Monday, December 24, 2012

CTI Black Belt World Tour '14

The Black Belt Team is Traveling to South Korea!
The announcement was made at the CTI Christmas Party on where our Black Belts will travel in 2014.  This will be the 7th leg on the CTI World Tour and it's going to be South Korea!

We made a trip to South Korea in 2001, and we return for more training, education and fun!  On our first journey to Korea, we discovered Seoul, Busan, Kyongju and many other fantastic places.  We visited a Korean Folk Village, trained at the Kukkiwon, sparred at a University in Seoul, visited ancient temples, went to the DMZ Zone, shopped in Seoul and much more!  Some of us even went to Great Grandmaster Park's Mother's 80th birthday celebration and visited a local Taekwondo school in Kyongju.

This next trip to the "Land of the Morning Calm" will involve new adventures for our Black Belt Team!   There is a CTI Head Start Pre-Training Schedule available for interested black belts and red belts from their instructor.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Practicing vs. Training

By Eileen Lindner, red belt

I practice my Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo every day.  I’m pretty sure we all do – whether we are going over our poomse moves, doing walking drills in the hallway, getting in a few extra sit ups & push-ups, or using Ho-Shin – we all practice our martial art.

However, I don’t train every day.  What’s the difference, you ask?  Well, to my mind, the difference between practicing and training is huge.  Practicing is extremely valuable, and without practice & proficiency, training is difficult.  Training is more intense than practice & often is associated with a specific goal: an event or date marking a test or competition.

Practice, to me, is the baseline of maintaining a skill.  Practice is repetition – during class, perfecting that new move in a poomse, and then incorporating it into the poomse smoothly so it doesn't look newer than the rest of the pattern.  This happens during class, under the watchful eye of your instructor.  It really happens at home, when you realize that you needed 5 more repetitions with your instructor; but do it the best you can as many times as you can & go to the next class with detailed questions on foot position, which hand moves first, etc.  This practice polishes your poomse so you can start training on it.

Training is challenging yourself after you've been taught the moves – training really makes your poomse come together & enables you to get your moves to the right speed with as much power, focus, balance & control as you have – that day.  Training means you’re never satisfied with a poomse.  It means you've taken this exercise as your own & you will master it – but not today – not tomorrow – but it will happen – and then there will be another aspect of it to perfect.

Training means you accept that this is a long-term deal.  That you will push yourself farther & more completely than any instructor could – and your instructor will recognize that in you & push harder, since that’s what you need to train.

The difference between practice and training is the difference between learning a skill & doing that skill; between being satisfied with good & wanting to be the best you can be.

Both practice & training will bring you from being a white belt, dreaming of achieving black belt – and being that black belt, striving for the next level.

Monday, December 10, 2012

14th Lee H. Park Team Champs

The 14th Lee H. Park Team Championships was held at Alameda International High School on Saturday, December 8th.  The event marked the 4th Colorado Taekwondo Institute (CTI) Hanmadang, whereby students from all CTI campuses come together to compete in the spirit of Hanmadang.  The primary aim of the CTI Hanmadang is to focus on helping each individual competitor learn the values of competition: sportsmanship, developing winning strategies, developing preparation skills, and learning from the experience of doing.  

Participants of the Team Championships and Hanmadang events benefitted by experiencing how competition benefits individual students and the CTI martial art family as a whole.  The Hanmadang event is unique as compared to other CTI competition events, in that there is no sparring event. This provides the opportunity for event participants to focus in on other aspects of Moo Sul Kwan (MSK) martial arts through specialized events, including Team Poomse, Creative Basics, One-Step Sparring and Self-Defense, Team Staff Poomse, Board Breaking, and Family Demonstrations.  The Family Demonstration event provided CTI family members with the opportunity to develop, practice and present a demonstration of their martial arts abilities.  Several families participated in the event, which was both educational and entertaining.

CTI students and parents of CTI students had the opportunity to learn the rules of competition, which included how to score keep during various events.  Upper-ranked students honed their judging skills in the eight rings that were setup for competition.  Students that helped with the setup and running of the event learned how to think individually, work with other students, and respect the wishes of those in authority at the event.

Students had been focused for many weeks on their training.  Their goal was to do their very best in competing with their respective teams.  Regardless of where a competing team placed in the competitions, all CTI students gained from their experience, knowing that they had done their very best. As MSK martial artists, CTI students progressed significantly by  practicing and participating in the event.  The upcoming 39th CTI Super Bowl event in February 2013, will provide another opportunity for students to learn and grow in fellowship with their MSK family.  Details of the event are  forthcoming.

Here are the results!


1st place
Falcons        Llamas            Tasmanian Devils    Dinosaurs
Raccoons        Black Cheetahs    Hyenas            Cheetahs
Hawks            Jaguars         Pumas            Jaguars
Cougars        Lizards

2nd place
Flying Squirrels    Pythons        Lionfish        Jaguars
Kitties            Leopards        Kimono Dragons    Platypi
Black Eagles        Great White Sharks    Flying Squirrels    Blue Whales

3rd place
Wolverines        Pandas            Wolves        Sharks
Panthers        Stingrays        Meerkats        Pythons
Ladybugs        Rattlesnakes        Leemurs        Frogs
Monkeys        Wolves

4th place
Leopards        Ravens            Aardvarks        Leopards
Monkeys        Reindeers        Cheetahs        Jaguars
Wolves        Lizards            Cheetahs        Tigers
Flamingos                   Sharks            Pigeons        Elephants


1st place
Jack O’Day        Daniel Bergman    Julian Marine        Ridge Blue
Lovendy Rai        Logan Shephard    Isabella Rai        Gabriel Platt
Xavier McRant    Anya Trilk        Owen Martin        Rachel Kirschner
Nia Weiss        Ashton Price        Nick Tibbetts        Osso Siddall
Leo Lukosky        Dylan Mueller        Madison Mueller    Cole Walters
Braedon Eddy        Violet Beattie      Jake Walters


1st place
Cobras            Wolves        Bunnies        Lions

2nd place
Bengals        Bobcats        Jungle Cats        Stingrays

3rd place
Man-o-Wars        Aardvarks        Honey Badgers    Kiwis


1st place
Lions            Sharks            Lions            Jaguars  
Hyenas            Black Wolves        Pandas            Wolverines

2nd place
Monkeys        Emus            Aardvarks        Pumas
Cranes            Cardinals     Donkeys        Tigers

3rd place      
Golden Eagles     Chipmunks        Iguanas        Cheetahs
Kimono Dragons     White Wolves        Tasmanian Devils    Sugar Gliders

4th place
Tucans            Red Tail Hawks    Giant Squids        Leopards


1st place
Cole Walters        Sean Haverkamp    Olivia Cassara        Caiden Ward
Gwen Gutierrez    Ian Wilson        Nico Huggins        Logan Gill
Zuzanna Janowska    Ethan  Kirschner    Benson White        Ridge Blue
Lovendy Rai        Julian Marine        Daniel Lobelo        Owen Martin
Charlie Smith        Brynn Konrad        Lucas Richardson    Ary Dizayee

2nd place
Jake Walters        Charlie Lasell        Wilson Clark        Charlie Hunsicker
Casey Feagans        Aspen Hawkins    Mathias Bauer        Caiden White
Jacob Henderson    Charlie Greco        Alexander Karasow    Osso Siddall
Daniel Nelson        Isabella Rai        Violet Beattie        Anya Trilk
Jacobi Field        Jamie Barnes        Zoe Dickerson        Jaden Perez


1st place
Freddy Sautel         David Wallace

2nd place
Clayton Garner    Eric Evans

3rd place
Karen McHugh    Terry Copper


1st place
Madayag/Feagans    Ondrejko/Spery    Feagans/Dean        Ma/Lincke
Williams/McCartney    Reynolds/Dahl        Madayag/Louth    Neel/Bish
Hulin/Lincke        Lewis/Gutierrez    Brancio/Smith        Artman/Huggins
Lindner/Feagans    Greaves/Copper

2nd place
Louth/Lawlor        Sautel/Field        Sarche/Price        Rupp/Hartmann
Watkins/Koch        Teglovic/Price        Wyngarden/Brauch    Walker/Grose
Johnson/Luper        Simpson/Barnhardt    Malmgren/Trapp    McKernan/Brown

3rd place
Louth/Brophy        Sautel/Watkins    Carreon/Price        McKernan/Boender
Lautrup/Trapp        Bear/Wong        Nowak/States        Miller/Spery
Barnard/Apodaca    Miles/Barnard        Kelly/Spery        Hoenmans/Fernandez
Page/Lindner        Murphy/DeTienne


1st place
Possums        Bears

2nd place
Barracudas        Antelopes  

3rd place
Capybaras        Jellyfish


1st place
Jack Eller        Nico Huggins        Logan Gill        Jeffrey Bowen
Charley Greco        Dylan Mueller        Victor Lobelo        Kylie Bickford
Malaki McRant    Olivia Cassara        Max Bogdanoff    Casey Feagans
Merrick Oleszek    Osso Siddall        Isabella Rai        Jack O’Day
David Lobelo        Rachel Kirschner    Charlie Smith        Sean Konrad
Jason Cassara        Alex Price

2nd place
Abbey Salamera    Garrett Colehour    Devan Bagley        Devon Lewis
Cris Quintero        Benson White        Zoe Dickerson        Ary Dizayee
Wilson Clark        Lily Dwyer        Everett Douglass    Keet Holdridge
Aspen Hawkins    Ridge Blue        Lovendy Rai        Julian Marine
David Malec        Anya Trilk        Jacobi Field        Evelyn LaMorgese
Maddy Vaughn

3rd place
Justin Nelson        Libby Girard        Franco Otero        Benjamin Kirschner
Diesel DiPaola    Nick Tibbets        Isaac Meja        Grayson Clark
Mitchell Oleszek    David Bogdanoff    Tyler Tatman        Samantha Beisemeier
Ian Wilson        Logan Shephard    Xavier McRant    Violet Beattie
Eric Guldbeck        Owen Martin        Grant Haverkamp    Alejandro Deppemeier

4th place
Brendan Zandin    Christina Manna    Matthew Williams    Jacob Henderson
Erick Rodriguez    Alex Karasow        Jaden Perez        Andrew Morgan
Alaina Walker        Charlie Hunsicker    Konnor Evans        Robbie Crandell
Nia Weiss        Gabriel Platt        Ashton Price        Daniel Nelson
Braedon Eddy        Ryker Blue        Jamie Barnes

Friday, November 23, 2012

How Training Has Helped Me

By Lynne Dean, yellow belt

Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo has helped me physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Physically, I am in the best cardio and strength condition of my adult life (so far).  I have more energy and endurance which gives me more confidence. (Not to mention that I can now wear whatever is in my closet.

This conditioning also helps me in fundamentally providing for my family by keeping me strong enough to do things as simple, but necessary, as cutting and stacking wood!

The classes also have forced me to push myself.  I must remain focused, pay attention, and give 100% in order to succeed.  This transcends outside the class as I want that same satisfaction of making it through a class in all that I do.  If I remind myself so often in class to do 100% and pay attention – then I am also more likely to do that at work and at home.

The lessons in leadership, honest, integrity – as augmented by the homeworks – force me to articulate how I apply those tenets outside of class.  Reminders such as the TKD tenets of Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit really do remind me of what is important as a person.

The training also has allowed me to set short and long term goals; focusing on and achieving them help me focus my energy and think about how TKD goals augment personal, non-martial arts specific goals as well.

The strength and endurance required to set and attain goals help me deal with stressful things like my dad’s passing away this past summer and the daily stress of a long commute, job, not to mention trying my best to be a good mom and wife.

In short, TKD has provided me increased strength to do what I need to do, ability to focus on tasks and goals, and a continued reminder of tenets in life that help me be a better person all-around.

39th CTI Super Bowl

The 39th Colorado Taekwondo Institute Super Bowl is coming!

The CTI Super Bowl is our traditional end-of-the-CTI-year championships and this year it will take place March 8-9, at Alameda International High School in Lakewood, Colorado.  Competitions in sparring, breaking, poomse, First Point Wins!, Staff poomse, and other exciting events will make for a fantastic two days of action and learning.

Last year's Super Bowl Grand Champions, working to defend their title, were Kyle Feagans, Thomas Ma, Shekina DeTienne and Zach Outcalt.  This year it could be you!  At our year end Super Bowl, it's the only time that all Grand Champions are chosen from the under-black belt competitiors.

The action will be begin on Friday evening with black belt competitions in sparring, poomse and breaking.  Saturday starts out early with more black belt divisions, followed by the red belts and everyone else.  The traditional line-up will be at no

After the this year's CTI Super Bowl, we will have a Chili Cook-off dinner next door to the Green Mountain Campus.  Everyone is invited!  There will be food, music, fun and more!

Click here to see what happened the last couple of years:

You can also click here for more information on this year's event!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Benefits of Taekwondo for Women

By Rob Sarche, M.D., purple belt

Women in Martial Arts
Martial arts are systemized forms of self-defense designed to train the body, mind and spirit.
Taekwondo is the millennia old Korean martial art which developed from a rich history and tradition, and is thriving today as the most practiced martial art in the world.  The benefits to participants are myriad and can be enjoyed by all individuals regardless of  age, gender, social, ethnic or religious backgrounds.  These benefits extend well beyond the Dojang (the Taekwondo practice hall), and permeate many other realms of the participants life.  Women participants receive unique benefits from the practice of Taekwondo.  This form of self-defense will strengthen and expand her abilities to deal with the unique challenges that women may face in our society. Those benefits include knowledge of practical self defense, empowerment, improved self-esteem, self-confidence, fitness, stress relief, community, and improved awareness.

The first lesson in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo includes the introduction of “Ho-Shin”, which is the concept of “self-control, before self-defense”.  MSK Taekwondo instruction includes fostering appropriate decision making in order to assure participants use their skills as a means of self defense, and not aggression.  Students will gain the ability to protect themselves, as well as the confidence to do so.  The best form of self-defense stems from broadened awareness of threat, advance preparation and recognition of potential danger, and avoidance of situations that create vulnerability.  The lessons of MSK Taekwondo are replete with the physical skills of self-defense, but more importantly, there is an emphasis on how to avoid having to use those skills.

In the process of developing the ability to defend themselves, women will increase their self-confidence and know that they have the power to defend themselves, and through such confidence will decrease their likelihood of becoming a victim. Perpetrators are deterred by the self-confidence and strength emanating from those students who become empowered to protect themselves against victimization.  In the beginning students will start to develop their “kihap”, which is their powerful yell while executing both defensive blocks and offensive strikes.  In the process of learning the kihap, participants learn to show their strength and confidence through this vocalization, which is a strong deterrent to a would-be assailant, as well as an essential call for help.  The kihap is a release of ever-growing spirit and strength in the MSK Taekwondo student, and a symbol of the self-confidence that is shown by the woman who can, and will defend herself, if the situation calls for it.  The confidence to act from one’s strength and knowledge to defend one’s self may end a struggle before it even begins, but should the actual self-defense skills actually be needed, the student will have the confidence to decisively protect herself.

Learning MSK Taekwondo will help increase the student’s awareness in many ways. Self defense training entails an eye-opening awareness of ones strengths and challenges.  Learning self-defense in the form of MSK Taekwondo helps increases cultural awareness, imparting the ancient Korean traditions of the martial art. Awareness of one’s environment increases, and participants are much more likely to recognize and avoid potentially threatening situations.  The process of learning MSK Taekwondo will bring safety issues to the forefront of the student’s mind in an empowering way that alleviates fears and anxieties, rather than create them.

Self-esteem grows from vanquishing perceived vulnerabilities and replacing them with known and proven abilities from one’s ever-increasing strengths as nurtured by MSK Taekwondo.  Self-esteem not only grows from the empowerment that women realize as their martial arts skills increase, but also from the “fringe” benefits.  The participant feels pride in her growing skills, as well as her strengthening body, mind and spirit.

Studying Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, unlike the study of many other disciplines, relieves stresses upon students, rather than adding to them.  Though their is a cognitive agenda and a body of knowledge that students will learn, the physical aspect and requirements create an avenue for the student’s stresses to be managed and released.  Taekwondo requires a focus of the mind and spirit that blocks out stresses from daily life and  the student’s academic endeavors.  As one focuses on the physicality of the martial arts, one’s mind is turned away from their stress and is forced to focus on the task at hand, which is enjoyable, healthful and empowering.

The health aspects of MSK Taekwondo go well beyond the stress relief, and exceed the health benefits of many other forms of exercise.  For some students it may add exercise to an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.  The benefits include increasing strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, injury prevention, and coordination.  Posture is improved, as well as breathing control, and essential core-strengthening.  The coupling of learning new concepts and skills, with the physicality of MSK Taekwondo, expands the mind like learning music, new languages or participating in the arts.  There is nothing mundane or routine about learning self-defense skills in Taekwondo while strengthening the body. It is never a dreaded or dutiful task, like a jogging on a treadmill may be.  The student anticipates the classes with fervor and enjoys the benefits of the extremely well-rounded fitness activity that is the study of MSK Taekwondo.  The expert instructors impart their specialized knowledge of martial arts with an effective, time-proven, self-defense system that reduces the participants risk of injury and accidents.

The practice of MSK Taekwondo will help nurture the student’s sense of community, as she endeavors with fellow students in a non-threatening environment.  She will be able to leave any insecurities she may have at the door as she partners with other women in learning Taekwondo.  The activity is uniquely social for the student, creating lasting friendships, and garnering social responsibility among the other women who take advantage of the empowerment that self-defense training imparts.  Leadership skills are honed as participants express and understand creative, cooperative and even aggressive behaviors, and channel them in healthy ways.

The discipline required to learn MSK Taekwondo grows, as does the focus of the mind of the participant.  MSK Taekwondo students become more focused and disciplined in other areas of their lives as a result of their personal growth through learning the martial art. Taekwondo is an energizing activity that brings enthusiasm to other pursuits, and the growing skills of the student help keep that student motivated, energized and disciplined in their other activities.

Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo will help women students to find a place of confidence and strength in a healthful pursuit that will expand the mind, while strengthening the body.  It will increase awareness of vulnerability and threat, through an empowering process that increases the students self-confidence to know that she has the strength and ability to protect herself, as well as the foresight and decision-making skills to avoid situations in which her skills may be needed.  It will promote healthfulness and fitness of mind and body that will help to bolster her ability to achieve her other goals.  Training in self-defense with other women in a non-threatening, non-judgmental environment will promote community, and offer lasting life skills that will go well beyond her student years.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Managing Anger

By Eileen Lindner, red belt

Managing anger and strong emotions often seems like a daily struggle.  Those strong feelings can arise with just the slightest provocation – a driver cuts you off, a sales clerk is distracted and makes a mistake, a phone call spirals into emotional issues, etc.  But, with self-control, and self-awareness, you begin to notice the things that cause you to react, and hold yourself back from a reaction.  With practice, you begin to ignore the triggers, and start to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, or simply give them the benefit of the doubt.

Self-control, especially as practiced as part of our Moo Sul Kwan teachings, can make you a happier person, as well as a more aware and outwardly focused person.   Often, we just need to take a moment, take a breath and think before we act.  Sometimes, however, we need to find a healthy way to release the energy that anger causes before it builds and can erupt.  That’s where the activity and exercise that MSK martial arts provides comes into play.  When we are at class, it takes so much energy and focus, that we can forget and let go of outside concerns.  The energy expended in class is huge – we are exhausted and sweaty afterward – and that calms us, without even thinking about it.  When we return to the outside world, our perspective has shifted & we react from a place of calm & control.

After working out, I know I have more patience for others: the drivers bother me less & I drive more carefully and slowly, especially this past week; I assume that the clerk is doing her best & smile; I limit the phone call that could cause me to be upset.  The self-control practiced in class reminds me that we all need awareness & kindness.

While anger & other strong emotions are healthy, and part of daily life, dealing with them responsibly & safely takes effort.  MSK Taekwondo is an excellent way to channel strong emotions into a physically healthy outlet.  And, the added benefits of advancing in belt rank, physical fitness & improved mental acuity all add to that health.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Legendary Ancient Kingdom

By Rosie Sokolove, 2nd dan

Koguyro, also known as Koguryo, was one of the Three Ancient Kingdoms of Korea.  It was located where presently China and the northern half of the Korean peninsula are.  Koguryo was the largest of the three ancient kingdoms of Korea.  A 12th century CE Goryeo script call The Samguk Sagi says that Koguryo was founded in 37 BCE by a Buyeo prince.  However, archaeological and textual evidence suggests that the culture of Koguryo was in existence around the fall of an earlier kingdom.  The kingdom fell in 668 AD. Koguryo’s name was inherited by the Koryeo dynasty (918 – 1392), which was where the name Korea was stemmed from.  There are many surviving artifacts and other evidence that gives people a good picture of the life, culture and history of the Koguryo people.

Koguryo was originally said to be founded in 37 BCE by Jumong, a prince from the kingdom of Buyeo, after fleeing a power struggle with the other princes.  He founded Koguryo in a region called Jalbon Buyeo, usually thought to be located between the Tung-chia river basin and the middle Yalu, which is presently the China – North Korea border. Some educators think that Koguryo may have been actually formed in the 2nd century.  In the Han Shu’s geographic monographs, Koguryo was mentioned in 113 BCE. in the Old Book of Tang, it is said the Emperor of Tang talked about Koguryo’s history being around 900 years old.

It is believed that the people of Koguryo are a mix of Buyeo and Yemaek people. Although they might not have originally identified themselves as Koguryo, the various Yemaek tribes people some of the first to live in the area.  Archaeological evidence would support the idea of centralized groups of Yemaek tribes in the 2nd century BCE.

Jumong was said to be the first king and ancestor of Koguryo.  There have been many other rulers that reigned after him.  Koguryo rapidly expanded its power from the various Yemaek tribes’ land and its own original basin and the water drainage that came with it. During the reign of King T’aejo (53 – 146 CE), a royal hereditary system had been established.  Five of the local tribes had been reorganized into five centrally ruled districts.  After centralizing, Koguryo’s land may not have had enough recourses to provide for its people which led to the Koguryo people raiding and or exploiting their neighboring communities for recourses and land.  Aggressive military actions could have also helped in expanding Koguryo’s control of land.  King T’aejo usually allowed the conquered tribes to keep their chiefs as long as they supported and reported to powerful Koguryo people who were directly related to King T’aejo, having to pay expensive taxes. As Koguryo’s boundaries expanded those taxes increased greatly.  Soon, to the west, Koguryo’s kingdom had entered direct military contact with the Liaodong commandery, pressuring Koguryo to move their capital from the Hun River valley to the Yalu River valley.

Koguryo continued to try and conquer the different areas on the northern Korean peninsula that were under Chinese control. Koguryo and the Chinese Wei created an alliance in 238 to destroy the Liaodong commandery.  Eventually Liaodong fell under defeat by the Chinese Wei.  The cooperation between Wei and Koguryo fell apart and Koguryo’s attacks against the western sides of Liaodong led up to Wei’s counterattack that destroyed Koguryo’s capital in 244 devastated Koguryo.  It was said that King Dongcheon fled to the Okjeo tribes after his army was destroyed.

The Wei army left after they thought they had destroyed Koguryo.  But, within 70 years Koguryo was able to rebuild their Hwando Mountain Fortress capital and began to raid the different cammanderies around them.  As Koguryo’s gained more power and expanded into the Liaodong peninsula, Micheon of Koguryo had conquered the last Chinese commandery at Lelang in 313.  From that point on, until the 7th CE, the control of the peninsula would be fought primarily between the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

There was a temporary expansion setback during the winter of 342 when Xiambei, ruled by the Murong clan, attacked Koguryo’s capital and forced King Gogukwon to flee for a while.  The Xiambei used the Koguryo people for slave labor and the Korean peninsula became subject to Xiambei migration.  King Geunchogo of Baekji have destroyed one of the largest cities in Koguryo, Pyongyang, and killed King Gogukwon of Koguryo in the Battle of Chiyang in 371 . In 372, Koguryo embraced Buddhism as the national religion and proclaimed new laws after turning to domestic stability and the unifying of the various conquered tribes.  The government recognized and encouraged the teachings of Buddhism, having many monasteries and shrine created during Koguryo’s rule.  A national education institute called Taehak was established.

Remembered for his rapid military expansion, Gwanggaeto the Great is said to have conquered 64 walled cities and 1400 villages from Khitan and Baeji and took the entire Liaodong Peninsula in 404.   He also added Buyeo to Koguryo’s land and expended the recourses of the Mohe and the Wa (Japan).  They subjugated Baekji, contributed in the dissolution of the Gaya confederacy, and coaxed Silla into becoming a protector of Koguryo during the Yamato War.

Koguryo’s territory kept reaching further out, now including three fourths of the Korean Peninsula, including what is now known as Seoul.  Gwanggaeto created the reign name “Yeongnak” to signify his belief that he was on an equal footing with the major Chinese dynasties.  In 413 King Jangsu climbed his way up to the throne, moving the capital to Pyongyang in 427.  In the south, Silla and Baekji rivalry to Koguryo strengthened as Koguryo land control continued expanding.

After the Zenith, Koguryo began to decline.  Anjong was assassinated so his brother Anwon took his place.  There was a power struggle that worsened and worsened until Yang-won, an 8 year old, was finally crowned, but it still did not completely dissolve the problem.

In the 550’s, the Tuchuehs, a nomadic group, took advantage of Koguryo’s internal problems and attacked Koguryo’s northern castles and conquered some of the northern lands.  As civil wars continued among feudal lords, Baekji and Silla allied together to attack the weak Koguryo from the south in 551.

Koguryo was often in conflict with the Tang and Sui during the late 6th and early 7th century.  There was fluxuation between Koguryo and Silla and Baekji, alternating between being in and out of alliances.

Baekji and Silla had entered an alliance together to try to attack and capture the Han River valley.  In 553 Sills’s army came to assist the tired Baekji armies and took complete control of the Han River valley.  Angered by the betrayel, Baekji sent a retaliating strike force to attack Silla’s western border but ended up  being captured and killed.  Baekji had become the weakest kingdom on the Korean peninsula . Silla had gained an important recouse area with a lot of people there and easy base to start more expanding.  Koguryo had become slightly weak from not baing able to use the land.  Silla had direct access to the Yellow Sea which allowed them to be less dependent on Koguryo.  When the Sui region had been provoked from Koguryo  from all the military positions and exapantion plans, it resulted in the start to the Koguryo/ Sui Wars.

In 612, Sui led many different armies towards Koguryo.  Koguryo was able to beat the Sui navy, so when Sui’s multiple divisions of armies were finally able to reach Pyongyang, they didn’t have enough supplies for the attack.  They were still able to find different ways to hurt their opponents.  General Eujili Munkeok had helped lead some of Koguryo’s people to help with ambushes.  At the Battle of Salsu River, Koguryo had released the water from a dam that had split and cut out Silla’s recourses and escape route and out of the 305,000 soldiers, only 2,700 had survived.

The 613 and 614 campaigns were stopped after they were sent.  The first one in 613 was aborted after the Sui genereal Yang Xuangan had rebelled against the Sui emperor, Emperor Yang.  The 614 campaign was stopped after Koguryo had surrendered and returned a fleeing general Husi Zheng who sought refugee in Koguryo.  Emperor Yang later executed Husi.  Although Emperor Yang had tried to organize another attack against Koguryo in 615, the deteriorating state of Sui, he was never able to launch it.  The Sui Dynasty disintegrated in 618 after the war had depleted Sui’s national treasury while Koguryo’s strength and power had also weakend.

In the winter of 642, there was a plot to kill Yeon Gaesomun created by King Yeongnyu who was suspicious about the general.  After hearing this Yeon started a rebelious and violent attack killing the king and the other high level officers.  He then declared the new king to be Yeon Gaesomun’s nephew Go Jang while giving himself power and decaring himself as the Dae Mangniji. Increasing the tension between Tang and Koguryo,  Yeon had an increasingly threatening position against Tang.

There were rumors that spread to Emperor Taizong of Tang about an attack that was going to be launched against Koguryo, the emperor had originally declined the offer to join, but during the summer of 645 the Tang Chinese army attacked Koguryo.  Yodung had been captured from the Tang forces that headed towards the southeast part of Koguryo where Koguryo’s capital Pyongyang lay.  Emperor Taizong eventually withdrew his army in the early winter because of the shortage of supplies.

In 660, the Silla-Tang alliance conquered Koguryo’s ally, Baekji, and contitued attacks on Koguryo for eight years.  Koguryo’s king Yeon Gaesomon died in the summer of 666 AD, having Yeon Namsaeng succeed him as Dae Mangniji.  When Yeon Namsaeng led a caravan to Pyongyang, rumors quickly spread about him actually going there to kill his younger brothers.  Taking advantage of the situation, Emperor Gaozong of Tang saw an opportunity to destroy Koguryo. In 667, the Chinese army that gaozong sent had crossed the Liao River and camptured Sinseong.  After that they just fought off different counterattacks from Yeon Namgeon and had joined forces with Yeon Namsaeng, but they still could not cross the Yalu River.   Li Ji turned his attention more towards the northern cities of Koguryo, and in the fall of 668 the army crossed the Yalu River and attacked Pyongyang with the help of Silla’s army.  Yeon Namsan and Kin Bojang had surrendered while Yeon Namyeon continued to resist the Tang forces, Shin Seong, a Buddhist monk, turned against him and surrendered the inner city to Tang.  That became the end of Koguryo and Tang claimed the land as its own.

There were different things that had shaped the culture of Koguryo, but unfortunately not much is known since many of the records have been lost.  There are murals and other artifacts that depicted the different people of Koguryo.  Koguryo people’s language had parts of it in the Old Korean language.  Some common activites to pass the time were drinking, singing and dancing.  Hunting is another activity that men do and it is sometimes thought to be a good way to train young men to fight in the military.  Archery contests often occur as well seeing that the Koguryo men hunted deer with bows and arrows while riding on horses.

Koguryo people worshipped many ancestors and other beings that they found to be supernatural.  Every October, there was a festival called the Dongmaeng Festival that was held.  This festival was kept to worship the gods and other supernatural beings.  The ceremony always followed after with huge celebratory feasts, games and other activities. Koguryo people worshipped and respected Jumong, the founder of Koguryo.  During the Dongmaeng Festival a religious ritual was performed for Jumong and the other ancestors and gods.  The people found mythical beasts and other animals to be sacred in Koguryo. They worshipped the dragon and phoenix as well as a three legged crow representing the sun called Samjogo that was considered the most powerful out of the three.  There were also paintings and other murals of theses mythical beast in the Koguryo king tombs today.  Koguryo people believed in the ‘Sasin’, who were four mythical animals that guarded different areas.  There was a blue dragon called chungryong that guarded the east, white tiger, also known as baek-ho, guarded the west, hyunma ia a black turtle, sometimes depicted having snakes for a tail, that guarded the north and the one who guarded the south was a red phoenix called jujak.  There were many Koguryo arts that were preserved in the large tombs.

Koguryo was a great civilization. It influenced so much, affecting how the future ended up.  There are still many artifacts from Koguryo that can help people uncover the history of Koguryo . It was the largest of the Three Kingdoms of Korea and it had survived for about 805 years.  Some cultural legacies of Koguryo can be found within modern Korean culture.  The remains of walled towns, fortresses, palaces, tombs, and other artifact have been found in North Korea and Manchria.  Koguryo was a great ancient kingdom that went through many hardships and golden ages, having an interesting culture and lifestyle.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sweet Time at the Symposium

The 17th Moo Sul Kwan Black Belt Symposium was a fine success!  A record number of black, red and brown belts converged on the Inn at SilverCreek in Colorado, for an upper belt training weekend that included classes:  poomse, sparring, judging, self-defense, advanced hand techniques, one-step sparring, CTI Power Taekwondo, the American National Anthem and advanced kicking.

The Symposium Teaching Staff included MSK/AMASEA instructors; Jim Sautel, 7th, Mindy Sautel, 6th, John Sautel, 6th, Erik Albrechtson, 5th, Karen McHugh, 4th, Freddy Sautel, 4th, Clayton Garner, 4th, Alice Meyung, 4th, and Dustin Wheeler, 4th, Abdu Kikhia, 3rd and Michael Sandusky, 2nd.

The weekend began on Friday evening with classes that went until 9:00 PM.  Saturday began at 6:00 AM with black belt exercise.  Red and brown belts started their day at 7:00 AM.  Symposium classes took place until lunchtime and the Symposium Adventures IV followed.  Fourteen teams competed on a race that took them all over.  From the Inn at SilverCreek to the town of Granby and in between, the teams battled each other on some challenging stations.

This year, each five member team chose an American National Monument or Memorial for its team name.  Frisbee golf, group poomse, air hockey, breaking, one-step sparring, counting points on antlers, team poomse, self-defense, push-ups, football toss and sit-ups were just some of the tasks they had to perform.

Dinner began at 6:00 PM and this year's Symposium entertainment came next.  To everyone's delight, several of our black belts played games of "CTI Family Feud."  Hosted by Abdu Harvey (Kikhia), everyone had a wonderful time watching and laughing with the action and cheering for their favorite family.

Sunday began at 6:00 AM for the black belts with sparring training.  Classes for everyone began at 7:00 AM and went until the final class, which was sparring for the entire group.  The Symposium ended with the group picture and the Amazing Race IV awards!

Other Black Belt participants who attended:  Andy McDaniel, Bridget Sautel, Brian Steward, Knisely Sautel, Patrick Vargo, Thomas Sautel, Annie Sautel, Erik Ondrejko, Eric Evans, Alicia Leone, Eilidh Spery, Delaney Zandin, Abbey Watkins, Sierra Field, Pam Sautel, Caleb Feagans, Michael Madayag, Kathleen Sautel, Maggie Wingate, Emily Brophy, Don Johnson, Jordan Garner, Sean Lawlor, Coghan Spery and McKenna Louth.

Under black belt participants who trained:  Holly Madayag, Eileen Lindner, Zach Greaves, Eric Bear, Kai Wong, Damian Rupp, Jack Eddy, Jocelyn Wallen, Nate Watkins, Alyssa Copper, Tanner Copper, Andrew Madayag, Casey Feagans, Tyler Murphy, Emma Hartmann, Justin Lautrup, Peyton Brauch, Lexi Johannes, Kyle Feagans, Allyse Nothstine, Jennifer McKernan, Karen Carreon, Marcy Feagans, Ethan Price, Anna Sparlin, Nathaniel McKernan, Thomas Ma, Trevor Koch, Theo Lincke, Julianne Todd, Natasha McKernan, Owen Hartmann, Kenneth Brancio, Carl Gibbons, Calvin Bishop and Effie Gibbons.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Just a Mechanism

By Lee Karl Tomjack, Teacher and yellow belt

When I was a kid, I listened to Master Yoda in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back tell me and the rest of the audience that anger can control you, that once you go down the path towards the Dark Side you can never come back.  I didn't understand what those words meant till years later, when I got older.  While anger won’t make you turn into an evil cyborg-like Darth Vader, or allow you to shoot evil blue lightning bolts from your fingertips like the Emperor in those movies, but it can cloud your judgment and make you do things you normally wouldn't.

An old friend of mine once told me that anger begins with a feeling of unfairness, like a defense mechanism, when your ego is feeling as if it was being treated unfairly.  As a former soldier in Vietnam, who now spent most of his time in a wheelchair due to the wear and tear of his many decades in the service, he probably felt life had treated himself unfairly as well.  However, he decided to take control of his frustration, and not let it rule him.  Instead, he entered the priesthood and now administers to other veterans who are less fortunate than himself.

Anger, when it takes control of you, can regress you to the mentality of a small child.  It can make you lash out, verbally or physically, when you think you have been hurt by others.  It can make you feel less guilty about striking back at others, who may or may not be the actual source of your problem.  It can retard your intelligence.  Even worse, anger can mislead you to think that it’s okay to behave that way towards someone else, in some sort of reverse version of twisted justice.

The hardest thing can sometimes be to remember that the feeling of anger is just a defense mechanism that is there to protect you, to give you strength when you are weak and in danger, but that it is not in charge.  Humans also have a mind to analyze what’s wrong, and a heart to make the right choice.  The mind can figure out where your anger comes from and help you to take steps to place it back under your control, and to hopefully eventually solve the original problem as well.  But the heart can help you feel what others feel, as well as yourself.  It’s where compassion and mercy reside.  It can help you to maybe empathize with someone who is different than you, and see their side of things as well.  Once you can do that, mutual respect for another is not far behind.  Anger tends to appear when you feel disadvantaged or not respected.  It tends to go away when others show basic respect towards everyone around them.

I guess anger can lead you to the Dark Side, or something like that if you’re not careful, but you just have to remember that you are the one who is in charge in the end.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Honesty is the Only Policy

By Kyle Feagans, brown belt

Honesty is a trait that defines our inner character.

Honesty is the barometer used to measure who and what type of person you are.

Honesty means you do not have to be policed to do or say the right things.

Honesty is to do the thing whenever and wherever possible.

Being honest with one self can be very difficult.  To be honest, at the end of a long and challenging day, who really wants to sit back and think about the areas in their where they may or may not have been honest?  It can be a struggle to take a few seconds or minutes each and say:
  • Did I do a good job of balancing my work and family life?
  • Did I take care of the issues at work or home that I dreaded most today?
  • Did I give my all during my MSK Taekwondo workout today?
  • Did I challenge myself to step outside my own comfort zone today
  • Did I really need to out for lunch or could I have eaten that lunch I brought to work?
While each of the above items is important, the most important one is “balance.”  Work and family without balance is…just work.

Being honest with my family, like being honest with one self, at the end of a long day, has its challenges too.  However, honesty here means you our committed to and that you care about others the way you care about yourself.  You know it is important ask:
  • Did I take the time to tell my wife and kids that I love them and that I am proud of them?
  • Did I start and/or finish a chore or project that I said I would?
  • Was I really too busy to play a game with my family?
  • Did I listen with enthusiasm about the events of my wife and children’s day?
  • Did I take advantage of the time that I was given to spend with my family today?
Again, each of these items is important, the most important one is to tell my family that I love and am proud of them.

Being honest with co-workers and friends is vital to building depth, strength and integrity in the relationship.  It is difficult to build a working relationship with a co-worker or to build a lifelong friendship with someone without honesty.  Honesty is a key ingredient to the success of any business personal relationship.  Developing honesty with co-workers and friends can be as simple as asking yourself the following questions:
  • Did I take a few moments to say hi to a co-worker or ask how their day is going?
  • Did I really listen to a thought or idea of a co-worker or friend?
  • Did I act professional or show respect to a co-worker that may not have shown either one to me?
  • Did I offer to help a co-worker when they needed it?
  • Did I encourage a friend or co-worker when they were discouraged or frustrated?
Honesty is a way of life…it defines who we really are inside and out. There are tremendous consequences if you are not honest with family members, people you work with friends or even yourself.   Honesty breads traits such as respect, honor, trustworthiness and loyalty.  The consequences of being dishonest are to have these traits come under question.  These traits are typically at the core of one’s success and happiness in life.  It is also important to be honest in my daily life for my children.  I always know that it is possible that they are watching how their dad would handle an issue requiring honesty.

Honesty can be difficult when you know it will hurt you and or those around you.  Honesty does not come without consequences.  Always remember that there are good consequences too and the final result may end up as a positive.  It may strengthen a relationship with a family member, friend or co-worker.

I feel like I can accomplish anything life throws my way.  I also know that I will have the full support of family and friends with whatever challenges life may throw my way.   I have a sense of self-confidence that I would not have otherwise.  I know that I can sleep at night because I chose to do the right thing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Setting the Example

By Eric Evans, 1st dan

Setting an example for others is a key aspect of being a Moo Sul Kwan martial artist.  It requires a black belt attitude at all times and in all situations.  Leading by example is not reserved for Moo Sul Kwan Instructors and Black Belts alone. It is a requirement at all belt levels and is a task that must be continually refined. Setting the example is what we should all strive for in and outside of class.

Traveling back to Missouri each year for the AMASEA National Conventions is always exciting. I look forward to meeting new instructors, students, exploring St. Louis and Cape Girardeau.  I also look forward to the Great Grandmaster Shin workouts. The workouts consistently push me beyond what I thought I could achieve.  I remember the first time we were told that we were going to warm up with chops. In my mind I thought, "No problem" as chops were a normal part of my daily workout routine. Then Great Grandmaster Shin told us that we were starting with 300 chops. Start? What had I gotten myself into? A wave of doubt hit me at first, but then something extraordinary happened. As we were performing the exercise I looked over and saw that Great Grandmaster Shin was doing them with us. Even after he had taught two or three other classes, he was still the example. This rejuvenated my spirit. He was giving us his best effort and that in turn pushed me to put forward my best effort, pushing myself further than I ever had before.

This attitude is repeated time and again through our CTI Instructors. Our instructors lead by example in and out of the dojang. They actively participate in the workouts with us and never ask us to do anything they are not willing to do themselves. MSK instructors and black belts are also students. They attend extra training classes to learn new ways of instruction. I believe this is one of the key reasons our organization is so strong and offers invaluable life long lessons to each and every student.

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute strives to develop leaders who help to enrich the program in their own unique way. Becoming a person that leads by example requires individual dedicated effort.  Being an effective leader is not a characteristic that can be taught but applying basic CTI techniques can help a student advance.  For example, when we learn to perfect our poomse it helps to breakdown the individual elements.  In addition to learning the actual moves we must also learn what the moves are designed for, what the meaning or pace of the poomse is and how we can improve ourselves. Each individual component of the poomse must be broken down and improved. Each move must have an intended target, power, an impact point and focus.

In comparison, to learn how to become a student that leads by example it is helpful to break down the dedication that it takes.

We must display integrity so the organization can display a positive influence and enrich the lives of families in our community.

When we are in class we must pay attention and dedicate 100% of our effort.

We must set the example of how to act through our words, our thoughts and our execution of techniques. Responding with a loud, crisp 'Yes Sir!' is just one example that invigorates the class and helps them push harder. A new white belt has the promise of hope when they see a fellow student persevere through difficult techniques or poomse they have just learned.

We must apply extra effort through attendance of advanced classes such as black belt club and events such as the tournaments, CTI Expo, Camp MSK and demonstrations.

Each student should seize the opportunity to complete the monthly homework and write articles on subjects that interest them. The articles enrich the life of the author but more importantly provides students an additional opportunity to continue to learn.  

Students should also journal their thoughts and experiences. This will allow them to reflect back on how they progressed through training and the effort they put forth to became a Moo Sul Kwan Martial Artist.

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing."
- Albert Schweitzer

Friday, September 28, 2012

Things You Need for Class

By Littleton Campus Instructors

The instructors at the Littleton Campus of the CTI were discussing some basic things that each student and instructor need to bring to class.   Here is a list.  Can you add more?  (Send in your ideas to

* Dynamic Attitude

* Uniform
   -Top and bottom
   -Clean and in good repair
   -Patches on and in the correct places

* Belt

* Sparring pads
   -CTI approved, clean and marked with your initials
   -Mouthpiece formed to fit and clean

* Glasses strap if glasses are worn in class

* Journal and Pen for notes, ideas and questions

* Boards.  Always have a board or two in your bag

* Staff (black belts)

* CTI Student Manual to reference when needed

* Ponytail and Clips for long hair

* Small towel

* Water for hydration!

Friday, September 21, 2012


By Cris Krause, white belt

To me honesty is the most important aspect of the foundation that makes up one’s personality.  It means always interacting with others from a position of integrity which supports trust and openness.  True leaders exemplify this quality when being truthful even when the truth might be uncomfortable or unpopular.

Being honest with one self can often be harder than being honest with others.  This is a significant focus in my daily life and I work hard to keep my focus in this regard.  I maintain this focus by asking myself the following questions:
a.    Have I been the kind of parent that I should be?
** This is the most important focus in my daily life.  I feel a tremendous responsibility to provide my children with consistency, fairness, love, respect, safety, challenges and leadership. **
b.    Did I do my best and work my hardest at my job?
c.    Am I being the most supportive and loving husband that I can be?
d.    Have I led by example when working with others throughout the day?
e.    Did my behavior and interactions with others leave them feeling better about themselves?
5 examples of how I am honest with my family:
a.    There may be no more important place to be 100% honest, 100% of the time than with your immediate family.  (although it’s deceptively easy to be 100% honest in all other interactions) As such I’m honest with my family with each and every conversation.
** Being honest 100% of the time in ALL my interactions has been a significant focus for me over the past few years and is one of the most important aspects of how I now define my sense of self-worth.  This is incredibly important to me!  It wasn’t easy at first.  Human nature lends itself to taking what I consider “integrity shortcuts.”  Even people who consider themselves very honest will tell the proverbial white lie about minor things. (Like why they were late, why they forgot something simple etc.)  In my opinion this is because hearing one’s self admit a flaw or a mistake is uncomfortable.  Thus, a little white lie glazes over the flaw.  It is much the same reason why people don’t like to look in the mirror.  When we do, we have to look at things we don’t like about ourselves.  However, with practice, we can learn to be honest in ALL interactions.  We can’t always change the things we don’t like to see but we can accept what we see.  This makes us humble and we learn to act with greater humility.  If we then focus on changing what we can control, like being honest or losing weight, we will then become more confident and this makes us stronger and more powerful.  We may then work to change the world around us for the better. **
b.    When teaching the boys about the more negative sides to humanity.
c.    When sharing bad news, even when it’s uncomfortable.
d.    When owning up to mistakes that I’ve made!
e.    When discussing the differences between what we want, what we want to do and what we have the time and resources to afford.
Being honest with coworkers and friends is also important.  It affords us respect in the workplace and trust among those with whom we choose to spend our time.
a.    When admitting to missing a deadline.
b.    When having to admit you made a mistake or caused an error.
** This is a big one for me!  It’s not easy or comfortable but I give great respect and have more trust in anyone who doesn't dodge their errors and admits when they were wrong.  It is a fantastic way to lead by example and a surprisingly easy skill to embrace. **
c.    When having to tell someone their performance or behavior is not what it should be.
d.    When observing actions or behaviors that are contrary to a friendship or a business endeavor its critical to address such in a direct and honest fashion.
e.    Admitting that being late was one’s own fault, not blaming traffic, the kids, the weather etc.  
Much of what I’ve said above applies here.  Being honest in everyday life is surprisingly simple in most cases.  I believe it does take practice for most people and the best place to start is to stop lying about the little things. (Being late, missing deadlines etc.)  However, as one focuses on being honest about day to day things that one could easily brush aside with a benign lie, they will find that being honest about more important things is easier too.  The person who has the ability to be honest when it’s uncomfortable or difficult will also have the trust and respect of those around them!

Being honest isn’t always easy.  This is especially true when you know someone is counting on you and for whatever reason you didn’t or couldn’t come through.  In this case it is human nature to avoid disappointing the person to whom you made the commitment by telling a lie.  However, one might find that telling the truth helps to avoid littering their conscience with deceptive details.  Telling the truth liberates a person from having to carry that dishonest baggage around in their head and their heart.  

I have always put some degree of my personal development focus on being honest.  However, in the past 5 years I have made being 100% honest a concerted daily focus.  With that said, I admit that it is only in the past 1-2 years where I feel that I have been truly successful in being completely and transparently honest 100% of the time.  There are still times when I know I can do better but I can comfortably report that I do not recall the last time I was dishonest about something.  To be completely honest about it….it just plain feels good!

Friday, September 14, 2012

5th Annual CTI Picnic

By Eric Evans, 1st dan

CTI students and families converged on Tanglewood Park in Golden Colorado for the 5th annual CTI Summer Picnic on August 19, 2012.  Attendance records were broken with over 200 people in attendance enjoying the fun in the sun. The picnic kicked off early with CTI LeAD Team members and parents working together to prepare for the festivities.  A buffet of assorted foods and desserts accompanied the hamburgers and hotdogs from the grill.

Prior to the festivities, students filled the field playing frisbee and throwing the football.  After everyone was full from lunch students began to warm-up for the first ever CTI Picnic Olympics.  The practice and dedication to excellence was evident in the first event as students tied themselves together for the three legged Poomse competition.  All ages participated and some of the students were even adventurous enough to  attempt Chung-Mu!

The egg walking drill relays followed as teams of four were formed. Cheers from the crowd encouraged the teams to persevere as they attempted to not drop or break their eggs while running and performing various basic kicks such as the step behind side kick. Enough eggs were spared to team up with a partner for the egg toss.  Master Albrechtson and Mr. Sandusky demonstrated their ability to toss an egg to each other from an impressive distance.

The groups were then split up. The teens and adults enjoyed fun with water balloons while the younger students were challenged by an obstacle course created by Mr. Freddy Sautel.

Finally, the younger students joined in the water balloon fun with a partner toss, target practice on Mr. Vargo.  The grand finale was spectacular when two huge groups faced off in a large water balloon fight.

Thank you for all those who attended. Special thanks to Golden parents; Mrs. Wong, Mrs. Spery and Mr. Lautrup for their help setting up.

Make sure to check out the pictures and video on

Friday, September 7, 2012

Courageous Courage

By Kyle Feagans, brown belt


Definition of Courage: The ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.

When I think of or hear the word COURAGE I think of those that have served our country with honor and integrity.  I think of “The Greatest Generation” those who served in World War II or those who served in Vietnam and the Korean War.  I think of the men and women who have served and those who are now serving our country.  These are men and women that knowingly signed up for a job that can put them in harm’s way.  Their desire and commitment serve and protect their family, friends and freedoms is more important than their own needs.


Exercising courage in not “following the crowd” does not come without challenges.  Not falling into the peer pressure trap can be especially challenging for children and young adults.  Knowing how to handle situations of seeing someone or they themselves being teased or bullied at school, on the school bus and on the playground present many challenges.  Encouraging them to solve and or bring these issues to those in charge can be difficult.  Many times they may be concerned that they will be called or thought as a “Tattle Tale” by their other classmates.  It takes courage to know right from wrong and then to act upon it.  It takes a lot of courage to be you, not who others want you to be.


Being courageous in the work place has it challenges.  It can take a lot of courage to stand up and say “That is not ethical” even when nobody would ever be the wiser.  When does the gray area cross the line?  It takes courage to step outside our comfort zones.  Being involved with CTI has helped me to step out of my shell.  It has given me the courage to be involved in food drives, to get to know people and be involved with the campus skits at the Summer Expos.  This type of courage has given me more confidence at home and work.


We use some form of courage in our everyday lives.  Courage does not always require the “WOW” factor.  Courage can be seen every day in the simplest of forms.  Courage can be as simple as saying “I am going to vacuum the house before watching television or playing video games today.  Or I am going to do twenty five pushups and fifty sit ups before I get into bed each night this week.  Courage may be in saying, “I need to eat lunch at my desk today; I need to finish this task and need the extra few minutes to finish." Opportunities to exercise courage are all around us…sometimes we do not even realize that we have already been doing it!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sweating and Learning in the Summer

Students and Teachers for our Summer Day Camp '12

The last part of July saw the largest CTI Summer Day Camp on record!  Students and instructors came from all Campuses and other programs to train at CTI Headquarters, Green Mountain Campus.

Led by Master Erik Albrechtson, 5th dan and Mr. Freddy Sautel, 4th dan, the entire week was one fantastic time!  Some of the other top CTI instructors who were at the Camp included; Alice Meyung, 4th dan, Abdu Kikhia, 3rd dan, Brian Steward, 3rd dan, Master John Sautel, 6th dan and Grandmaster Sautel.

There was so much action that this week seemed more like a "boot camp" than some leisurely summer relaxed outing.  Students worked, sweated, laughed and pushed so hard till their rest times came that there had to be a lot of calories burned and bodies and minds strengthened!  The morning sessions began at 8:30 AM and the afternoon sessions began at noon.  Classes ranged from exercise and basics to target kicking and self-defense.  There were also CTI movies to watch at lunchtime and plenty of MSK games that were enjoyed by the campers of all belt levels.

Be sure and sign up for our annual Christmas Camp in December!  It will be the best thing you could do for yourself during the holidays!

Friday, August 10, 2012

14th Lee H. Park Team Champs

Our 14th Lee H. Park Team Championships is on December 8th.  This most special event will take place at Alameda International High School in Lakewood, Colorado, and begins at 7:00 AM with the upper belt competitions.

This day is different from the other tournaments that are held througout the year.  It is our 4th CTI Hanmadang!  At the CTI Hanmadang, various areas of MSK training are displayed.  These Team Competitions and events are not normally seen at the other tournaments such as the CTI Super Bowl, the All-City Champs or even the D.M.A.C.  At the CTI Hanmadang there is no sparring, but there will be exciting competitions like; Team Poomse, Team One-Step/Self Defense, Team Breaking, Family Demos, Most Kicks Kontest and others!

Students of all ages and belt levels will be involved in this day that is set aside to celebrate Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts.  Brought to the United States in 1969 by founder Great Grandmaster Lee H. Park, the students and instructors honor his memory by preparing for this day like no other!

Click here to check the Lee H. Park Team Championships page for more information.

Also, we will be hosting our annual CTI Christmas Party.

Later that evening, we are having our 2012 CTI Christmas Party!

Held next door to the Green Mountain Campus, there will be fun, fun, music and more!  It's rumored that there will be a special surprise guest in store for the evening!  Everyone is invited!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ethical Behavior

By Rex Splitt, 2nd dan

“Sometimes you are too ethical.”

A public official once told me that in a meeting.  The story goes like this.

I had prepared a report on bids received from vendors for a piece of equipment.  Of all the bids received, only one local business had bid on the equipment.  The official asked me to change the numbers on the documents so the local vendor could be awarded the contract.  I politely told him that I could not, that it was not ethical to do that.  He replied, “Sometimes Rex, you are too ethical.”  I looked at him and replied, “Thank you.”

After the meeting, that conversation really bothered me for a while.  I knew I could not change the bids or documents.  Did I handle the situation properly?  What did others in the meeting think?  After thinking about it I decided there certainly were worse things to be accused of and I had maintained my ethical standards of conduct.  I did the right thing.

In today’s society we see a lot of unethical behavior through all classes of society, business, politics, academics, etc.  What is ethical behavior; what is the definition of ethical?  The dictionary defines ethical as:
1.    Pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.
2.    Being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession.

Every culture has standards for right and wrong.   In the United States, we establish rules, regulations, and laws to govern our behavior.   This behavior is characterized by honesty and fairness in interpersonal, professional, and academic activities.  This means you respect the dignity, diversity, and rights of people.

It could also be defined as the standards that you hold for yourself in all aspects of your life, (doing the right thing).  What ever position you hold, whether in public or private, as well as what you do behind closed doors must be guided by the ethical standards you set.

We must always do the right thing.  Stick by your ethical standards, no matter what life
throws at you.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sharpen Yourself

By Eric Evans, 1st dan

Receiving a family heirloom can be bittersweet.  Heirlooms generally have been in the family for several generations and each item has a different story.  The more the item was used, the greater the stories behind them.  Each item shows wear in a different way depending on how often it was maintained.  For example, a pocket knife handed down generation to generation has been through many uses.  If properly maintained, it can be sharper than the day it was forged.  Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo is similar to the pocket knife.  We have been given an heirloom that was brought to the United States by Lee H. Park in 1969.  MSK Taekwondo has been practiced, honed, sharpened and passed down year after year and it has spread to thousands of students across the US..

Our Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo skills are like the knife in that they must be maintained.  Remember back to when you first started class.  Every move you were given was an adventure.  If you are like me, you took that new gift home, practiced it daily and sharpened your new skills.  The new move or poomse was a prize that you cherished.  That same ferocity must be maintained throughout your MSK Taekwondo career. Like the pocket knife, if you allow your moves to become dull, collect dust and become rusty, it will take two to three times longer to refine them back to where they need to be. When this happens to a knife, it requires the removal of more metal from the blade, making the lifespan shorter.

Every day sharpens or dulls your skills.  You are either one step closer to your next belt or moving one step further away.  An extra class a week or an extra 5 minutes of practice a day at home will have a huge impact on your skills and progression to black belt.  Taking a significant amount of time off can require extensive rework on skills you may have previously mastered.  To aid in this progression, it is helpful to maintain a training chart with all of the skills and poomse you know.  your routine from week to week to maximize your efforts.  Concentrate on improving one or two skills in each class. For example, you might want to concentrate on proper chamber hands and looking before each move in basics and poomse.

Finally, it is not enough to keep these skills to yourself.  Your training is enhanced through demonstrations, assistant instruction and becoming a Moo Sul Kwan instructor.  You will learn to take more pride in your work and have a stronger desire to properly maintain your skills.  The passing on of the heirloom will also push you to refine and better understand MSK Taekwondo.  One of the best opportunities you have available to you from day one to help this progression is the CTI Black Belt Club.  This extra class a week expands on the basic skills you learn in your regular class and prepares you for the next level.  CTI BBC classes also provides the opportunity to join Lead team on Saturdays and prepares you for your Black Belt test.  Each day holds a new opportunity for you to maintain the gift you have been given.  Seize each day and use it to its full potential.  Take 5 minutes a day to work through your poomse, sit-ups and push-ups.  You will not be disappointed in the results.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The DMAC is Back!

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute is hosting the 23rd Denver Martial Arts Championships at Alameda International High School September 22nd and 23rd.

Black Belt Breaking with a Kick
Students of all belt levels and ages will compete in Poomse, Sparring, First Point Wins!, and Breaking.  Competitions begin with black belt competitions on Friday evening after the CTI Private Lesson Extravaganza.  Private lessons are given by the black belts to benefit the next CTI Black Belt Team World Tour.  Students have the opportunity to choose their black belt and work on their tournament poomse, breaks, and sparring techniques right in the gymnasium where they will compete the next day!  The CTI Private Lesson Extravaganza is always popular and slots fill up quickly.  Check your CTI Campus bulletin board and sign up soon!

Saturday morning will begin early for the black belts, and as the day goes on, the other students come according to the championship schedule.  Click here for more information on times and rules.

At noon, the traditional group line-up takes place.  Competitions continue when the noon activities are over.

Remember, admission is always free for our family members and friends.  We appreciate our family and friend support and encourage everyone to come, watch and enjoy the exciting action and Moo Sul Kwan sportsmanship displayed by our competitors.

Monday, July 16, 2012

CTI Mission Statement

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute has been teaching educational martial arts in Colorado since 1983. We teach our students self-defense, confidence, respect, focus along with physical fitness, but ultimatly the mission of our school is:

"To teach and encourage world-class leadership through educational excellence and Moo Sul Kwan martial arts traditions"

On our school patch we have a latin phrase, "discit qui ducit" which means, "who learns leads." We want to turn each and every one of our students into educated leaders. For children this means learning the value of education and developing them into leaders at school and h
ome, and for adults it means learning the importance of continued education and development of leadership skills at work and home.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Go to or give us a call at 303.428.5377 to learn more about our dynamic classes!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Mrs. Morgan on Camera for Channel 2!
Have you ever done anything that you were unsure of?  In Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo we develop a confidence about ourselves, but that doesn't mean we are 100% sure all the time.  Having confidence means, even though we are apprehensive about something, we move forward with it anyway.  We’re confident enough to know, no matter what the outcome, in the end, we will be better because of it.

Every morning while I get ready for work, I listen to the news on television.  One morning they highlighted this lady who did boxing to keep in shape.  She was about my age and looked pretty fit.  I was really impressed with what she was doing.  I thought to myself how great it was that Channel 2 was highlighting people’s work-out program.   And of course, without thinking twice, I submitted the Moo Sul Kwan work out we do at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.  I figured if this lady could inspire me with her boxing work out, maybe I would inspire someone with my MSK Taekwondo work-out.  I really didn't think they would actually call me, but they did.

Thinking about being in front of Channel 2's camera made me nervous.  When I submitted my work-out, I wasn't really thinking about the whole camera thing.  What if I made a mistake?  Not only was I representing myself for tons of people who watch the news, but I was representing Moo Sul Kwan.  Was I capable?

Luckily my fellow students at the Westminster Campus agreed to come in and work out with me on the day of the filming.  Having their support made me not quite as nervous.  All of us were really happy that we constantly go over basics in every class.  Once we got into our side stance and started doing punches and strikes, we forgot the camera was even there. Master Albrechtson’s words to “push hard in every class” really hit the mark now.  Because we all were so used to giving every technique everything we got, pushing ourselves to the limit for the camera, didn't seem as difficult as we thought it would be.

We did a shorter version of what we do in class and I talked about how training at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is for someone who wants to push themselves beyond their own limits.  I highlighted the leadership experience we get, not just from instructing, but from helping each other out.

In the end, all went well and everyone felt really good about the segment.  The women who filmed us seemed impressed with the work-out.  I was satisfied, not only with myself, but with my fellow students who worked out with me.  We didn't let fear of a television camera stop us from showing what we have to offer.  I was proud to able to share my passion for what C.T.I is all about, to people out there who may be looking for what I was looking for when I found Moo Sul Kwan.

So remember, never stop pushing yourself beyond your limits.  You never know when a camera might be around to film what you can do.

Click here to see the Channel 2 Report on Mrs. Morgan!