Thursday, August 29, 2013

Children Teaching College Students Taekwondo

The age spectrum of people who are skilled in martial arts is very broad. There are pupils of Taekwondo from the ages of 3 to 93. And it is usually the norm for younger adults and teenagers to be schooled in martial arts by someone of there senior. But this day in age the tables have turned and the masters of Taekwondo and self-defense are younger people, even children.

In India these “little” masters are in fact so skilled in the martial arts of Taekwondo and Karate that they are actually teaching people much older than them who are attending college.

The little masters say that teaching people helps them maintain their overall fitness.

An large group of Indian students from Little Flower English medium school (the equivalent of middle school in the United States), Kalavoor and St. Augustine’s high school, Mararikulam, teach Taekwondo to the students of St Joseph’s College for women in Alappuzha.

The college students, who have been learning the martial art of Taekwondo for several years at Sabarmathi Sports Promotion center, were requested to be in attendance by many of their teachers of St. Joseph’s College to make their students more adept in the art of self-defense.

Vinaya Jijo, who is a class four student at Little Flower English medium school and the youngest member of the teaching team, says she is very excited about teaching taekwondo to the students in the college.

“We have performed before the students and teachers to give an orientation to students,” said Jijo. “They were impressed by our performance and have invited us to take a class for students at the college.”

Keerthy Raju, a BSc Physics student at the college, who invited the school students to train them, says,  "It is useful to train in taekwondo as it maintains the physical fitness, helps muscular development and enables a person to defend himself when the need arises. We will begin training classes in taekwondo by next month. They will be held every week at the college auditorium.”

Dr Jyothi Lekshmi, one of the professors at the Malayalam department of the college, has said that they asked the young children to teach their students after seeing one of their amazing demonstrations.

“We believe they could teach our students well,” said Lekshmi. “We have given instruction to our students to take part in the training program if they want to learn the martial arts,”

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Education is Important

By Bruce Dean, red belt

Education is important because it unifies us as a species.  It provides a common framework for human perception.  Without education we could not communicate, or even feed ourselves.  Education is the single greatest key to human survival.  After all, we aren't particularly strong, we can’t run very fast, we don’t have big teeth or claws, and we don’t have armor or a shell.  But we have a fairly big brain, and education makes our brains our greatest tool for survival.  The only difference between me and a Cro-Magnon man living 20,000 years ago is the knowledge in my brain.  And education put that knowledge there.

But education is much more than simply the pursuit of knowledge, studying, and learning.  It is the means by which our culture endures. It is the common body of knowledge that defines us as a race – the HUMAN race.  Everything from the concept of wearing clothes to language to music to love to astrophysics – and even, unfortunately, barbarism and hatred - is an integral part of what it means to be human in this place and time in this universe.

We have all heard fanciful tales of children raised by wolves or porcupines or dolphins.  And in those tales the adult does not know language or even simple things like the fact that a spoon is used for eating rather than as an item to be worn like a bone through one’s nose.  It is only through education and the consequent propagation of our culture that we know what spoons or chairs or cell phones are for.  And it is the propagation of our culture which allows civilization to exist – that allows us to live (mostly) in peace, that defines our behavior amongst one another.  All of this – education – is ultimately what separates us from cavemen (and cavewomen).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Retired Doctor Uses Martial Arts to Stay in Shape

Fernando Dominguez, an 88-year-old Mexican immigrant, is an accomplished physician and surgeon, who retired eight years ago but did not want to stop doing activities. He described colon cancer and a knee injury like speed bumps toward his pursuit of a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo.

Dominguez stared practicing martial arts at the age of 75. He said taekwondo keeps him in shape and gives him a strong mind.

"Living should not be stationary," he said. "We should have a goal, 'What am I going to accomplish? What am I going to do five or 10 years from today?' Have a goal and go after that."

So far, when measured by that standard, Dominguez gives himself a passing grade.

His pursuit started around the mid-1920s in the Gulf Coast port city of Coatzacoalcos, located in southern Mexico. He saw doctors, noticed their care for patients and decided he would follow in their footsteps.

Dominguez turned out to be a medical doctor at a university in Mexico City. He practiced general medicine in the city for some time, before eventually moving to America and becoming a surgeon.

Dominguez went to the University of Houston in 1959 and studied internal medicine. He then moved on to the Cabell Huntington Hospital a year later for further training in Huntington. He became an American citizen in April 1963 and received certificates from both facilities.

The aspiring surgeon practiced full time at Huntington's VA Medical Center, while he completed the necessary training. He then joined with his trainer in opening a private practice downtown, eventually stepped into his own practice and finally returned to the VA Medical Center where he retired in 2005.

Dominguez had developed a passion for taekwondo a few years earlier. It was born out of a conversation with local grandmaster Chong Kim as Dominguez enjoyed an evening of tennis, another passion of his.

"It was difficult for me," he said. "In taekwondo, 90 percent of it is kicking. You know, at the age 75 or 76 kicking is difficult."

But Dominguez kept at it and received his third-degree black belt in May 2008. It was essential for him to wait four years before trying for another degree, because he had developed colon cancer in June 2009.

"To me, having a black belt second-degree, fourth-degree or fifth-degree doesn't matter," he said. "The goal is, like I said, to have good physical condition, good manners to help people and defend yourself if you have to."

Sunday, August 25, 2013


By Rhonda Lawrence, brown belt

We must be constantly aware of our surroundings

When I grew up in the 1970-80’s in a small town in Iowa, there was not much to fear. Occasionally there was a brawl between kids after school, some bullying;there was the threat of the “belt” hanging behind the door of the principal’s office for those rare unruly kids (back in the day when that kind of discipline was acceptable) and,  I suppose, I could potentially feel the wrath of my parents if I stepped outside the wide boundaries that a small town setting established for me.  In reality, I never was afraid for my life or safety, not by a long shot. Looking back now, this “Leave it Beaver”, “rose-colored glasses”background and unrealistic view of security helped foster a hefty amount of misguided confidence. A belief that I would be able to “handle” myself if ever I were put in a bad situation.  This perception was obviously foolish and unwarranted solely due to my lack of training or education to defend myself, but when you are oblivious to something,  I guess that should go without saying.

I remember the first time this erroneous notion was tested.

My parents brought me along to Las Vegas to meet an aunt and uncle who was attending a computer conference there. It was an involuntary vacation for me, for I wanted to stay and have fun with my friends during that summer break. I was the youngest in my family; and at age 16 both my sister and brother had already left the coup. Rather than leaving me home, my mom and dad opted for toting me to a place that in the 1980’s had very little to offer a teenager. While the Las Vegas ambiance had peaked some interest in me (I’d never been in a big city before), I didn’t know really anything about the city before I went. Clearly, its environment was much different than my hometown of 380 people; but my mindset, and that of my parents, regarding my safety wasn’t adjusted. I was able to walk from place to place on the strip to find something to do (whilemy age kept me out of any casino that my family was to patronize). After browsing through the mall at Caesar’s Palace at dusk on that very first full day in the city, I made my way to the Circus Circus Casino. It surely would have some entertainment that would be age appropriate!

As I made my way down the mile and half distance from Caesars to the Circus Circus, my first observation was that there was no one else on the sidewalk. The distance between each colossal casino was considerable but it wouldn’t have kept any Iowan from walking as it was my only way of transportation!  Notably, I hadn’t taken into account a number of things.  Number one was the heat.   It appeared sensible then that most people on the strip in Las Vegas where adults visiting the desert and theydrove or took a cab to stay cooler.  I remember thinking about that fact and dismissing the idea that this would create a problem (more than just sweat)for me.  Until... It seemed to me what happened next was like something out of a movie. A black van with dark tinted windows pulled up on the road beside me, as I walked on the sidewalk. He stopped temporarily while the driver slowly rolled down his passenger side window.  He then started pacing me as I kept walking. Traffic on the strip wasn’t moving along at a slow pace by any means, so it was very obvious that the van was there to engage me in some manner.

A voice sounded, “Do you need a ride?”

“No, thank you”, I said, briefly contemplating that I had put myself in one of those precarious situations I mentioned above.

I kept walking, not waiting for a response, but now at a brisker pace. With my head down and showing no interest at all, I anticipated that the gentleman in the van would go about his business and I would eventually write off the encounter as me being paranoid.

My heart sank and I became very cognizant when I saw the van pull into the first access in front of me and turn around, discernibly waiting for me.  I assessed my position. I was still about halfway in between two casinos with nowhere to go. The “pull in” in which the stranger was now parked went to nothing but sagebrush. Just undeveloped land.

‘Okay’, I said to myself, ’consider your options’. Should I turn around and run? Should I yell?  Would anyone in a speeding car at dim light notice anything happening on the side of the road? For the first time in my life, I didn’t know what to do. It was an uncertain predicament. My heart began to race and then I felt it...   Real fear.

As best I could, I decided to show no emotion and kept walking to the next casino. It looked to be the closest and best option to me. With the van only a few feet away, I arced my path to stay as far as I could from it. The driver’s window was now open, the man’s voice again soliciting if I wanted a ride.

“No, thank you”, I replied again, head down, continuing my pace, walking past front of the van, closer to my destination.

Just then I realized that I now had my back toward the van. With a quick panic, I think to myself,  ‘That was dumb.  Now what do I do?’ In anticipation my ears perked up trying to be aware of any sense of noise. My eyes rolled  to the side as far as I could see without turning my head. Suddenly, I see and hear him get out of the van. The sound of his stride was getting closer and closer to me. His request to “let me give you a ride” being repeated.

I wish I could say that I “did the right thing” to protect myself, but I can’t.  I was lucky. The man did eventually just get back into his van, stop one more time next to me on the sidewalk and ask if I wanted a ride.  He ultimately vanished, but he never disappeared from my revelation of a new awareness.

I went back home wiser than I left, but it wasn’t until I heard much later about the capture a serial killer in Las Vegas that left unsuspecting girls in the desert that I knew how truly fortunate I could have been.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Helping Troubled Youth with Martial Arts

Zanesville Civic League Community Center is like a second home to two heavyweights fitted with protective gear sparring around rubber mats waiting for the perfect time to lay in a strike.

Joseph Strickland hollered out orders to the mixed martial arts fighters. Strickland, 35, knows the method of his fighters, the power of their next challengers, and he labors intensively to render his students’ weaknesses. The Spartans are a varied and choice group of 13 local fighters who consider themselves a brotherhood, removing the stereotypes attributed to the terms “redneck” and “city boy.”

“Once they step inside the door, we’re all equals,” Strickland said. “It’s about control, dedication, confidence and brotherhood. Every one of these guys is a true fighter. Win, lose or draw, these are the sort of young men we want setting an example for our youth.”

The Spartans work with children in their Fight the Hate anti-bullying campaign to provide a safe haven for troubled youth. Starting Oct. 2, the center will be presenting grappling, self-defense and MMA classes to the general public.

Many of the youth members have been victims of bullying, either at home or at school. Strickland, admits he was a target of bullying as a child. Providing a safe place for kids is his favorite part of the job.

Connor Hina, 20, who has been portrayed by his coach as an “animal” and “leader,” will be fighting in the light heavyweight division Sept. 21, when the center hosts the Ohio Fighting Championships Fall Brawl.

“This has helped form who I am,” Hina said. “I’ve always been interested ever since I was kickboxing as a kid and watching (MMA) on TV. It’s about dedicating yourself and seeing it through.”

Hina weighed over 265 pounds. He’s now at 205 and will fight at 185 next month.

“Mentally and physically, he’s almost there,” Strickland said of Hina’s future in professional fighting. “In all seriousness, I can see him fighting a UFC card in five years.”

“We’re teaching people about how to defend themselves,” said Scott Gross , and ex-Army operations instructor who teaches alongside Strickland at the center. “It’s not about attacking people. It’s about knowing when to walk away and, when there’s no other option, how to protect yourself. You never want to fight, but it’s better to be prepared and never have to use it than the other way around.”

“We really want to show these kids that there’s something else out there for them,” Gross said. “It’s about so much more than just learning how to fight in here.”

Thursday, August 15, 2013


By Kyle Feagans, red belt

INTEGRITY is a nine letter word with a powerful definition that not only defines who we are but also defines what we are.  Integrity is a quality of always behaving according to the moral principles that you believe in.  It is behaving in a manner that others respect and trust you; they know they can depend on you.

Integrity, to me, is a core characteristic that defines the type of person that we are.  It means that we can be trusted to do or not to waiver from our values or beliefs.  It means that others can and will trust us to do right.  It means that we will probably treat others like or even better than our self.
Our integrity can be challenged at anytime.  It could be challenged at work or play.  There are many scenarios that can happen in the course of a day, a week, month or year.  These scenarios could occur at home or at work.  You may deal with people, business owner’s, supervisors or boss’s that want you to do things that can put your integrity in jeopardy.  It is important to be vigilant in protecting your character at all times.

Our integrity can be challenged at any time.  It can be challenged at work, at play or when we least expect it.  We could encounter scenarios with co-workers, acquaintances, are friend or our boss.  Our integrity could even be challenged by our customers.  Our integrity can be challenged at home.  At home it is important to be prepared and disciplined in your integrity as the younger members of your family are always watching or listening.  If we think about it we can challenge are own integrity.  How many times do we ask ourselves if we did our best today?  Did we really give our all or try our hardest in everything we did today?  Did we do our best at work, home or in our work out today, this week or this month?  Or did we relax in areas that we should not have?  It is important to be disciplined, to be on guard and prepared to protect our integrity…it is a core characteristic that defines us.

Integrity in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo is a core characteristic of our art.  It is an art that is both individual and is team related.  We practice and hone in on the details of multiple self defense skills in case we ever find ourselves in a situation in which we need to defend our self.  We do not learn these skills with the intent to go out looking for trouble.  This would be a dishonor to the high standard of MSK Taekwondo Integrity.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Successful Step in History

By Eric Evans, 2nd dan

It is hard to believe that August is already upon us. This year’s Expo went by way too fast.  Students from all Colorado campuses and Missouri, joined us in Granby for three fun filled days of Moo Sul Kwan workouts. The theme of this year’s Expo was “Step by Step.”  The weekend reinforced that each day we take one step toward or one step away from our goals.

Our weekend started promptly with an introduction to Expo and the Master Instructors who provided classes over the weekend.  Special guests instructors included Grandmaster Hildebrand and Master Jones.  The Adults kicked off classes in sparring, Chang Hon Poomse and Hapkido.  Teens and Juniors attended classes in kicking, walking drills and poomse.  The list of what we accomplished on the first night alone is very impressive.  The night was not without humor.  During the Hapkido class, a large thunderclap occurred at the exact moment Mr. Jones executed a dive roll.  The thunder and rain did not stop classes.  Classes continued indoors with as much intensity as the rain storm outside.  The night ended with skit practice.  Each campus found a secluded location so they did not reveal their trade secrets.

Saturday started early for the black belts with staff practice and poomse. Then the red and brown belts were provided an opportunity to learn staff. Regular classes began promptly at 8am.  Students attended classes on poomse, walking drills, self defense, sparring.  Two special classes were provided by Master Jones and Mr. Sandusky.  Master Jones joined students in the pool for Aquatic Taekwondo.  Students learned how to kick properly by observing how the water was affected by their movements.  While students were working hard in the pool, Mr. Sandusky provided an excellent and challenging obstacle basics class.  Students were challenged with obstacles that might occur when they were performing basics or poomse.  Of course the Saturday classes would not have been complete without the Parents Self-defense, cardio and how to help your child classes.

After a quick group picture and lunch, the Amazing Moo Sul Race 9 kicked off.  This year there was no chair lift to greet the racers.  Only an ominous mountain for them to climb.  While the race was physically and mentally taxing, everyone had a great time and once again had smiles at the finish line.  The two youngest competitors, Casey Feagans and Konner Evans rose to the occasion and completed the race with all of the teen and adult competitors.  The younger students had their own challenge on a course engineered by Mr. Freddy Sautel.  Students ran through hula hoops, sparred trolls, walked upside down, performed putt putt poomse, frisbee and volley ball toss, and much more.  To top it off, they performed flying side kicks over a tiger to the finish line.  The race was so much fun, many of the students asked to go multiple times. It was a blast!

Saturday wrapped up with a group dinner, songs and some unbelievably funny skits.  Don’t miss the video!  Campuses devised skits using Looney Toons, Scooby Doo, Peanuts, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Spongebob Squarepants and the Flintstones.  The crowd laughed at the costumes, anecdotes and entertainment throughout the night.  The band finished out the night with all of our favorite Hoshinmotion songs. Guests of the Inn at Silvercreek even stopped by to enjoy the music.

Sunday morning started early again with more staff practice for the upper belts.  Students were provided classes in Advanced kicking, Poomse, basics and even US History.  The Juniors became engineers and blasted off to Korea, when they designed their own compressed air rockets.  In all there were 24 different subjects provided this year at Expo in 76 different classes. Each step a student took in a class lead them one step closer to their next belt.  Thank you to all the Master Instructors, black belts, grandparents, parents and students that made this year’s Expo as successful step in CTI history.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Why Enroll Your Child In Taekwondo?

In a society, like ours, that adores violence in everything from the blockbuster movies like The Terminator series and television shows like Breaking Bad, the thought of getting your children enrolled in a martial arts class may not always seem prudent. But on the contrary it may be a surprise to know that martial arts’ training is actually very advantageous to children. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider getting you child involved in a martial arts school.

  1. Learning to Set and Achieve New Goals – Most forms of martial arts, including Taekwondo, are grounded around accomplishment. This center around accomplishment is shown through the system of colored belts that signify the wearer’s degree of skill. When your child works hard toward each new belt, he or she is learning valuable lessons about setting and reaching their goals.
  2. Encouraging Respect – Respect is vital in learning any martial arts style. It will necessitate your child to show their instructor unflinching reverence. Culture in groups of kids in this day in age doesn’t always embrace respect for authority, adults, or those in a higher rank. When your child goes to their taekwondo class, your child will be learning lessons in respect along with new martial art techniques.
  3. Inspiring Non-Violent Conflict Resolution – Thinking that martial arts instruction promotes violent behavior is justified if your only experience with the activity comes from television or movies. In fact, many defensive styles teach kids peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution skills and emphasize the importance of avoiding a physical altercation.
  4. Encouraging Physical Activity – Limiting a child’s time on the computer or television is an excellent idea when it comes to getting kids outside and getting them more active. Enrolling an inactive child in such a physically demanding activity not only depresses the inactive regime they’re used to, but also gives them a pleasant activity that motivates them to keep moving.
  5. Increasing Socialization Abilities – Children who don’t always succeed in exceedingly social surroundings may find it easier to get to know people and make new friends when they’re in a room filled with people their age who share an interest. The children in the park may not always have much shared views, but enthusiasts to the martial arts are able to get to know one another through shared pursuits. 
  6. Developing Self-Discipline – One of the essential canons of all methods of the martial arts is complete emphasis on self-discipline. Kids today are comfortable when getting immediate satisfaction that lessons in self-restraint and discipline aren’t always easy to come by. Kids with a martial arts background, however, are continually reminded of how essential self-discipline is.
  7. Boosted Self-Esteem – Confidence comes with accomplishment, so your kid’s self-esteem level will get a lift with each new move they master and each belt they earn. Kids who grapple with a small sense of self-worth typically develop added self-assurance as time progresses while they’re enrolled in a martial arts class.
  8. Enhancement in Other Areas of Life – The paybacks of martial arts training don’t end in the classroom. The boost in assurance, improved fitness level and new collaboration abilities will also assist your child in navigating the academic and social facets of school.
  9. Developing Teamwork Skills – Whether your child is breaking boards to get a new belt or sparring in a practice setting to master a new maneuver, there are few things that your child does in his martial arts classes that will be done on his own. Working together to learn new things and accomplish goals is an important life lesson for kids to learn, and instruction in the martial arts can help your child learn that lesson.
  10. Improving Listening Skills – In order to master the skills they’re being taught and advance through the belt ranks, your child will have to exercise superior listening skills. Kids who aren’t always adept when it comes to paying attention to what they’re told can benefit from the verbal instruction and one-on-one work in their respective dojang.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Teaching Young Women Self-Defense through Taekwondo

Amanda Rosbarsky is determined to teach young women how to stand up to a potential attacker and how defend themselves.

Rosbarsky instructs a self-defense class called Worth the Fight which is precisely the message she wants her female students to take away from class.

“Self-defense techniques will only be useful to you if you feel you are worth the effort to use them,” Rosbarsky elucidated as her young students were leaving the Missoula Taekwondo Center.

Rosbarsky want to help women evade and escape potential attackers by teaching them simple self-defense techniques. But these techniques don’t mean a lot unless the victim has a sense of self-worth, she explained.

This was her first course meant for college students this year, but Rosbarsky is preparing to arrange a little more classes throughout the year for the women at the University of Montana.

Throughout one class, Katie Resch and her sister practiced a move called the “simple circle” that can be used to escape an attacker if she is apprehended.

Katie gripped her hands to one another and kept her arms close to her chest as she spun to unlock herself from her sister’s grasp.

“I like the idea of building my self-confidence,” Katie said.

Deviations of the “simple circle” can be utilized in other stances or situations to break away and run, Rosbarsky explained.

When they’re practicing a quick punch to the bottom of the nose or a stern kick to the crotch, the young women yell in a fearsome voice from their belly. The yell is called a kehap in Korean, meaning “soul yell.”

Rosbarsky said critics of her seminar say civilization should be sorting out what young men learn from pop culture, not teaching young women how to protect themselves.

Some young men take up a conquering character, Rosbarsky described. Her husband and business partner would also like to teach a seminar to teach them self-worth and how to decode any negative sway from music and television.

Rosbarsky said it’s unfortunate that our culture puts the responsibility of protection on the victim. But she said there’s no reason she shouldn’t arm women with the simple moves they need do so.

“You get to decide who you are and who you want to be,” she said.

“If we don’t make the conscious decision to decide who we are and define who we are, then we slip into a complacent attitude,” Rosbarsky added.