Friday, August 1, 2014

Find the Right Martial Art for You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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