Monday, February 24, 2014

The Importance of Breathing, Consistency, and Mentors at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute

Often times martial arts, such as Taekwondo, Karate and Kung Fu, are thought about only for its martial arts benefits. Some people think the martial arts are only about fighting and they don’t fully understand there is much more to them than simply throwing punches and kicks, breaking boards, sparring and tournaments.
That aside there are a number of things you will learn when you join Colorado Taekwondo that will help keep you healthy and kicking high over your head for years and years to come!
One very important thing in any martial arts school is breathing techniques. Breathing properly will add power to your punches and kicks. When you initially start to do deep breathing techniques you might feel a little light headed, if that happens take a break. You will be fine your brain just isn't used to getting the amount of oxygen that it is getting from the deep breathing.
Deep breathing techniques will help you to detoxify your body as well. The deep breathing techniques will help you to get more oxygen into your blood. The high altitude of Colorado makes this even more important than at lower altitudes.
Your lymphatic system is also powered by your lungs and by body movement. Your lymphatic system can roughly be equated to your body’s sewer system. This is one of the reasons that a sedentary life style is so bad for people. If you aren't moving and you aren't breathing properly you are not pumping the toxins out of your body.
Another important practice at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is practicing the techniques that you've learned. If you aren't improving your skills everyday then your skills are going backwards every day. Strive to improve every day.
When I joined my martial arts school I was clumsy and uncoordinated. I practiced every day and there were times when I was just getting beat up. I remember right after I got my first belt promotion, I was about to spar with an older gentleman in class. I thought, “I’m going to show this old man how good I am…” I proceeded to get beaten badly in the match but that is what happens when a huge ego is sparring with a high ranking black belt.
Over time I worked on my ego and my body and as a result, my body got stronger and my ego got weaker. None of this would have happened however if I hadn't been consistent in my training and if I wasn't willing to leave my arrogance at the door.
Colorado Taekwondo will teach you to be humble in your life but also confident in your abilities. It will take consistent effort to be able to develop your body to be able to do some of the amazing kicks in Colorado Taekwondo. Practice every day whether on your own or in the martial arts school is essential for becoming the best martial artist that you can be.
Team work is a good thing too. Get a work out buddy. Someone who will push you to be your very best and someone to practice with as well.
Another thing that I have found useful is having a number of different mentors. As I was going through the various belt ranks I of course had my instructor but I also had secret mentors. I watched people do there forms and I would take pieces of their forms and make them my own. For example, if someone had an amazing kick I would pay attention to what they did better than the next guy and I would try to copy it. In school copying isn’t ok but it is all fair game in a martial arts school.
Another type of mentor I took on was a sparring mentor. I got the most from doing this. There was one guy in my class who I thought was amazing when he sparred. I sparred him whenever possible and then after the match he would give me pointers on things I could do better.
This can translate into your life as well. All you need to do to get good at any skill in your life is get a practice partner and a mentor. Then practice every day doing the new skill that you are working on. Get honest feedback and improve. Over time through consistent effort whatever skill you are working on will improve.

Friday, February 21, 2014

'Twas the Night Before the Tournament

By Holly Madayag, 1st dan

‘Twas the night before the tournament, 
And all through the school 
Students were practicing poomse,
Staying calm, staying cool.

The trophies were placed
On the head table with care,
With hopes of Grand Champion
Filling the air.

The instructors were busy
With final preparations for the show
And hoping that this would be
The absolute finest demo!

Judges checking scorecards
Scorekeepers checking time;
The band practicing lyrics
To ensure all words rhyme.

Then from one of the rings
There rose such a kihap;
That it made even the top-bleacher spectators
Turn, Look and then Stop.

The Black Belt division 
Was about to begin;
No better way to start the competition
Than to watch an amazing Yul Shin.

When, what to our wondering eyes 
Should appear,
But the clocks spinning forward to morning
The Superbowl is here!

With students checking in
And ring stands holding steady;
No snow stopping us today
We are all chunbi ready!

More rapid than eagles
The competitors they came
And they bowed and they stretched and
They did jumping jacks with no shame!

On Hana! On Dul! 
On Set and Net!
Students rushed to their rings
Shouting, “Yes, Sir!” you can bet.

And then in a twinkling,
I heard my name on the speaker
It was my turn to spar
And I started feeling weaker.

As I drew in my breath 
And was turning around,
My fiercest competitor
Made not a sound.

He was dressed all in white
From his head to his foot
He checked his handpads, his headgear
His mouthpiece, his boot.

We spoke not a word
But went straight to the bow
Which made me feel more relaxed
And stronger, somehow.

A number of techniques he had mastered
I knew.
So I just kept my feet moving
And, to my training, stayed true.

And then, in a twinkling, 
I heard in my head
The CTI motto -
I had nothing to dread.

We exchanged various kicks
Each worth two points – they were smooth
But he got me with the reverse punch –
Our bread and butter move!

I was happy with the outcome
It was just like a test
Give 100%, work hard and just

We gathered at the end of the day
As we’re accustomed to 
To congratulate each other
For all that we do.

It is then that we realize
That winners we all are;
Moo Sul Kwan is our art
And with that, we’ll go far!

We loaded our cars and
And drove out of sight;
Ho Shin leaves us feeling proud -

We’ll all sleep well tonight!

Monday, February 3, 2014


By: Hope Morgan, 2nd dan

When I think about responsibility, I tend to think about my responsibilities to others. I think about my what I'm expected to do at school, work, and home. I think about tasks I have to complete, always doing my part.

Hardly do I ever think about my responsibilities to myself, and to be honest, I believe that is the most important thing. The simple truth is, no one, despite how amazing they are, has the real power to change your life - not Dr. Phil, Ellen, or Oprah, not your friends or family. May they be impactful? Of course! But the real power, that's all you. YOU are responsible for virtually everything in your life, and if you don't have the will to do something for yourself, to change something, then you can't expect it ti be done.

I don't think the realization of all of my personal responsibilities really hit me until the new year, and it's done me a great justice. Taking responsibility for myself has given me the power to create exactly what I want create and achieve exactly what I want to achieve.

I'm noticing the most significant difference in Taekwondo. At the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, we are lucky to have such a large group of supporters. I love knowing my classmates are there to push me, that I have an instructor ready to push me to my best. But my real salvation comes in knowing that despite all of that wonderful support, my success is my responsibility. I'm in charge of pushing myself, and I'm responsible for going as hard as I can and doing everything I can to reach my goals. Just knowing that my progress rests on my shoulders gives me the most motivation. I want to be the best that I can be for myself.

This way of thinking can transcend into almost anything I do, and it's really helped push me to the next level. Learning to take responsibility for yourself and the actions you decide to take is something everyone should focus on.