondo Institute has been teaching Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts in Colorado for over 29 years. With six location is Colorado, includding the location in Westminster, Colorado, they are certified by the American Martial Arts Sports and Education Association so students are provided with the best martial arts instruction. They can be reached by visiting or 303-428-5377.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Taekwondo vs. Hapkido: is there a Difference?

When looking for a martial arts training program, you have a lot of options. Many schools have branched off, each emphasizing different aspects. Those interested in learning about taekwondo may wonder how it differs from hapkido. This is a resource you can use to understand the similarities and differences between these two martial art forms.

At their core, taekwondo and hapkido emphasize the same core principles. “Hap” means unity, that between spirit and body – this is the same unity taught by taekwondo. “Ki” is the energy flowing through and activating the body. “Do” means way of life. These principles are the same in both arts, and act as instructors not only during training sessions but as those practicing it approach life in general.

The two art forms are also the same in that they are motivated not by anger and aggression, but self defense and the promotion of peace and order. Neither aims to harm or humiliate the opponent, but only to restore unity in the world. Both will teach their students respect of self and others, and promote a centered way of life that requires patience, focus and lots of practice. To master either of these arts takes years of dedication and the desire to improve oneself for the benefit of self and others.

There are also differences between these arts. A key factor about taekwondo is its emphasis on kicks. The taekwondo student will be extremely skilled at performing quick, powerful kicks that will overpower the opponent. Hapkido has a larger emphasis on throws and joint locks, and is considered by some to be more violent and dangerous than taekwondo. Injuries in students are more common in true hapkido, but he or she who masters the art is highly capable to defend him or herself.

Ultimately, martial arts is fluid, and continues to evolve and grow. Today, the schools often blend and merge, and it is common to see teachings of both occur within the same training program. Because hapkido and taekwondo have the same core teachings of respect, unity and self defense, their styles are often overlapping. The student learning about taekwondo will often find teachings on hapkido, and is made wiser by understanding both.

Friday, April 12, 2013


By Collin Kreutz, 1st dan, age 12

What is Camp Moo Sul Kwan?  Camp Moo Sul Kwan (Camp for short) is when MSK Taekwondo students and instructors from each campus and school get together for a week in the mountains to practice MSK martial arts, learn new things, and ultimately, have fun.

We practice our poomse, self-defense, one-steps, walking drills, sparring,  target kicking/holding, breaking, staff, and much more.  You learn many more things each and every camp you go to, whether it’s the first four moves of a poomse, or the difference between front kick and ax kick foot position.  Camp MSK is a also a great time to correct your jumping jacks, stretches, punches and strikes, blocks, kicks, etc.  You also get special classes with honorable black belts such as Master Jones, Mrs. Master Sautel, Master Sautel, Grandmaster Sautel, and sometimes even Great Grandmaster Shin!

What are the benefits of going to Camp?  First of all, you get to learn how to do many new things involving Korean martial arts, such as the Great Grandmaster Shin moves.  Camp is a great time to really focus on your basic and advanced martial arts techniques.  You get a great work out to keep your body in shape as well.

We do a lot of very fun taekwondo techniques, like the sparring gauntlet, group demos, breaking night, musical poomse, and more.  We also do various activities like tie-dying, the rock climbing wall, horseback riding, the zip line, and mountain bike rides.  There is a movie night where everyone sits back, relaxes, and watches a movie.  Each year, we take a hike to the water fall, and sing the camp chant along the way, showing our Camp MSK spirit!

Camp is a great time to connect with old friends within the Colorado Taekwondo Institute and Moo Sul Kwan, or meet new friends.  You are roomed with four others that are close in age, so it is almost certain you find new friends and have a great time with them at Camp.

Cindy and Pam Sautel are the main people in charge of the cooking at camp. Their food is delicious every time they cook.  But don’t forget Master Bill Jones from Missouri, he also cooks a lot of the food that our hungry stomachs devour.

Camp is a very exiting time for all ages, and is for sure worth going to each and every year.  You get a whole bunch of practice with your Taekwondo techniques, and have a blast while doing them.  I recommend that every Taekwondo student goes to camp at some point in their Moo Sul Kwan martial arts journey!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Taekwondo and Self Defense 101

Taekwondo classes prepare students for situations that could endanger them or those around them, making them confident, capable protectors of those who cannot protect themselves.

Because it emphasizes the importance of control and peace, it should come as no surprise that taekwondo is largely a form of martial arts self defense. Training is strenuous, memorization of moves takes dedication and focus, and the bonds you make along the way add greatly to the overall training experience, but the foundation of CTI’s taekwondo classes is peaceful in nature. For this reason, it is important to understand a thing or two about self defense practices.

First, it is important to consider that self defense cannot be practiced without a partner. Martial arts students depend greatly on one another for the advancement of their training, and it is impossible to practice without the equal participation of an equally dedicated pupil. This not only creates bonds between fellow students; it gives each student a look into the attacker role, offering him or her valuable insight into overcoming an aggressive, violent point of view.

Second, it is valuable to understand the difference between two distinct kinds of self defense. The first is the hard, or linear way. This form of defense requires the martial artist to stop the aggressor’s blows using his or her own arms and legs in forceful throws and kicks. While this strategy tends to look violent and aggressive to others, its aim is not to harm the opponent so much as it is to protect oneself. This self defense form requires speed and strength, as well as an ability to predict the opponent’s next move.

The other form of self defense taught in taekwondo classes is soft, or circular. This method of combat is lower in direct impact between opponents. The goal here is not to use one’s arm or leg to bloke a blow, but rather to dodge it and use the opponent’s weight and momentum against him or her. To a large extent, this is the ideal form of martial arts self defense; neither the attacker nor defender receives any blows that cause injuries, and physical strength is not a requirement. This form does, however, take much more practice and skill, and can be very hard to master. As a result, both linear and circular forms are typically used by martial artists.

The ultimate thing to keep in mind about taekwondo is that, as a form of martial arts self defense, it does not aim to increase violence and aggression throughout the world. Rather, it aims to increase the ease with which peace and non-violence can permeate society by giving students the skills needed to subdue agitators. Taekwondo classes prepare students for situations that could endanger them or those around them, making them confident, capable protectors of those who cannot protect themselves.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Moo Sul Modesty

By Mark Scott, brown belt

Modesty in the way we live life has many positive benefits. Modesty allows us to see ourselves without being too harsh or too easy on our life.  This more relaxed view cuts down on hostility and anger in our everyday situations.  Modesty allows us to properly judge our performance and to set our expectations and goals correctly.  Being modest is also appreciated by friends, family and other people we meet in our daily lives.

First, modesty allows us to properly judge our place in the world.  This perspective allows us to be less angry and hostile when set in stressful situations.  Whenever the situation arises where we become angry, we often become angry because we view our opinions or goals as more superior.  If modesty is applied, the overall situation can be viewed and judged more fairly.

Using modesty also allows us to judge our abilities and desires in the proper perspective.  When we set goals for ourselves, if we apply modesty, we can set appropriate goals.  Being able to set goals that are achievable and rewarding will give more pleasure than setting goals too  high or low for our abilities.  Setting goals too low and achieving the goal doesn't feel as good.  Setting a goal too high and we struggle and apply too much stress and may never achieve the goal.

Also, people like to work, play, and be around people who view themselves in a modest way.  Being around people who judge themselves too lowly for the occasion can be boring and depressing.  On the contrary, being around people who always perceive they are the greatest in every situation can be frustrating and annoying.  People who modestly judge their abilities are easier to befriend and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

For Mental and Physical Strengthening, Think Colorado Taekwondo Institute

You will find that taekwondo becomes more than just a hobby; it becomes a way of life both mentally and physically that improves you and your place in society in considerable ways.

Are you looking for a new hobby or life skill that is good for both your body and mind? Do you want a community of people who support each other and work together to become better individuals and members of society? This kind of success cannot be achieved by sitting back and letting life pass you by; get up and enact the change you want to see in yourself. If you have ever thought of joining a Colorado Taekwondo Campus, the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is for you.

You’ve probably seen martial arts in action at some point of your life, either in a movie or from a real-life martial artist. But you might not know just how great of a workout martial arts training can be. Progression in this art takes extreme dedication and focus. The explosion of energy that goes into each kick and punch is more than enough to break a sweat, and you’ll find your body’s thirst for physical motion and exercise satisfied by the end of your sessions.

Another major function and emphasis of our Colorado Taekwondo Institute is to exercise your mind. Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo has an ancient, rich tradition of respect not only for others but for oneself. We do not teach you to pick fights or foster anger and aggression. Rather, we teach you to build inner peace in order to promote peace throughout your community. The martial arts training you receive will help you bridge the gap that can grow between your body and mind, and give you a better mental control over your physical self.

If you decide to dedicate yourself to martial arts training, you will have to put forth a considerable amount of your time and commit to working hard mentally and physically. But at our Colorado Taekwondo facilities, you will also have fun. You will work alongside teachers and fellow students who train with passion and energy. When you achieve a goal, you will have a support group who celebrates with you. You will find that Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo becomes more than just a hobby; it becomes a way of life both mentally and physically that improves you and your place in society in considerable ways.