Friday, August 29, 2014

Picnic Time!

Sunday is our 7th Annual Picnic in the Park

Come join us for an exciting afternoon of games, food and good times with friends. Don't forget to bring your squirt guns. Parents are welcome to join the fun too!

Who: All Students and Family
When: August 31st @ 12pm
Where: Tanglewood Park in Golden (click here for a map)

This is a potluck picnic. Please bring the following based on which CTI Campus you workout at:
Conifer: Desserts
Golden: Beverages
Green Mountain: Side Dishes
Littleton: Side Dishes
Westminster: Desserts
Contact your instructor for more information. We hope to see you there!

Frequently Asked Questions About Taekwondo

By Erik Albrechtson, 5th dan

Taekwondo is the Korean art of smashing with the bare feet and hands. It's the most commonly practiced martial art in the world, with active practicing students in over 200 countries. It is the only martial art, besides boxing, wrestling and judo, that is a medal sport in the Olympics. As an instructor of Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, I often get many questions related to Taekwondo and other martial arts. This article is sort of a F.A.Q. in an attempt to try and help the average person understand more about Taekwondo and martial arts in general.

What's the difference between Taekwondo and Karate?
Early people in every part of the world developed ways of defending themselves from wild animals and other people trying to harm them, from the Native Americans to the Aztecs to the ancient Koreans. Taekwondo is one of the martial arts that developed in Korea (along with Hapkido), Karate & Judo were developed in Japan, and Kung Fu & Tai Chi in China. Each martial art has its own characteristics. Taekwondo is commonly known for its strong kicks. 
But styles can vary between schools. Two Taekwondo schools can be as dissimilar as a Taekwondo school and a Karate school. The main thing a student or parent wants to look into when picking a martial arts school is the program being taught to the students and the quality of the instruction. Martial arts that have been around for thousands of years wouldn't have survived if they didn't protect their practitioners. So less of a focus should be on which martial art is being taught, but instead questions like "how experienced are the instructors?", "what benefits are being taught to students?", and "is the instructor a good role-model for what I'm looking for myself/child?"

How do you pronounce Taekwondo?
Hangul is the Korean written alphabet. When written in Korean, Taekwondo is 태권도. Hangul is a phonetic language (more about this in the next section) so each character makes a certain sound. 
The first grouping of characters (태) is pronounced "tae" or /tā/ (think "take" without the 'k'). It's common in the United States to hear it pronounced "tie" or /tī/, but this is incorrect and means something completely different in Korean. 
The second grouping of characters (권) is pronounced "kwon" or /kwɑːn/.
The third grouping of characters (도) is pronounced "do" or /dō/. 
A video of the pronunciation can be found below (source 4).  

How do you spell Taekwondo?
This one gets a bit more complicated. First you need to understand how Hangul works. Before 1443, people in Korea wrote using the Chinese alphabet, but it was very complicated and hard to learn. In 1443, King Sejong the Great, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, put into works the creation of their own alphabet that was easy enough for the common person to learn. This effort brought forth Hungul, which the Koreans still use to this day.
Hangul is a completely phonetic alphabet. Each symbol makes a certain sound when read. One thing that is dissimilar that own English, is that the characters are grouped by each syllable instead of word. So for example, my name written in Hangul is 에릭. The first grouping is the "Eh" sound and the second is the "Rick" sound. 
Since Taekwondo consists of three syllables, it is written as 태권도. When translated to English we get three groupings of "Tae" "Kwon" and "Do". But since it's one word, we bring them together to Taekwondo (much like Erik is one word in English). You might often see it written "Tae Kwon Do" or "Taekwon-do", but generally Taekwondo is the accepted way of spelling it. 

Have more questions? Feel free to email me at info@startmartialarts.com or leave a comment below!


Sources:
1- http://www.korea.net/Government/Current-Affairs/Others?affairId=331
2- http://www.rio2016.com/en/the-games/olympic/sports
3- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_society
4- http://www.talktomeinkorean.com/shows/how-to-pronounce-1/
5- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul



Friday, August 22, 2014

Youth Leadership and the Colorado Taekwondo Institute

By Merinda Sautel, 6th dan

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute (CTI) is instrumental in developing leaders of all ages.  Students at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute join for a variety of reasons: exercise, fitness, self defense, help with school, etc.  All students start with their own reason for joining but students who are working towards their black belt all gain leadership training no matter what their age.  Most important is the youth leadership development that occurs at CTI.

Our Leadership Training in Action
"It is apparent that leadership isn't a part of the average adolescent's life.  Most are never offered the chance to act as leaders. Teenagers do not come naturally to a belief in their own leadership abilities(Van Linden and Fertman,  preface xvii). "  This statement is not true for the youth and teenagers at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.  All CTI students striving to earn their black belt  get leadership training in a multitude of ways.  Students in the classroom work with other students when they do assistant teaching and upper belts are trained often to lead various parts of the Taekwondo instruction.  Students working towards black belt often pick an additional class with younger students to help with assistant instructing on a regular basis.

One very unique attribute of the CTI is the dedicated leadership training that happens 2-3 times per month and at various seminars and weekend conventions throughout the year.  Students of all ages learn a variety of leadership skills at these training from actually leading a class, to talking with parents and potential customers, to learning how to properly answer the phone, to giving speeches in front of peers, to teaching students of all ages, etc.  CTI youth and teenagers have an easier time at school by transferring these skills to their everyday life.  They are more confident with presentations and do not shy away from projects that require dedication and perseverance.  Each of our students has learned the art of making goals and attaining those goals with hard work and dedication to their training.

"It is important to recognize that leadership development also furthers the development of healthy and risk-reducing behavior and social competence; it is an undertaking that can be an important component of any organization or program serving adolescents (Van Linden and Fertman,  preface xviii)."  The  Colorado Taekwondo Institute is such an organization that specifically works on leadership development.  Currently there are several students ages 13 - 17 who are actual CTI instructors with their own classes. These instructors are responsible for the class instruction, planning of said instruction, development of students towards attaining black belt, testing of their students, speaking with parents, and the safety of their students.  They attend meetings and are accountable for each aspect of their class.  These young instructors are outstanding students in their own high schools and are often excellent athletes that excel in their school sports.


SOURCE:
A., Van Linden Josephine, and Carl I. Fertman. Youth Leadership: A Guide to Understanding Leadership Development in Adolescents. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998. Print.

Monday, August 18, 2014

CTI Black Belt Team - South Korea, Part 3

Day seven of the CTI Black Belt Team World Tour '14, started off with an incredible three or so mile morning run and workout.  Running through the streets of Jeju City in the early morning, the team jogged through the side streets lined with shops, food stores and countless businesses waking up and preparing for the day.  Along the way, the team stopped at a few small hidden spots and did poomse, broke a some boards and finished back at the hotel ready to begin another day of adventures!

It was off to the Jeju International Airport because it was time to fly to Gimhae International Airport in Busan, the largest port in the southeast tip of South Korea.  After arriving on the Korean mainland, the team headed off to a big seafood lunch and the famous Jagalchi Fish Market.  Seemingly every sea creature in the world was on display and ready to eat in a moment's notice!  Shopping was next at the Jagalchi Market with street after street of shop after shop - there was even shopping below ground level!

Another thing the team did in Busan was to visit the APEC House.  This special place was constructed specifically for a special summit for world leaders in November, 2005.  It's name is the Nurimaru Apec House (nuri - "world" and maru - "summit") and it looks out over the ocean and the city of Busan.

The next moring started out with some exercise on the beautiful grounds of the Kolon Hotel in Gyeongju.  There was a artifically turfed soccer field that worked perfectly for the team's sunrise workout.  After a wonderful breakfast, the team visited Bulguksa Temple and the Seokguram.  Then it was on to the Gyeongju National Museum.  There was so much to see about Korean history and culture at these sights filled with historical treasures.  Among the many fantastic items, the precepts of the Hwarang-do, carved on an ancient rock, was on display for everyone to see at the museum.  During the visit to the National Museum, several of our black belts had a lot of fun befriending many a group of Korean school teen.  They played frisbee, exchanged samples of US and Korean money, laughed and took selfies with each other.

Close by was beautiful Anajpi Royal Pavilon.  This was a hand built pond and play area for the ancient kings of the Silla Kingdom.  Also visted by the team was an area know as the King's Grave - tombs of the Silla Kingdom monarchs.

During the next day, the team headed northwest.  After a nice bus ride, including a stop at a Korean truck stop where a Native American trio was performing music for the South Koreans, the team made it to Muju, home of the brand new Taekwondowon.  We had a tour of this wonderful place of Taekwondo, which included a state of the art museum and the largest Taekwondo competition arena in the world.

After the visit to the Taekwondowon, the team returned to Seoul and immediately headed to the famous Seoul Tower.  This 777 foot tall tower looks out over the city of Seoul, and it was quite a sight!  After the tour to the top of the Seoul Tower, the team headed for dinner at a special place in downtown Seoul for their last evening in South Korea.

Following breakfast on the team's last day, they travelled to Yongin City and the Minsok Folk Village.  Everyone saw many interesting things dealing with how people lived in Korea in the past.  Highlighted at the folk village was the "Farmer's Dance", involving a troupe of athletic dancers, and a Korean National Treasure.  This treasure was not a thing, but an elderly man who performed incredible balance maneuvers on a rope that was high in the air!

Then it was on to Incheon International Airport, everyone eventually making it home with many stories to share.

This seventh stop on the CTI Black Belt Team World Tour was a resounding success and each member experienced and learned many things that will strengthen and enrich their training, teaching and their lives.

There are DVDs on the trip to South Korea.  Ask your instructor to put one on your television in your CTI Campus Lobby!

A CTI Fairy Tale, "The Honest Axman"

By Hope Morgan, 2nd dan

At the end of an exceptionally long day of work, Jack packed up his rugged wooden ax and began the lengthy trek back to his cottage. Through thick brush and med, he trudged along, ignoring the all-too familiar aches and pains covering his body.

See, Jack was an extremely poor man, living in dire times where money was scarce. He spent day after day chopping down the sturdiest and largest trees in the forest behind the kingdom in hopes of selling the wood to his fellow citizens. This type of hard work was Jack’s only hope of keeping food on his table, not to mention preventing the king from taking his cottage, a fear that was beginning to become a reality if Jack could not save enough money to pay off his debt.

Lost deep in thought, Jack must have ambled off of the path. He stumbled over some overgrown vines, forcing his mind back into reality. As he plunged forward, he lost control of his grip on his ax. Jack finally caught his balance, but only to see his ax plummet into the river directly in front of him.

“Oh, no!” Jack said with panic. “My ax! I’ve lost my ax!” A feeling of devastation washed over him. “Without my ax, I have no way to make money.”

Jack fell to the ground, trying to think of something to do. “The river is much too deep, and I don’t know how to swim,” he pondered aloud.

His sense of hopelessness seemed to deepen exponentially, and he was ready to give up. He reached for his other belongings, ready to take off when he noticed the river bubbling. Jack jumped back with surprise.

“What is going on?”

The bubbles grew, sending waves back and forth throughout the water. And then…

“Well, hello there sir!”

“AHHH!” Jack collapsed to the ground. Before him stood a tall, muscular man with a beard as white as snow.

“But! You! No! Not possible! How?!” Jack couldn’t believe his eyes. How could a man just rise from the river?

“My name is Aleck, and this forest is my home. Yes, yes, I know you don’t believe it, but time is limited so please try to hold your shock for now. Anyways, I couldn’t help but notice your shock, and I thought I’d pop up to help. Now, do tell me what is wrong.”

Jack, still amazed beyond all conviction, somehow found the words to speak. “I accidently dropped my ax into this here river. I do all of my work with that ax, and now I have no way of making money.” Jack’s eyes couldn’t help but fill with tears as he recounted his troubles. “The king will take my home if I cannot come up with enough money, and that ax was my only hope.”

Without batting an eye or saying a word, the mysterious Aleck dove back into the water. Before Jack could even question what was happening, he broke the surface again.

“Is this your ax sir?” Aleck inquired, holding a silver ax.

Again, Jack was at a loss for words. A silver ax. A beautiful, shiny, silver ax. He was tempted to answer back yes and solutions for his problems flooded his head, but he couldn’t find himself to do so. His eyes shifted to the ground. “No, that ax is not mine.”

And without another word, Aleck dove back down into the river. Second later, he appeared, this time holding the most marvelous ax Jack had ever laid eyes upon. It was pure-gold, shining in beneath the sun with every miniscule movement.

“Is this your ax?” Aleck asked again.

A gold ax, Jack thought. I could sell that and my problems would be solved for good!

But as tempting as his thoughts sounded, Jack couldn’t bring himself to tell a lie.

“No sir, that is not my ax either.”

At his answer, Aleck smiled, “Well my dear Jack, I do applaud your honesty.” He reached behind his back and pulled out Jack’s small damaged ax. “Most men would have lied and claimed the silver or gold ax, but you sir, are a truly sincere and honest man, and you will therefore be rewarded.” Aleck handed all three axes to Jack.

“I trust you will continue practicing your admirable morals,” Aleck continued. “It has been a pleasure meeting you, but as I mentioned before, time is limited, and I must be off.”

“Th-Th-Thank y-y-ou,” Jack stammered.

For the last time, Aleck dove back into the river.

Jack looked upon the silver and gold ax. He couldn’t help but feel joyous. He gathered all of his belonging, and began his journey back to his cottage.

Jack did indeed sell the silver and gold ax for a hefty amount of money. He paid off his land to the king and kept just enough to continue and modest and happy life at his cottage. He donated the rest of the money to various charities around the kingdom, making sure to spread the word of honesty and its great importance. And with that, Jack was able to live the rest of his life, content and blissful.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Martial Arts: A Spectrum of Benefits for Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a far reaching diagnosis & covers many behaviors and traits. In the United States, 1 in 88 children are affected by Autism.

Since children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, often struggle with motor skills and may feel uncomfortable in large group competitive or team activities, the structure, discipline and one-on-one facets of Taekwondo can make a positive difference.

“Taekwondo is a dynamic martial art of self-defense noted for building strong bodies through punching and kicking. But it also builds strong minds. Through the discipline, attention and concentration needed to learn Taekwondo, (and to know when, and when not to use it) your child will enhance their personal skills needed to study longer and work harder in school. Coordination, strength and stamina for their body . . . and mind.”

The basic motor skills required for taekwondo are taught from the easiest to the most difficult, often sitting or lying down, depending on the technique performed.  These punches & kicks are practiced every class. The Colorado Taekwondo Institute instructors follow the same routine in every class. This practice of order and repetition aids all students in learning the techniques; especially those who need order and similar situations to feel comfortable, such as those with ASD.  The development of large motor skills that comes from taekwondo training helps the balance and coordination of ASD children, and all taekwondo students. The discipline of taekwondo is appreciated as the setting of appropriate limits and expectations.  There is limited talking; much of class is silent and is focused on mimicking the behaviors of the instructor.

Taekwondo focuses on order and repetition to achieve a skill.  This benefit truly fills a specific need of the child with ASD.  These children thrive on order and on non-verbal activities and responses.  The child with ASD often retreats within himself especially in new situations or in large groups.  One obvious advantage to taekwondo classes, particularly Colorado Taekwondo Institute’s classes, is the absolute repetition of the class.  The structure rarely varies – and the child can become comfortable in class knowing what comes next without anxiety.  Even the initial physical change of putting on a uniform the same as everyone else in class can signal the sameness and discipline of Taekwondo.

Each student progresses at his own pace and under the direct supervision of his certified Colorado Taekwondo Institute instructor.  This individual focus takes away the sense of competition that many children experience in other sports.  While the taekwondo classes are made up of students at different levels, there is very little competition, but much cooperation. Since taekwondo is an individual art; but is taught in a group, the child with ASD receives both one-on-one interactions and group time – both of which are important to his growth and the ability to regulate his own behaviors.  

The connection between the discipline and regulation of Taekwondo and the child with Autism Spectrum Disorder’s need for repetition and routine can lead to an improvement in the child’s motor coordination, ability to be attentive and to connect with others.  The improvement in behaviors specific to ASD, as well as in behaviors that many children struggle with, like aggression, self-control and communication shows that martial arts training’s benefits reach farther than reduction of stereotypical behaviors.  This shows the mind/body connection and its importance in changing behaviors or learning new skills.

This mind/body connection of memorizing techniques is a huge part of the benefit that martial arts can bring to the child affected by ASD.  The focus on engaging the mind to help the body mimic the behaviors helps the student with ASD to act outside their comfort level without being challenged.  The repetition is both soothing and reinforces and improves the movement.  This connection between mimicking behaviors and owning the techniques is seen in all students; students with ASD specifically thrive on the mimicry before understanding the technique.  Colorado Taekwondo Institute’s emphasis on educational martial arts brings the mind/body connection into even greater focus.

The correlation between martial arts training and improvement in the stereotypic behaviors of ASD students is positive.  Martial arts training benefits all who practice it; but for those affected by ASD, martial arts is an area where they can succeed in sport as an individual and improve social skills and abilities.  Martial arts training helps those with ASD to integrate their body, mind and spirit in a way that other activities cannot help them do.  Taekwondo is a complete activity that engages the psychomotor, affective and cognitive domains in balance with each other, to integrate not only the Taekwondo practice; but the whole person.  Contact the Colorado Taekwondo Institute in your area to find out more on the training benefits specific to your situation.


Monday, August 11, 2014

CTI Limericks

Part of a recent CTI Monthly Homework

By Students from the Green Mountain Campus of the CTI

Morning workout punches and kicks,
Bend your knees and tighten your fists,
Strikes, blocks, and self defense,
Taekwondo in the mountains,
It just makes perfect sense!

Christina Manna, 12, Green Belt


The boy was kicking
He was not flicking
He was facing forwards
Towards the audience
What was he thinking

Emily Chavez, 7, Yellow Belt


Camp MSK was fun
Running and running to run
The sun was bright
Very very light
Fun in the bright sun

Sean Konrad, 9, Brown Belt


Camp MSK '14 it was fun
Almost all day in the sun
We got to have fun
And walk and run
Camp MSK was very very fun!

Brynn Konrad, 8, Brown Belt

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kicking Some More

By Erik Albrechtson, 5th dan

Taken from a kicking class for upper belts at the AMASEA National Convention.

Black Belt Jump Kicks in New Zealand
Taekwondo is the Korean art of smashing with the bare feet and hands.  In Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo we do a variety of strikes and blocks with our hands, but we still love to kick.  Our legs are bigger, stronger and longer so they are wonderful tools for our self-defense arsenal.  Unfortunately, they are further from the brain so they are harder to use; fortunately that means we get to practice more to master them!

Each time you kick, you are using muscles from your legs, hip and core.  Developing and learning each kick will take many repetitions as you train your body- there are 13 muscles in your leg alone!   Many tens of thousands of repetitions will be need to be performed to master each kick, and even then constant practice will be needed to remain in top form.

In Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, we have three basic kicks: front kick, roundhouse kick, and side kick. These three kicks are practiced in every class we do and provide a solid foundation for all of our other kicks.

In addition to the three basic kicks, there are a handful of other kicks we perform, including: back kick, hook kick, crescent kick, ax kick, and twist kick.  These kicks are built off the solid foundation laid by our basic kicks, and give us a greater variety of kicks that vary in speed, power and direction.

In further addition, we can modify each of our basic and advanced kicks to another level to accommodate a variety of situations.  These alterations include: defensive kicks, spinning, jumping, switching, flying, double kicks, twin kicks, and kicking from different angles (e.g. downward hook kick). Just adding one of these modifications to our basic and advanced kicks gives us nearly sixty four kicks at our disposal.  And this doesn't count using two modifications (e.g. jump spinning back kick)!

So what does this all mean?  We need to practice! As with anything, you should always start easy and build your way up.  Start by doing your kicks on the floor.  Then stand up and use a chair to help with balance and eventually get rid of the chair.  Next move on to practice by kicking a soft target.  Only then once you are proficient should you move on to breaking boards (with your instructor's supervision of course).  Do repetitions each day and slowly perfect your kick!

Go Beyond Taekwondo – Denver Martial Arts for Adults

Martial Arts for all Ages!
Everyone likes a man (or woman) in uniform, right? Around the country, adults are looking for a new form of physical fitness and competition. Considering martial arts may not be as outrageous as you think. More and more, martial arts training are becoming a popular way for kids to gain self-confidence, focus, and fitness, but in Denver, martial arts training can be just as transformative for adults. The Colorado Taekwondo Institute offers training at campus locations throughout Colorado, including Denver-area training in Lakewood, Golden, Littleton, and Westminster. Martial arts are not just for youth anymore.

Adults benefit from martial arts classes in the same manner as children. And, if they come to their program with the same openness and curiosity that children do, they are often surprised by how much their training has improved their self-esteem, helped them relieved stress, and produced strength and muscle tone that can help them in other activities.

Patience is a Virtue
When many adults begin their martial arts training, they may not want to show the world their uniform or their beginner’s belt. According to an informal poll conducted by TaekwondoAnimals.com, the number one reason adults take martial arts classes is to learn self-defense techniques. In fact, self-defense training was among the reasons these ancient Asian customs made their way into the American consciousness. The truth is, most martial arts are not designed to be purely self-defense techniques, but the discipline and practice can make you stronger, more confident, and self-possessed in a way that will make others take notice, which might be the best self-defense technique of all.

Patience and openness are essential qualities for adults that wish to begintraining in karate, taekwondo, hapkido, or judo. The traditions, meditations, and honor rituals play a large role in whether or not students are able to advance to learn and master more skillful competitive sparring techniques. If you have the patience to let the process develop, you can reap the benefits of martial arts training in a number of ways:
  • Relieve Stress – We may not all be calm, deeply spiritual individuals, but through even beginning martial arts training, you can develop the skills you need to calm your nerves, and focus your energies toward simplified goals. Martial arts as stress relief may be one of the most underrated reasons to begin an adult program, but nearly every adult struggles with stress on some level, and taekwondo, karate, judo, or hapkido training is a great way to tackle this life-shortening affliction.
  • Get Healthier – Of course, any type of cardiovascular exercise can help you feel better and live longer, and martial arts are no different. Many adults face boredom and lack of energy at even the thought of exercise, and they may not feel strong or skilled enough to compete in other athletic sports. As a martial arts student, adults can get the exercise they need, and participate in something they enjoy.
  • Set Goals – The belt system for adults is the same as it is for any student, six or sixty. By advancing through the belts, you can continue to set goals and achieve them, learning a little more about the art and a little more about yourself with each step. As you advance, you may even want to show the world your uniform and your dojo/dojang.

You’re Not a Kid Anymore
While beginning to study martial arts, Denver adults should keep in mind the initial limitations of their body. Although it is possible to strain muscles and joints, your training will slowly bring you to the level you need to be at to begin to learn proper techniques and maneuvers. If you are considering beginning martial arts training, here are a few things you may want to consider:
  • Don’t Forget to Stretch – Most injuries occur in participants who come to class with tight muscles and forget to properly stretch before moving their body in ways in hasn’t moved before. Luckily every class at the CTI begins with a proper warm-up and stretching to prevent injury and to develop your flexibility. 
  • Trust the Instructor – Your instructor is there to help you grow. Make sure you utilize their knowledge and ask for advice whenever you need it. Your master can also help you deal with any issues you might be having with your technique or your growth.
  • Don’t Fear the Pain (It's only soreness!) – Remember, in pain there is gain. Particularly if your martial arts training is the first exercise you’ve had in months or even years, expect your practice to provide you with a lot of initial muscle aches. This only means you’re doing it right.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Silver Anniversary Champs!



Our 25th Denver Martial Arts Championships is taking place on September 12-13, at Alameda International High School in Lakewood, Colorado!

Students and instructors of all ages and belt levels will be competing during the two day tournament in poomse, sparring, breaking, staff and more!  Poomse will display the competitors' power, balance, agility among many other attributes.  Sparring will involve 1, 2, 3 and four point techniques for some divisions.  Board Breaking will test things like the competitors' focus, form and speed.  And Staff competition for the black belts will be done in teams of two.

Since this is our 25th Anniversary DMAC, there will be some special surprises including a tournament halftime demonstration.  There will also be a Private Lesson Extravaganza on Friday evening before the black belt competitions.  At this time, students receive private one-on-one lessons with different Black Belts on their poomse, sparring, staff, and/or breaking technique.

All students who compete with good martial arts sportsmanship will receive a special Silver Anniversary DMAC Patch.  DMAC Black Belt Grand Champion Awards will be based on overall scores in each division.

Admission for our family members and friends is always free.  Bring a camera and get some great shots of your family members and friends as they compete in this special championship tournament.

Pre-registration is the only way to sign up for the 25th DMAC.

Click here for more information and to download the DMAC information brochure.

You can register by clicking here.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Find the Right Martial Art for You

In the twentieth century, Asian martial arts spread across the western world in a number of ways. The popularity of film and television stars like Bruce Lee and others had a tremendous impact on American culture. In the 1960’s, martial arts training began to grow into the physical fitness, self-defense, and spiritual training ritual that has become in virtually every region of the country. For kids’ martial arts, Colorado offers training opportunities for boys and girls as young as five, through the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. For martial arts classes, campus locations around Denver and the Rocky Mountains, as well as locations like Golden and Lakewood, taekwondo is a great way for kids to build confidence and focus. Beyond taekwondo, students can learn qualities from a variety of Moo Sul Kwan martial arts that include hapkido and judo.

Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo
Moo Sul Kwan Black Belts in Korea
Chinese and Japanese arts like kung fu and karate have been popular in the U.S. since the 1960’s, but at the same time, centuries old arts of Korea also gained popularity through the teachings of Grandmaster Lee H. Park. At the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, Moo Sul Kwan taekwondo is practiced, beginning with Tiger classes for kids between two and five years old. Students will begin as white belts when they enter the youth program, learning the basic tenets of taekwondo, as well as basic sparring stances and positions.

The significance of the basic poses may seem trivial to many students at first. Moo Sul Kwan emphasizes the cultural significance of different poses, and how they are used to exemplify respect and sportsmanship, as well as honor of the traditions that allowed the practice to persevere through government outlaw of the sport and political upheaval. Just as other martial arts contain in their movements a variety of meanings, taekwondo is a practice that involves combat training, as well as spiritual grounding and physical fitness.

Hapkido Basics
Where taekwondo focuses on kicking techniques that optimize strength, speed and power, hapkido uses balance and physics to use leverage to your advantage against an opponent. Moo Sul Kwan practice includes emphasizes three identities of the martial art: combat, healing, and internal growth. Hapkido tradition is based on the study of how the body responds to external pressure and the economical use of body movements to create the most power.

Mastering the techniques of hapkido involves utilizing the position, balance, and movements in a way to create the most power, even against a larger, stronger opponent.This can be crucial for kids’ martial arts; Colorado Taekwondo Institute offers opportunities for Moo Sul Kwan students to boost their self-esteem and learn to overcome obstacles. Hapkido uses three theories that dictate movements: Yu, Won, and Wah:
  • Yu (Theory of Flowing Water) – One way in which you can overcome the force of an opponent is to redirect the power, like flowing water, to force its energy to another location. Force, like water, will not contest an obstruction; it will simply find ways around it and therefore, can be deflected and diffused away from its original destination.
  • Won (Theory of the Circle) – Symbolically, the circle is an important feature of hapkido in terms of life cycles and nature. In sparring, the circle represents the ever-present range of motion that needs to be defended and utilized to strike an opponent. The circle is also important in relation to the rejection of straight, or rigid movements, in favor of looser, flowing body movements that more closely resemble circles.
  • Wha (Theory of Harmony) – Students studying hapkido focus on mind, body, environment, and technique. In order to integrate these aspects of the art, harmony becomes an essential element of hapkido training. To accomplish this, students learn to incorporate knowledge with movement, and then movement with environment, and finally combine these skills with well-practiced technique.
Judo and Mul Soo Kwan
Judo has a long history as a combat and self-defense technique. In Moo Sul Kwan training, judo techniques are taught with care to ensure the safety of kids. Judo and hapkido place an emphasis on “balance breaking” or using learned techniques to overcome the position of an opponent or defend against an opponent’s strike. Judo training helps bring about a physiological awareness that few other sports can elicit, and judo was developed as more than just a style of effective combat.

As with other kids’ martial arts, Colorado’s judo training can help students build physical strength and focus, increasing self-esteem through a safe way to develop muscles and physical fitness. Lakewood taekwondo classes can introduce students to a world of Asian martial arts in an environment that promotes sportsmanship, respect, and confidence building that can last a lifetime.