Friday, October 28, 2011

16th MSK Symposium

By Zach Greaves, red belt

This is the Moo Sul Kwan Black Belt Symposium, the experience that brings out the best in all of us in Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts.  With all of the upper belts that drive up to Winter Park every year to understand and to learn more about Self-Defense, One Steps, Poomse, Sparring and Exercise, it shows our fiery passion and our dream to drive our bodies to their deepest limits to get better and stronger.

There were also advanced classes in Demonstrations, Target Kicking, Power Taekwondo, Staff, Side Kick Breaking and a class for CTI Campus Coordinators.  On the last day, the first Symposium Scrap began at 8:00 AM.   There were competitions in Poomse, Team Sparring and the MC Model Concept!

Training to build our bodies stronger and more resilient isn't all we do—we also sharpen our minds with an activity called "The Symposium Adventures" and we feast on the last night of the retreat with a banquet and great live music that celebrates our hard work.

Running through the forest with a team of disciplined warriors we have a common goal.  We search for orange flags to lead us to the next clue which will eventually lead us to victory.  This is the Symposium Adventures III where teams compete to have fun and to win.  Anything could happen out there in the wild and clues are sometimes difficult to find or complete like deciphering the Korean language or locking out that perfect side kick on a giant boulder.  These trials of wit and strength test our mettle and resolve.  Once the clues have been completed the teams disperse to get ready for the feast.  Our stomachs empty from the energy expended, we head into the dining hall, remembering our day in the woods and how we yearn for the food to arrive.  The banquet was bountiful with burritos and tacos, powerful spices and sauces, and refreshing iced tea that cooled off stressed muscles.  The band was playing and everyone got out onto the floor dancing.  The band rocked the house—riffs and melodies skittering across my ears and I enjoyed the skill they employed.  The last day we formed teams for Poomse out of a hat and had some exciting Team Sparring.  It was time to shine and prove what we had learned over the weekend and this last day really emphasized our skill.

By the end of the weekend retreat, I saw everyone progress with their martial arts skills and the instructors could not have been more pleased with the results.  Building our techniques, strengthening friendships and creating life long memories at the symposium is something I can always come back to in mid-October.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea

The Three Kingdoms period in Korean history refers to the period of time from 57 BC  to AD 668, when Korea was divided into three separate kingdoms: Silla, Koguryo and Paekche kingdoms (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011).

The Koguyro Kingdom (pronounced “Gorudeo”; 37 BC - 670 AD) was the northern and largest of the three kingdoms, extending into what is now modern day China.  In the
ceiling of the Myung- Chong Royal Tomb, archeologists found a mural depicting two youths engaged in sparring.  Located in Tunsko, the capital of Koguyro, the Myung-Chong tomb dates from 3 - 427 AD.  Beginning in 372 AD, during the time of the Koguyro kingdom, the Buddhist monk Sun-Tae introduced philosophical ideas into Tae-kyon and Soo Bak.  Monks continued to develop the martial arts as a means for common man to achieve total body fitness.

The Paekche Kingdom (pronounced “beck-jay”; 18 BC - 668 AD) was located on the southwestern tip of the Korean peninsula, is thought to have been founded in 18 BC, by a legendary leader name Onjo. B y the 3rd century AD, the Paekche kingdom had extended its control to the entire Han River basin area in central Korea.  The kings that ruled the Paekche kingdom supported the martial arts.  Ancient records suggest that the military and common people favored barehanded fighting as a fighting art. Competitions were staged for men and women that included archery and horsemanship.

The Silla Kingdom (57 BC - 936 AD) was located in the southeastern part of Korea and was the smallest of the three kingdoms.  Due to the kingdom's martial arts abilities and leadership of the Hwarang-do, the Koguyro and Paechke kingdoms were assimilated into the Silla kingdom in 668 AD and 660 AD respectively.  The Hwarang-do was an educational, social and military organization  founded by King Jin Heung of the Silla kingdom. Hwarang-do members were comprised of groups of youths from noble families that were devoted to cultivating mind, body and spirit, to better defend and serve the Silla kingdom.  Wong-Wang Bopsa, a teacher for the Hwarang, created a five-point code of honor that is still an important part of Taekwondo today:

1. To serve the king and nation with loyalty.
2. To respect and obey one's parents.
3. To be faithful to one's friends.
4. Courage in battle.
5. Not to kill indiscriminately.

The Silla Kings presided over a cultural renaissance lasting over a thousand years. During this period of time, the Silla kingdom fostered developments in the sciences, mathematics, the arts, culture, and religion.

CTI Student Manual. (2008). In Colorado Taekwondo Institute.
Korean History. (2011). In VANK (VANK (Voluntary Agency Network of Korea). Retrieved
Three Kingdoms period. (2011). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from

Friday, October 21, 2011

CTI World Tour '11 - Germany/Austria

The CTI Black Belt Team Adventure Continues!
By Erik Albrechtson, 5th dan

Tuesday - 7/12/2011

Germany is here! We got up nice and early this morning to get ready and go. After a much needed haircut, my parents and I headed to the airport to continue our trip across the world. We arrived at Denver International Airport about three hours early and met up with the other people traveling with us.

Grandmaster Sautel divided us up into three groups. Each group was named after a famous explorer in American history.  My group was named after Neil Armstrong - "The Strong Arms!"   We got our groups together, took a few pictures and headed to our plane which would take us to Chicago, Illinois.

The flight to Chicago flew by (no pun intended) and we only had twenty minutes to get to our connecting flight to Munich, Germany.  This flight went by pretty quickly considering how many miles we flew!  It never really got dark on the flight and we were all very excited, so I don't think anyone really got any sleep.

I'm really excited to be in Germany, see the sights and to do some Taekwondo while I'm here!

Wednesday - 7/13/2011

Our first day in Germany was incredible!  It went by so fast it was just a blur.  When we got out of the airport  Southern Germany's best bus driver Karal and top notch European tour guide Almar (from Holland) were waiting outside.  So we jumped on the bus and drove 20 miles to Munich.  Our hotel wasn't quite ready for us that early in the morning, so we had a little tour around the old Munich downtown to get a general idea of the layout.  We had some free time around Marienplatz (an old church square) and a market where we ate lunch.  I had my first real German sausage and a Coke.  It was delicious!  Other people enjoyed pretzels and sandwiches (and a couple un-adventurous had popcorn chicken!).

After some ice cream for dessert, we stopped by a bank to buy some Euro coins for the students back home then went to Peter's Kirche (Peter's Church) and climbed the 303 stairs (I counted 301 and Mr. Garner counted 306, so using the Price is Right Rules I won) to the top where we got an amazing view of the city.

After our free time, we went to the hotel to check in, shower, siesta, and then we jumped back in the bus.  I really like our hotel (Hotel Erb). It is really nice!

We then went back downtown and ate dinner at the Hoffebrauhaus which was quite the experience!  We had a nice three course meal with potato soup, weinerschnitzle and an apple pastry for dessert.  We also got to see some traditional German dancing, music, singing and whip cracking!

After dinner we went back to the hotel and crashed hard.  We had a long, adventurous day!

Thursday - 14 July 2011

Today we got up early (well we met at the bus at 8:45am which was early for Almar and Karal, but I personally felt like we were sleeping in.) and we got on the bus and headed to Marian Square again. There we met Lenny, Tom and Joe who were our bike/walking tour guides for our Munich city tour.

We biked/walked through much of downtown and saw a lot of cool places and thousands of years of German and Muncih history.  Along the way, we stopped and did a tour of a museum (the München Residence - a normal tour takes six hours and we did it in one, and losing only Kyle Feagans along the way), churches, memorials and historical buildings.  Our tour guides were really nice and friendly, and we hilarious to boot!

The bicycle tour lasted for about five hours and afterwards we had about an hour to eat lunch in the market place in old downtown Munich.  I had some delicious pizza with my parents in a "by-the-slice" cafe near the Square.

After our late lunch we hurried back to the hotel to get ready for our workout at U-Chong Taekwondo  with Grandmaster Chang Jae-Hee.  It was a lot of fun working out with them.  We did a warm-up with lots of drills and stretching, a little bit of power Taekwondo-like drills (from our Saturday workouts), some target kicking, and we did all of the Taegeuk poomse by the count.  It was incredible that our poomse matched up exactly as theirs!  It was a great workout and it was nice to kick and sweat with them.

After the class we performed our demonstration for them and then we talked to them for a little bit and had to go as everyone on our bus was waiting.  It was very fun and an educational experience.

After the workout, we went back to the hotel and ate some dinner and then we were off to bed! Good night!

Friday - 15 July 2011

Today was a fun-filled day  filled with some serious sightseeing!  We started off by driving to Schloss Linderhof, the first of three castles built by King Ludwig II.  It wasn't a huge ancient castle like we saw in Ireland, but almost a villa-like stone mansion with an amazing yard, fountains, waterfall, statues, etc.  It was really nice and cool to tour the inside and take pictures around the grounds.

After the castle, we drove to Oberammergau, a small village known for its wood carvings . It was a nice little place, though we didn't have much time to shop and eat. We did buy some presents for everyone back home, and then after some pushup work we were back on the bus.

Next we drove to the 2nd castle built by King Lugwig II - Neuschwanstein. This place was so huge and really cool!  It was WAY up on top of a mountain (about a 20 minutes hike up the road) and it was really neat to tour.  The whole place was never completely finished, though we saw what was finished and he must have spent a fortune on the whole place.

As we were waiting for the rest of the group to finish the tour, Grandmaster Sautel had Eilidh Spery and Delaney Zandin do Taegeuk Pal Chang for a young girl in a wheelchair and her mother who were waiting for her father and brothers.  She loved it and it made her day (edit: I didn't know it at the time, but Grandmaster Sautel also gave the girl a few of our old tournament patches. When we got home we had an email from the mother, who had found us on Google, saying, "Thanks so much for your impromptu martial arts demonstration for my daughter at Neuschwanstein a few weeks ago, as well as the badge !  It was a really nice highlight for her (and us) of our trip!"  It is a great feeling to know we're spreading happiness across the world!)

Once we had our whole group again after the castle tour, we walked higher up the mountain overlooking the magnificent castle to take a few pictures and a few people were promoted in this wonderful place (congratulations to Marcy Feagans - purple belt, Kathleen Sautel - 1st dan, Eilidh Spery - 1st dan, Delaney Zandin - 1st dan, Abdu Kikhia - 3rd dan, and Bridget Sautel - 3rd dan)! It was a ton of fun!

After a few pictures, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep after the busy day!

Saturday - July 16, 2011

We had a good morning workout this morning!  The black belts got up and took a short jog to a basketball court near our hotel.  We did a warm-up and then did some sparring (which makes the seventh country our black belts have sparred in!).  The weather was wonderful and it felt so nice to be out there on a beautiful morning with the sun shining and to be out there doing some MSK Taekwondo.

After the workout we headed back to eat breakfast and take a shower.  We then jumped on the bus and drove a short ways to the BMW Museum.  It was really cool there!

The main exhibit was closed due to water damage which was a bummer, but we were still able to see two huge exhibits.  One was a cool collection of many different BMWs painted in many neat ways by many artists, and it also had a collection of many vintage cars.  Across the street we also saw a huge exhibit of their current cars and concept cars.  At one point, a motorcycle expert rode up and down the stairs doing tricks for the visitors!  It was incredible!

After the museum, we had a couple of options. Some of the group went to tour the first concentration camp (Dachau) and the rest of us went to downtown Munich to tour around.  We also were able to catch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part II).  It was in 3-D and was pretty cool to see it there (many of us saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on its release date in Ireland, on CTI World Tour '04)!

After the movie we had some free time to do some shopping and I got a lot of Christmas shopping done.  Munich is a really cool town and there is a lot of history and culture that has been great to experience. I'm excited about the trip so far and I'm excited for the upcoming days of the trip!

Sunday - 17 July 2011

Today the black belts got up early again and had another morning workout at the basketball court near our hotel.  We didn't spar again today, but rather we did regular warm-ups, basics and poomse.  We spent a lot of time on poomse and it was another beautiful morning and such a great experience to be out there working out.

We left Germany on the bus and headed to Salzburg, Austria today! It was a lot of fun. And the bus ride was only a couple hours, which was really nice. The musical The Sound of Music was filmed there, and it's a really big deal there for tourists. So Almar put it on during the bus ride, though with our jet lag most of us slept through it.

When we first arrived in Salzburg, we first went to Hellbrunn Palace. This place was like a nearly 400 year old Waterworld!  There were trick fountains everywhere- it was hard not to get wet.  It was amazing what they were able to do with just water power. They had play sets and all kinds of moving objects and art work that was all water powered.  Luckily it was hot out today, so it was kind of refreshing when the tour guide would turn the secret levers and water would spray everyone from the hidden nozzles in the rocks and statues!

Afterwards we went to downtown Salzburg and took a quick tour and then had some free time for lunch, followed by a two hour walking tour of the city with a funny, old English lady who was an Olympic skater from Endland back in the day.  It was really cool to walk the city and learn the city's history.

After the tour, we had some free time to shop and buy souvenirs.  A few of us even had an old-fashioned picture taken.  It was really cool to see the city.

For dinner, we all got together and had the Sound of Music dinner.  The food was really good and we watched a video about the real family in the movie.  After we ate, they had four people come out and do a bunch of singing and dancing on stage.  At one point they even had Mr. Eric "the Tiny Dancer" Evans up on stage dancing!  It was hilarious!  But then later on they pulled Master Mindy Sautel and myself up there too- how embarrassing!

Other than the dancing on stage, it was another amazing day!  I'm really excited to see what we have in store for us tomorrow!

Monday - 18 July 2011

We got up very early because we had a lot of fun and excitement to pack into today!

The first thing we did was go to Herrenchiemsee Castle, the 3rd and final castle built by King Ludwig II. The was by far the biggest of his three castles- it was huge!  It was on an island in Chiemsee (Bavaria's largest lake), so we took a short boat ride to get out there and then walked for maybe a half mile to get to the palace.  King Ludwig II really looked up to the French King Louis XIV (who lived a hundred and fifty years earlier) and so this palace was built like one of his designs.  Unfortunately, King Ludwig II ran out of money while building the palace, so it was interesting to see the very elaborate parts that must have cost a fortune to build versus the bare-brick walls of the unfinished parts.  It was a stark contrast as to the very elaborate rooms that were made when he had money!

Next we headed to the Bad Dürrnberg salt mines. We ate a fast lunch and then headed into the mines.  We put on miners' suits, got to ride on the miner's train, slide down their slides, ride a boat on an underground lake, and learn about mining salt.  It was a very educational tour and very entertaining.  It was a super cool experience!

After that, we rushed to our bus and then switched buses which took up towards the top of the nearby Kehlstein Mountain.  From there we walked to Eagle's Nest.  It was a present to Adolf Hitler for his 50th birthday and was to serve as a retreat for Hitler and place for him to entertain visiting dignitaries.  It was an impressive place with an impressive view.  I got a lot of good pictures while on top of the world up there!

We then took the last bus down back to our bus and then headed back to the hotel. It was another adventurous day and I learned a lot and had a great time!

Tuesday - 19 July 2011

Today is our last day in Munich (and the awesome breakfast here at the Hotel Erb).  We got up early  and got into our uniforms and took some group pictures in front of the hotel.

Afterwards, we jumped into the bus and drove to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It was about a two hour bus drive there, so it wasn't too bad.

Rothenburg was "the quintessential Middle Ages German town."  It was cool to walk around on the cobblestone streets and see the huge stone city walls.

We checked into our hotel and then we had some free time to check out the city.  We did a lot of souvenir shopping here because it had a lot of great little shops.  The people were really nice and friendly too.

After some shopping, we had our farewell dinner.  I heard it was either in or next to the original city hall (I heard two different stories).  The food was pretty good and we had a lot of fun talking and laughing.

Afterwards we did a walking tour with the famous Nightwatchman.  He was really funny and the tour was cool.  He walked us through the city and told us stories about the town's history.  It was quite the experience.

Afterwards we had some free time to explore the city before we headed to bed for a couple hours of sleep. We've got an early morning tomorrow!

Wednesday - 20 July 2011

Today is our last day here in Germany- how sad! We had to get up really early and the bus left to take us to the airport at 3:15... in the morning!  Most of us just slept on the bus for the two hour drive to Frankfurt.

We headed right to the airport and said, "goodbye" to Almar and Karal before getting checked in and heading to our plane.  Part of me was sad to be leaving but another part was happy to be heading home.

Our first plane took us to Chicago and I tried to sleep as much as I could.  The flight seemed longer this way for some reason, but the flight was nice.  At Chicago, it took a long time to get through customs and security so 14 of us missed the connecting flight to Denver!  Luckily the airline took care of us and got us all on other flights (with connections all across the country, including Phoenix, Omaha, Cincinnati, and Dallas) and we all made it back to Denver safe and sound.

It was such an amazing trip!  I need to be sure to thank everyone who helped me and the other participants be part of it.   Without the help of countless people, it wouldn't have been possible.  Now I'm fired up to get back to regular classes and push for the next leg of our World Tour!  Where will we go??

Until our next adventure!

Monday, October 17, 2011

LeAD Team Hero, Mike Krzyzewski

By Eileen Lindner, red belt, CTI LeAD Team Speech

I chose to share the life & example of Coach Mike Krzyzewski, head basketball coach of Duke University, because I was looking for an older role model to whom I could relate & coaching is important to me.  The athlete who achieves brilliant physical feats never does them alone – he is always supported by family, teammates and coaches.  When I was a young athlete, I was fortunate to be coached in basketball & softball by my father.  I coached while in high school, and after graduating college, while teaching – like my dad.  My father was a great coach, teacher & father.

He had the same coaching philosophy as Coach Krzyzewski.  Coach Krzyzewski is usually referred to as Coach K, since his name is so difficult to pronounce, or even spell.  Coach K is famous for being one of the winningest coaches in college basketball & coaching Duke to 4 National Championships – 2 back to back, in 1991 & 92.

“There are five fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring and pride. I like to think of each as a separate finger on the fist. Any one individually is important. But all of them together are unbeatable.”

Mike was born in 1947 in Chicago, Illinois.  His parents worked hard to support their children.  His father was an elevator operator & his mother worked nights as a cleaning lady.  He has a brother named Bill, who was a Chicago fireman for 38 years when he retired. Mike went to West Point, lettered in basketball for 3 years, was team captain his senior year & graduated as an officer.  He served in the military from 1969-1974.

He coached while in the military as the Head Coach for Service Teams, 1969-72.  Then coached high school – military prep school basketball until 1974, when he was selected as an assistant coach under Bobby Knight at Indiana University.  He played under Coach Knight at West Point.

Coach K began his college head coaching career at Army in 1975.  He coached Army for 5 years and grew that program during his time there.  In 1980, he was recruited to coach at Duke University in North Carolina, and has been there ever since.

In 31 years at Duke, Krzyzewski, a Hall of Fame coach and 12-time National Coach of the Year, has built a dynasty that few programs in the history of the game can match:

  • Four National Championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010)
  • 12 National Coach of the Year honors (eight seasons)
  • 11 Final Four appearances (T-2nd all-time)
  • 827 total victories (374 ACC wins)
  • 79 NCAA Tournament victories (first all-time)
  • Coach of Team USA in several terms, currently through the 2012 Olympics.
  • Entering the 2011-12 season, Coach K owns a 900-284 record in 36 years of coaching, including an 827-225 mark in 31 seasons in Durham. He is three wins shy of becoming the winningest coach in Division I men's college basketball history.

College basketball is a rotation of players, at most they will play together 4 years; but that’s not typical.  For Duke to be consistently strong, the talent is more than player deep – its from the coaches: the only consistent piece of the team.

The core of his success is basic practice, man-to-man defense & team communication.  His players work hard to follow his leadership.  Attention to detail, hard defense & working together are all important parts of the Duke program.

“Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do in the best possible manner at the time you are supposed to do it.”

All but 2 of the players who played 4 years at Duke graduated.  His emphasis on scholar-athletes has encouraged the players to stay in college & earn their degree.  The role that Coach K played in their college lives was huge – his encouragement & challenges to them made them able to achieve their goals.  From the many players who graduated from Duke, 4 are now head coaches at other colleges.  His example reaches much farther than the few lucky enough to play at Duke.

Coach K reaches out to the community in running the Emily K Family Center, a community center named for his mother who died in 1996.  He’s also involved in many charitable organizations, including the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.

He has been married to Micki for 40 years & they have 3 daughters.  He has written 2 books with his daughter, Jamie Spatola, and 2 others on motivation & leadership.

“I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach. I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball.”

Coach Mike Krzyzewski embodies the tenets of Taekwondo through his professional & personal life.

His courtesy shows through his workings with other coaches & programs. His integrity comes through in being honest & following the rules of NCAA coaching & recruiting; as well as serving his country in the Army.

He has shown perseverance through overcoming humble beginnings & working hard & for many years at the same job; and being married to the same woman for 40 years. I’m sure his self-control is evident in not reacting to bad calls from officials, or showing disappointment in his players when they leave school or make errors on court; but in playing his game – causing the opponent to react to him – like in sparring.

Coach K’s indomitable spirit is easily seen in his leadership style and motivation, which leads & inspires others to be motivated to be their best & achieve the highest goals.  He sets the example of not being poorly affected by losing; but to learn from each game to be able to improve & succeed.

“I try to see each new season as a new challenge because I have a new team to work with, new opponents to encounter, and often new ideas and theories to try.”


Friday, October 14, 2011


CTI Leadership Team
Leadership is the ability to influence and guide others.  Leaders share common traits; characteristics of their personality and behavior that separates them from most people.  One significant trait of a leader is the ability to take a stand for what they believe, especially when their belief opposes popular opinion or the opinion of another leader.

It is important for a leader to have courage in their convictions and beliefs, as often they will be challenged by opponents who will be equally committed to an opposing view or conviction.  For this reason, leaders must influence and guide others with the confidence that comes from a strong foundation built on knowledge, experience and wisdom.  Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks are examples of leaders in history, who had the courage to stand for their beliefs and convictions in the face of great opposition.

Leaders must often be creative, “out-of-box” thinkers, for the challenges that come their way will usually require thinking differently about a challenge.  A recent example of a leader who thought differently about generally accepted ideas governing the way we use information, music and media, was Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Computer.  By thinking different, Steve Jobs revolutionized entire industries, and taught generations of young leaders that thinking different can make all the difference in the world.  Patch Adams, founder of the Gesundheit Institute, is another example of how thinking differently can bring a new light to an established way of thinking.  Sometimes, all that is needed to solve a problem, is to look beyond the problem and then we can see all of the possibilities.

Another character trait of a leader is their commitment to constant learning.  American General George S. Patton was known to be a student of history.  General Patton cultivated an interest in learning by reading about how great wars and battles were won and lost.  By reading books written by great military leaders, Patton gained leadership knowledge that was just a relevant in his time as it was in the past.  His leadership character trait of needing to learn from the experience of other leaders enabled him win key battles during World War II.  Today, the example set by General George S. Patton inspires military officers at West Point to study past history and apply that knowledge to win wars and battles that are yet to be fought.

Great leaders are willing to share their knowledge and experience with others who are journeying along the same path to lead and influence others.  Professor Randy Pausch is honored by peers as being instrumental in teaching women computer science, when the field was largely dominated by men.  Professor Pausch was also an out-of-box thinker, founding The Alice Project, an effective strategy to teach teens and young adults the art and science of computer programming.  Diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2007, Randy Pausch demonstrated many significant traits shared by great leaders with his Last Lecture. By sharing his knowledge and experience, Randy Pausch sowed the seeds for generations of new leaders, thus multiplying his efforts, even in his death.

Great leaders are humble; they are not arrogant but modest when talking about their significant accomplishments.  It could be said of Mother Teresa that she was a leader of leaders.  “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”  Humbleness in a leader enables them to stay focused on the goal or objective that they are to accomplish, rather than setting their focus on themselves.

Leaders are found at home, in the workplace, at school, at places of worship, in sports, and in community organizations.  At home, I can be a leader by taking responsibility and being accountable in areas that are important to my family.  At work, I can assume a leadership position by managing a project and accepting accountability for the results.  When I participate in a sport, I can help those new to the sport learn what is needed in order for them to be a successful part of the team.  When I volunteer with a community organization, I can commit to completing a project or developing a program that will benefit the community.

CTI students are poised to be great leaders in their community.  We invest countless hours in learning, developing and mastering many important aspects that form the foundation of leadership.  When we train, we learn that building a good foundation based on knowledge, skill and technique is important to our future success. Our CTI training focuses on developing our  mind, body and spirit in the ways that make for capable leaders, in addition to effective team players.

Our CTI training develops and reinforces positive leadership character traits, such as our sense of fair-play and sportsmanship, when competing as part of a team or one-on-one with other leaders.  This aspect of leadership is important when competing in sports, in the workplace or when competing with other leaders as part of a community service organization.

CTI students learn to be responsible leaders who are accountable for their actions. When we fail, for whatever reason, we learn from our experience and recommit to a better outcome in the future.  We do not make excuses for our lack of performance; we are taught to do our very best and resolve to meet whatever goal or challenge is set before us to achieve.

In the communities where CTI students live, work and play, there are many community organizations that could benefit greatly from the leadership skills and characteristics that CTI students have to offer.  As leaders in our community, we are expected to step up to the task and assume a leadership position when an opportunity to lead presents itself.

When we assume a leadership position in our community, we provide young people with an opportunity to observe good leadership in practice.  The CTI, AMASEA and MSK, provide the means where students can learn to be great leaders, to the benefit of family, friends and people in the community in which they live and serve.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Journey

By Emily Brophy, red belt

A wise teacher once said that a person is born a camel with an empty pack upon its back. This pack is to be filled by the teaching of family members, teachers and other important people in the camel’s young life.  Throughout this time, the camel experiences challenges, problems and other learning experiences and the pack accumulates tools and knowledge.

At a certain age the camel becomes an independent lion and sets off across the desert embarking on the journey of life or “father path”.  The lion will encounter a dragon with many scales.  In order to conquer the dragon the lion must find the one scale called “I WILL”, which is surrounded by the  “Do This”, “Do That”, “Be This”, “Be That”, and so on.  The quality of the pack’s contents will determine the likelihood of finding that one vulnerable spot on the dragon, which says I WILL!  Armed with this scale, the lion navigates through life, successfully, with self-confidence as a warrior and seeker along the “father path”.
This is how the journey above relates to Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo.

At the white belt level the student has an empty pack ready to be filled with the knowledge of MSK Taekwondo. As the student progresses through the levels he or she will accumulate the knowledge and skills to help them test for each successive belt level. At the red belt level, the pack is filled with physical traits, such as poomse, self-defense and one-steps, and knowledge skills gained from assisting in teaching, attending camps, attending Lead/Stealth, and being a member of the Black Belt Club.

At the end of the red belt level, the Moo Sul Kwan black belt teachers test the quality of the student’s pack and its contents to make sure that the student is ready to become the Lion:  A Moo Sul Kwan Black Belt.

When the student is ready there are three tests: pre-test, written, and physical. When the student passes these tests they transform at last into a Lion ready to embark on the journey of the MSK Black Belt.  When the  MSK Black Belt has found the “I WILL” scale of the dragon he or she with find the path of their Taekwondo life and their contribution to the community of Taekwondo.  

One of the most important traits in the student’s pack is Self-Discipline, which is comprised of Self-Restraint, Self-Reliance, Self-Control, and Independence. Self-restraint is exercising control in unpredictable and tempting situations. It means being resistant to bullies and choosing to behave properly in all circumstances. Self-reliance is counting on one’s self at all times. Self-control means choosing appropriate behaviors in response to certain situations. Independence means thinking for one’s self and doing without help.

Here are two examples of exercising Self-Discipline:
1. It was a typical school day for Hera and she arrived at school in the school bus. She was the first student off the bus.  Matthew (Matt a school bully) stepped from one side of the bus and said, “Where ya going so fast know-it –all?”
Hera asked politely, “May I please go to class?”
Matt said “No!”, and planted his feet firmly in the dirt.
Hera tried to push past Matt and he kneed her back and punched her. Hera lunged forward to punch Matt and then realized that she must practice Self-Restraint and not use her martial arts training. Instead she went back on the bus and asked for the driver’s assistance.
2. One day at a pool party Erin was sitting off to the side and a bully, Aaron, came over and splashed her. She didn’t react and kept reading her book. Then Aaron got a medium-sized water gun and soaked her legs. She ignored it. The he got the biggest water gun in the pool and soaked her head to toe and ruined her book. She wanted so badly to use her MSK Taekwondo training and trounce him. But she remembered what her CTI teacher at Green Mountains Campus had taught her about the meaning of Hoshin: Self-Control Before Self-Defense. Instead she found another activity.