Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Smart Black Friday Shopping

By Erik Albrechtson, 5th dan

This past month the media has been filled with non-stop coverage about the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that will coming for consumers this next week. There is so much coverage about where to get the best deals and what the biggest sales, and it made me start to think: What is the best thing you could buy for a loved one?

Is is the latest electronic gadget (that will be obsolete by Black Friday next year)? Is is a new huge TV that will give you a reason to sit around and do nothing productive? Is it a new video game system? There's so many deals out there, what could possibly be the best deal.

But then I had a thought. Why not give them something that will really benefit them? Something that will never become out-of-date. Something that will get them off the couch and get them in shape. Something that won't be a game, but will be something productive in real life! The answer, for me obviously, is give them the gift of martial arts!

Classes at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute (with five metro campuses, including the Littleton location) are great for any of your family or friends. Students of all ages (2 to adult) and abilities (no martial arts experience needed) can come in, learn, get in shape and also do personal development.

Martial arts classes for kids has so many wonderful, life-long benefits. Kids learn focus, discipline, and respect while developing a strong work ethic and keeping their bodies moving. And classes at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute are taught in a structured, yet positive, environment. Instead of sitting at home playing games, they get to pretend they are the Ninja Turtle and do it for real. And again, they are developing good habits that will last them a lifetime.

And, of course, classes are great for adults too. Often students will be intimidated to start classes thinking they need some martial arts knowledge or that they need to be in good physical shape. But nothing could be further from the truth. Students start out a a white belt level and are taught everything from the ground up. Students have goals of techniques to learn and practice and as they develop they move higher in ranks. They are built from the ground up.

Also, students can be in any physical shape to begin. All of the classes are taught with the student in mind and can be tailored for each student's individual needs. Whether you're a stay-at-home mom, a tri-athlete, or someone who hasn't been to the gym since college, then you'll fit in perfectly at the Colroado Taekwondo Institute.

Give the CTI a call today to ask about a holiday certificate for a friend or loved one. We have five campuses in the metro area (including the Littleton location) to serve you. It's the best investment Black Friday deal you'll find!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Self Defense for Women Through The Colorado Taekwondo Institute

By Jocelyn Wallen, 1st Dan

It is a common stereotype that women are weaker than men and therefore more susceptible to to being taken advantage of physically. While it is sometimes true that men are physically stronger than women, it does not mean that they have to be more susceptible to violence. A study done by Jocelyn Hollander, a sociologist at the University of Oregon, showed that women who had taken a ten week self defense class were less than half as likely to experience unwanted sexual contact and more than twice as likely to avoid violent confrontation.

It was not only the self defense techniques that helped to empower these women but also their attitudes. It was shown in the study that women who had taken the self defense course were more likely to make eye contact and directly voice their objections to unwanted contact. This coupled with their knowledge of self defense helped them to feel safer and act in a safer way as well.

The self defense program at each of our schools, including the Conifer schoolThe Colorado Taekwondo Institute is geared not only to teaching traditional Korean Taekwondo self defense techniques but also toward teaching students important values such as respect and courage. This teaching model is all age encompassing for men and women ages two and up.

Along with the self defense aspect of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute the workout is also constructed to increase physical fitness. Physical fitness is a key factor in self defense because the healthy body has both greater agility and faster reaction times. It also contributes to body image and confidence. According to Hollander confidence and verbal resistance skills are the most important aspects of self defense. If a woman is going to say no with confidence she is much more likely to avoid the situation.

Self confidence is also built upon at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. Self confidence contributes not only to a greater ability to defend yourself but also to achieving your personal goals. Confidence is required for everything from making friends to job interviews. CTI improves confidence through self discipline and leadership roles. The group environment of the classes allows a safe place for students to learn and improve on themselves. The class structure also allows for students to focus solely on themselves and their goals for the class period.

This type of class is beneficial for both men and women because everyone enters as equals. All curriculum is the same and no favoritism is shown. This allows for any type of person to succeed of their own accord. Motivation is the leading factor in advancement, meaning every new belt earned or technique learned is earned through hard work. The feeling achieved by earning your advancement breathes self confidence.

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute is the perfect place for women to explore both self confidence and self defense. With classes and programs at each of our schools, including the Conifer school, geared toward both, women can become both physically fit and mentally strong. Women of all ages can benefit from the workouts and benefits. With classes two or more times a week everyone can achieve their goals both in self defense and personal achievement.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Role Models

By Thomas Ma, 1st dan

Generally, role models are people who perform deeds that stick out to others and are among the hardest working people.  There are no shortages of these kinds of people at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, Golden school.  Recently, I have come across quite a few role models at the CTI that have inspired me to be like them.  The three most common attributes that I've found between them were that they were all dedicated hard workers, were firm in their integrity, and that they were always fired up when going about tasks.  What is the big thing that pulls them all together?

I've noticed that as a student at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, it isn't uncommon to look up to a black belt.  I can see why fairly clearly; CTI Black Belts are very hard workers.  When testing for their black belt at our school, they throw a lot of back into their training.  Day in and day out, the student testing for their black belt is thinking about how to get physically prepared for the, understatedly, rigorous six hour physical test they must do to show if they are ready for a Moo Sul Kwan black belt.  On top of the physical test, a written test demands just about everything the student has learned since white belt about the art and ways of our martial arts training and traditions, which adds up to an extremely large list.  Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo practitioners that wear a well-deserved black belt have proven to best this testing process while at the same time leading their life outside of Taekwondo.  This goes to show that Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo black belts are very dedicated and hard workers.  I have never met a black belt at our school who doesn't know how to give 100% in anything they do.  Since they always do their best working out, a lot of students look up to them.  In my opinion, it’s easy to have a Colorado Taekwondo Institute black belt as a role model at our school because of how much they do, what they do, and how they do it.

Most if not all of my role models are not only hard workers, but they always have a great sense of right and wrong and know the right thing to do in most any situation.  They have a big set of characteristics that set them apart from the crowd, one characteristic of the set being integrity.  Integrity in a nutshell is honesty at all times, and an adherence to moral codes or a firmness in moral beliefs.  The thing that makes it or breaks it when looking for things in a role model is more often than not integrity, I've noted.  When people are dishonest or do morally wrong things, it is difficult to look at them through a good lens.  Therefore if someone is honest and has integrity, they are most easily viewed upon as a good role model.  Lucky for us students at the CTI integrity is one of the tenets of Taekwondo which we, as a whole organization, follow very closely.  As students, integrity in our training is very important, it is the maintenance check we always give ourselves when we find new things to work on in our training.  Integrity is taught by our instructors a numerous amount of ways.  One way being about school work.  Since school work is a big priority, instructors stress to students that school comes first before Taekwondo.  When a student is struggling to get homework from school done at home, instructors at Taekwondo are very keen about finding ways to get it done.  After all, who learns, leads.  Especially as a role model.

The last quality that I have found most common throughout the many recently found role models is that they are always fired up.  If you've never had a workout partner before, my advice to you is to find someone who is very enthusiastic to work out with.  At Taekwondo, my role model when working out is a black belt who goes at it.  People who are always fired up are the best people to work out with.  When working out with enthusiastic people, it’s as if a mysterious and usable energy radiates off of them.  I guess that in a way, I myself want to be a role model of the sort where I can influence others to get pumped for the sole reason of being by their side working out with them.  A role model of mine just makes me so powerful when he does it.

At the Golden school of the CTI, role models are anything but scarce.  Since I have found that role models are all hard workers with dedication, integrity, and the ability to get fired up at will in common, I’ve come to the conclusion that Taekwondo makes role models.  Taekwondo is the big thread that connects all the dots.  From becoming a hard worker with dedication and integrity, to the ability to be a very enthusiastic worker; Taekwondo teaches them all.  Taekwondo teaches its students to be hard working people that are dedicated, that have integrity, and that have the ability to get fired up right-off-the-bat when they need to be.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Driving By and Wondering "What is Colorado Taekwondo?"

By Ian Randall, 1st dan

When someone drives past the one of the schools of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, including the Westminster school, and sees "Taekwondo” they probably don’t think much of it, or think of the typical martial arts stereotypes. This can be expected, as the deeper benefits of Taekwondo cannot be seen unless experienced for an extended period of time. They do not envision how Taekwondo could help with concentration, balance, eye hand coordination, or even dealing with certain disabilities.

When I first started Taekwondo, I did not see these hidden benefits, and did not for a few years. The aspects of Taekwondo that I have benefited the most from have been balance, strength, and hand eye coordination. These have assisted me most with basketball.

In Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, there is a large variety of kicks which require balance, control, and concentration. The act of rising out of a front stance, pivoting the front foot, locking out a side kick, and re-chambering the kick without stumbling is challenging and demands these skills. These skills are not only applicable in Taekwondo, but in basketball as well. Being able to dribble full speed, stop on a dime, and shoot a jumper with a hand in your face is very difficult and demands great body control. Practicing the basic kicks of Taekwondo consistently over the past 11 years has given me the ability to do this. They have given me the balance to stop on a dime, the body control not to fade away from the basket once I am airborne, and the concentration to remain poised and focused on the basket with a defender inches away.

Taekwondo has also helped me with core, upper body, hand, and leg strength. The sit-ups and abdominal work we do every class helps with balance on kicks and tight stomachs in breaking. The tricep push-ups give us great upper body strength and help improve speed on our punches. Fingertip push-ups strengthen the fingers, enabling us to have tighter han
ds. Holding low stances in basics and poomse also help with leg strength. All of these benefits are needed in basketball as well. The abdominal and upper body strength helps me get past a more physical, larger, and more athletic defender. The hand and finger strength enables me to have a better grip on the ball while helping prevent jammed fingers. The added leg strength makes me more explosive while preventing fatigue after I have been in a low stance for an extended period of time.

Taekwondo has helped me improve my hand eye coordination as well. In Taekwondo, hand eye coordination is demanded for punches, kicks, or hitting an exact target in sparring or breaking. This is easily translated into skills needed in basketball such as: ball handling, shooting, catching, and throwing on target passes.

Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo has countless benefits, but it’s easy transition of skills from sport to sport is very obvious. Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo and it’s time tested routines have given me balance to be the shooter I am today, the strength to be faster and more explosive, and the eye hand coordination to be a great ball handler as well.

So the next time you drive past the Westminster school of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute martial arts school, think of one of the positive aspects training can give you or a family member.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

16th Lee H. Park Team Championships

Our 6th CTI Hanmadang!

The 16th Lee H. Park Team Championships is on December 6, at Alameda International High School!  This is a very special tournament honoring the founder of Moo Sul Kwan and the AMASEA, Great Grandmaster Lee H. Park.

This once a year tournament is a CTI Hanmadang.  Students and instructors display their martial arts skills in poomse, one-step sparring, self-defense, special demonstrations and much more!  A big difference in this tournament is that participants compete on teams.  Depending on the division, competitors may be on a team of three, four or five people.  There are even two people teams in some competitions like black belt breaking or staff.  There are also a few individual events like Most Kicks in a CTI Minute, or Basics Challenge.  All in all, it's a very exciting day for all ages and belt levels!

The action begins on Saturday morning, and as always, there is no spectator charge for our family members and friends of our students and instructors!  Bring a camera and get ready to have a fantastic day!

For more information, speak with your instructor.

To see the 16th LHP Team Champs brochure, click here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Anger Management

By Nancy Fanning, blue belt

We've all been there…someone pushes our buttons, our day doesn't go as we’d hoped, the kids are whining, dinner gets burned…something sets us off and we want to lash out.  The easy way out is just to lose control.  Yell, throw a fit, throw an object, and maybe even hit something.  Those are the easy choices, but not the correct ones.

A smarter option would be to go to CTI Taekwondo.  First, it’s a great workout.  The warm up of jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, and stretching releases endorphins that help improve your mood.
Then there are basics and kicks.  In your mind, you can imagine the problem standing right in front of you and focus your punches and kicks to destroy the problem.  During poomse, you can also imagine you are battling the day's issues and defeat them!  If sparring happens to be a part of class that night, you can really let loose the anger and frustration from the day while practicing your sparring skills.

If the physical aspect doesn't help change your mood, there’s the mental aspect.  It’s very important during class to keep focused and pay attention.  If you lose your focus, you miss important information that your instructor is telling you.  He might be correcting a stance or he might be giving you new moves on your current poomse.  Either way, you better be on your game and paying attention to all the direction he’s giving.  It’s your time to forget your outside worries and concentrate on improving yourself during the duration of class.

Whether you go to CTI Taekwondo for the physical side, the mental side, or just the all around workout, it’s a great place to take yourself to turn frustrations of the day into positive energy.  On the offhand chance that’s not enough to turn your day around, there’s always your Taekwondo family there to help put a smile on your face.  Taekwondo has helped me turn many bad days around and been an amazing outlet.  For me, the days that I feel the most beat down will usually end up being my best workouts.  It’s good to know that I have a positive and supportive place to go to take pent up anger and turn it into a strength to better myself.