Friday, March 25, 2011

Walking Drills

By Erik Albrechtson, 5th dan
(Taken from a class taught at the AMASEA National Convention)

Erik Albrechtson Performing
Staff Poomse
Walking drills are our MSK basic movements performed while “walking” in various stances in between moves.  They are the next logical step to take after practicing our basics.  In basics, we stay in a stationary stance so we can focus on perfecting our strikes and blocks.  Walking drills add more elements, such as circle stepping and twisting the hips.  Walking drills also help to improve hand and foot coordination along with many other techniques and movement strategies.  With all of these added elements, walking drills become a “bridge” between basics and poomse.

In Basics, the student does five or ten consecutive simple movements from a stationary stance.  In Walking Drills, the student does five or ten consecutive simple to complex movements while moving from stance to stance.  This is the “bridge” as the student starts to move with their basics.

Check your CTI Student Manual for a list of the required Basic Walking Drills and the required Sparring Walking Drills.  Practice these and you are on your way to mastering your basics!

Monday, March 21, 2011

You Each Share the Same Name

By Jim Sautel, 7th dan

Great Grandmaster Bong Yul Shin was speaking to a small group of Moo Sul Kwan black belts after the Gateway Taekwondo Championships in St. Louis last May.  Among many things that were discussed, one important point he imparted to the group was that each person sitting there shared the same last name.

Great Grandmaster Lee H. Park
“The same last name?” they thought to themselves.  It had been a long day and maybe they hadn't heard him correctly.  No . . . they had heard him right.  He said exactly what he meant to say.  We shared the same last name.  Just as sure as we were sitting there, we shared the same name, the same heritage -  and the name was “Moo Sul Kwan.”  
When you think about it, it’s true isn't it?  Because of the countless hours of training, the numerous trips and competitions you've taken, and the multitude of experiences and successes you've had studying Moo Sul Kwan, a connection has been built with fellow Moo Sul Kwan instructors and students from across the country.  You have a connection that was constructed through your hard work and dedication to the art named Moo Sul Kwan.

The students and instructors you meet a thousand miles away from home you find you can relate to because you speak the same language.  When you think about it, there is also a connection to Moo Sul Kwan students from across time itself.  It’s called “tradition” – more specifically, Moo Sul Kwan tradition.  Those workouts and competitions in the ‘70’s help lay the foundation of what we are also working on now.

Therefore, it’s important that we continue to train as hard as we can.  That we “Keep Pushing” both when times are tough and when times are good!  Great Grandmaster Shin wanted us to realize how special we were to be a part of  Lee H. Park’s organization - Moo Sul Kwan.  So we must turn up the heat, increase the pressure and challenge ourselves daily to work hard so that we deserve to be associated with Moo Sul Kwan martial artists from the present, past and future

Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't Doubt Yourself

By Doug Sandusky, 2nd dan

Doubting yourself can only hold you back.  You will never know how high you can go until you put aside all fear and doubt and give it your best shot.  It’s somewhat of a motto at CTI that all we expect is for students to pay attention and give 100%.  This is all about attitude.  All you can possibly expect of yourself is what you get when you give 100%, and if you truly give that, then the result is the best possible result under the circumstances.

No matter what happens in the end, if every (best) effort was truly put forth, then you never need to feel guilty about the result.  Once this is realized, and believed, then the process becomes more important than the objective and the sky becomes the limit.

When merely shooting for the objective, chances of going beyond are slim.  But when 100% is given to the process, the original objective is likely to be passed by like a truck stop on the highway, on the way to greater accomplishments than ever imagined.

Doug and Michael Sandusky singing the
National Anthem at the 37th CTI Super Bowl

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Four Common Things to Work in Poomse

Erik Albrechtson at Red Rocks
By Erik R. Albrechtson, 5th dan

Poomse is one of the biggest aspects in a CTI student’s training.  On each promotion test, poomse is considered to be about 50% of the student’s testing grade.  Thus, it is important that each student develop each poomse to their top potential.  The only way this can be done is by practicing.  

In order to make each of our poomses into “diamonds”, we need to place some pressure on ourselves. Each poomse needs 500 repetitions to be developed properly.  For 1st dan black belt, each CTI student must know 19 poomses.  At 500 repetitions each, that’s a minimum of 9,500 poomse to get them all down.

Here’s a list of four common things to work on while performing one of those many poomses during practice:

  • STANCES – there are seven different poomse stances.  Developing each stance and the transition between them is very difficult.  The best way to master each stance in each poomse is to move slowly and take your time and perform each stance precisely.
  • EYES – Maintaining an objective focus is extremely important when practicing poomse.  Eyes are crucial for balance and focus.  In class, when doing poomse in a group keep your eyes forward.
  • BLOCKS – Blocks are important basic building block of poomse.  Without blocks, we would not have the means to stop an incoming attack.  A block needs to be performed with greater speed and power than any incoming attacks.
  • STRIKES – Each poomse contains nearly as many strikes as blocks.  Each strike needs to be performed with power and speed, but they also need to be very precise.  Each target (solar plexus, philtrum, etc.) is very small.  Therefore, each strike needs to be accurately performed to achieve its maximum efficiency.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Home Help

Alice Meyung Side Kick in Lakewood, CO
By Alice Meyung, 4th dan

Helping your child at home is essential to their marital arts success, but most parents find it difficult as they do not practice Taekwondo themselves.

Basics – Basic techniques are the backbone of “Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo”.
 They are easy to practice at home.  It is important that the student be able to recognize when they are correctly performing a technique; however; this can be extremely difficult for a young student, or a beginning student, since they cant watch themselves from a third person point of view.  Ask your child’s instructor on what techniques would be best to concentrate on at home and have some fun helping them train.

Target Holding – An easy way to help a child advance in their kicks is to have them use a “real” target.  You can practice with your child at home with a swimming noodle, a pillow, a square target, or even a simple piece of paper.  The noodle, or square target can be held out to the side and tilted slightly down for a front kick, held straight out to the side for side kicks and back kicks, or held straight out the front for a roundhouse kick.  (Ask the instructor for proper positions.)  You can also draw out a target on a piece of paper and hold it out like a square target.  After your child kicks it, you mark where they kicked and they can see how precise their kicking attempt was.

Most importantly, coming to watch your student in class will reveal to you how to help your child at home. You can see how well they are doing, what they struggle with and the many exciting things they learn in class. Private lessons are always beneficial.  Ask your child’s instructor if you can sit in on the lesson in order to learn, understand, and recognize what your student needs improvement on and how to help them. The CTI Belt Requirement DVDs are also a fantastic way for your child to practice at home. They can do their poomse along with the black belt in the video, and you can help them recognize when they make a mistake. Along with encouragement, these simple ways to get involved can help your child grow into an accomplished Moo Sul Kwan martial artist.