Friday, January 30, 2015

Kids Karate and Taekwondo Classes

How do you know if your child is ready for taekwondo, martial arts, or karate classes?  Is your child two or older? Do they have energy and want to run and jump?  Do they follow you or their older siblings around, wanting to copy you and be like you?  Are they working on motor and listening skills?  Any of these signs – even just meeting the age requirement – could mean that children's karate or taekwondo classes will be a great fit for your child.

The tiger classes at Colorado Taekwondo Institute are specifically designed to meet the changing physical, emotional and cognitive needs of the 2-5 year old student.  Our 30 minute classes offered twice a week will encourage and instruct your child in many ways.

Proud mother of her martial arts childThe benefits of starting your toddler in kids karate or tiger taekwondo classes range from improved motor and listening skills to respect for others and themselves.  The directed and disciplined tiger taekwondo classes will have an impact on your child right away.  From the initial bowing before entering the class itself, the taekwondo instructor has the attention and interest of the children.  Everything done in the tiger taekwondo class follows a routine, and improves the attention, focus, discipline and skill of every student on a consistent basis.  The motto of Colorado Taekwondo Institute, “ho shin,” which means “self-control, self-defense,” puts the emphasis correctly on controlling one’s self before anything else.  The tigers may work the hardest at learning to control their rapidly changing bodies; but it is a skill which takes a lifetime to master.  Following directions and paying attention are the primary focus of tiger classes.  Within that framework, children learn to stretch, punch, and kick; while learning respect for authority, patience, and discipline.

Kids’ karate or taekwondo classes for older children offer even more benefits, often seen more quickly to take effect.  In Colorado Taekwondo Institute, our students aged 5-10 are designated as juniors.  Our junior classes are 1 hour long, also twice a week.  Junior taekwondo students apply the benefits of taekwondo to other aspects of their lives, especially school and studying.  The focus and concentration applied in taekwondo to master a new self-defense technique or improve a block is the same skill that can now help them in studying for a test or preparing a paper.  Students in kids’ karate, martial arts and taekwondo often do better in school than those students not involved in similar activities.  The “ho shin” principle is applied here also, and the junior students, with the increased skill in martial arts over the younger juniors, know there is an increased responsibility in maintaining their self-control.

Whether your child is two or twelve, childrens karate or taekwondo classes are a great way to channel their unending energy, focus them on achieving goals, create life-long learners, and improve their self-esteem.  Each student learns techniques and skills at their own rate, and their instructor knows well how to encourage them to continue to improve to earn that next belt or complete a new poomse, or form.

The mission of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is, "To encourage world-class leadership through educational excellence and Moo Sul Kwan martial arts traditions”.  Our passion has always been to develop black belts with leadership and teaching skills who make meaningful contributions at the family, school, and community levels.  More than ever, after thirty years of excellence, we believe that we can be the best at providing an education-based martial arts program that develops students into champions.

Our dynamic classes provide the best in martial arts lessons for toddlers, kids, teens and adults. For more information about the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, the five metro area locations, and the schedule of classes most suitable for your child, go to or give us a call at 303-428-5377.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Buying the Perfect Boards

By Jocelyn Wallen, 1st dan

A martial arts black belt breaking 3 boards with a side kickBreaking competitions are about more than just breaking the board.  Many parts of Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo factor in; foot position, power, and practicing with a target to name a few.  To help you learn how to break correctly you also have to have the right boards.

In the wood section of the hardware store there are tons of options, all of them different price wise, as well as stylistically.  Look for the #2 pine planks.  They come in 4’ 6’ 8’ 10’ and 12’ planks.  Pick the length that is necessary for the number of boards you need.  More boards, longer plank.

When choosing a plank of wood look for one that has a lighter, more even color.  Avoid knots too because they make the board harder to break.  Also look out for ridiculously dense, sappy wood because it is like trying to break one big knot.  Denser wood has grain lines that are closer together; look for more spread out even lines.  Aviod with cracks or wormwood.  Wormwood is a dark brown through the grain of the board.  Some wormwood can only be seen from the edges of the board so be sure to check.

When getting the board cut the dimensions are slightly different for adults and juniors.  For adults take the chosen 1" X 12" plank and cut it into 12’ pieces.  The juniors cut the same chosen board length into 10’ inch pieces.

It is also acceptable (but not required) to lightly sand the top and bottom edges of the board just slightly to make life easier on the holders; but in the spirit of being tough it is not necessary in the slightest.

After you have your boards work with your instructor to figure out how to break, what kick you should do, and any other details that are relevant to the situation.  Never break without your instructor’s approval, or with a kick that you've never practiced on a target before.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Meet the CTI: Westminster School

Amidst the numerous martial arts schools in Colorado, it’s hard to find one with an overall great environment. The Colorado Taekwondo Institute, Westminster Campus, prides itself on maintaining a top-notch school with an atmosphere largely focused on providing students with the best instruction.

Located on West 88th Avenue, about a mile west of Wadsworth, the Westminster location rests on the border of Arvada and Westminster, making it accessible to students from all around the area. The school neighbors several wonderful small businesses in the shopping center including Applauze Salon, Global Thrift, and Peak Health Chiropractic & Acupuncture. The Westminster Campus is also in close range to various elementary, middle, and high schools. Currently, Moo Sul Kwan instructor, Master Erik Albrechtson, teaches before and after-school programs at both Red Rocks Elementary and West Woods Elementary, and the Westminster Campus itself provides classes at the school for kids and adults of all ages.
ol programs at both

What’s really special about the CTI Westminster Taekwondo school is the set-up within its walls. In its 4,500 square foot space, it houses three spacious workout areas, all with custom-built suspension floors made to maximize workout benefits. Students are able to practice and experience their martial arts training in both carpeted and matted workout rooms.  Each workout space contains shelves with plenty of room for students to put their workout bags on while participating in the classes. All workout rooms also include everything instructors use on special occasion to hone in on specific skills. These items consist of square targets, pork chops, Wavemaster bags, and extra sparring pads and boards.

Westminster CTI’s two largest workout rooms come equipped with ample viewing areas for family and friends to stay while the students are in class. Each area has comfortable chairs and benches that face a window looking directly into the classroom so viewers can easily watch the students.

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute, Westminster location proves to be a clean, healthy, and professional location from the moment you walk in the door. The entire school is cleaned on a daily basis to assure a sanitary and hygienic place at all times. The lobby of the Westminster school has chairs and a shoe rack to accommodate those as soon as they walk in. On the bulletin boards hung on the walls, we display any and all upcoming events, as well as special offers. Take-home calendars are also easily available every month. In addition, the lobby holds the CTI Pro-Shop, a one-stop shop for all of your Taekwondo gear needs. Everything from sparring pads, uniforms, and patches to Taekwondo key chains, car stickers, and student manuals are on display so students are able to view them. All prices are posted on the wall directly adjacent to the pro-shop, and instructors are always available to answer any questions. We keep everything displayed in stock so we can have it available to any student immediately for purchase. Everyone uses the same gear as we have been since the school has started, and we guarantee its quality.

The Westminster school is dedicated to providing students the absolute best experience which is why we have created an ideal environment that will serve all of your needs as you journey in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo. We hope you take the time to come check out our campus!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CTI Superbowl 2015

By Jason Stencel, orange belt

Last year at this time, my 6-year-old twin boys and I started Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo at Colorado Taekwondo Institute – Westminster school.  The 40th CTI Super Bowl took place just five weeks after we attended our first class.    We were brand new white belts. We were just getting some basics down and had no idea what a tournament was like or what to expect.   Our instructors encouraged us to attend so we registered.

When we arrived at Alameda International High School we must have looked like deer in the headlights.  There were hundreds of people moving around in the gymnasium.  The energy level in the building was so high you could feel it as you walked in.  At that moment we realized, we had no idea what to do now that we had actually arrived.  That turned out to be no problem.  As we approached the sign-in table some very nice women asked us our names and told us to put out our hands. When we set our hands out they wrote a number on each hand, one in red, the other in green. The ladies then explained how the numbers would help us know where to go for our events.  After finding a place for our gear, we found a space to warm up.

Before long, it was time for the boys to perform their Poomses.  The kids were nervous but excited too. With two kids competing at the same time my wife and I had to use our man-to-man coverage but we were able to enjoy watching both our children demonstrate what they had been practicing at home for the last few weeks.   One of our twins is extremely shy and reserved.  Seeing the confidence and pride he exhibited when demonstrating his Poomse was an amazing experience as a parent. Best of all the boys were proud of themselves and of each other.  They worked hard, had fun, and found the experience of receiving a trophy for all their efforts pretty exciting as well.

After lunch it was my turn to compete.  My boys and wife enjoyed watching me demonstrate my Poomse and spar against other dads.  It was a great way to spend the day as a family.

Since last years CTI Superbowl, the boys and I have worked hard to reach our Taekwondo goals and have really learned a lot.  Our family is excited for this year’s Superbowl.  The boys are telling their friends and family they will be in the Superbowl again this year.  They know if they keep working hard, participating in the events, paying attention in class and giving 100 percent effort they will someday earn their black belts, and for one of them …… he hopes to have his own CTI martial arts school someday!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Just Smile and Think of Burritos

By Lydia Lincke, red belt, age 17

Anger is a natural reaction of the human body, therefore hard to control at times.  When somebody makes fun of you, or does something that bothers or frustrates you, it is easy to take it all out on that person or people around you.  Especially if that frustration and anger has been building up inside of you for days, or even weeks, it can be very difficult to control.  So, we must learn how to take all of our anger, crumple it up, and throw it out the window.

One way to help with this is to think of your favorite thing in the world, for example burritos.  If somebody takes your eraser in school without asking and you feel like punching them, just keep your mind on burritos and ignore the rude person taking your things until you've calmed down enough to nicely ask the person to give your supplies back.

Another way to keep your anger at a minimum is to take deep breaths and smile.  This may be hard at first but once you get the hang of it, smiling will become more natural than being angry.  Usually, when one person smiles, it become contagious, and pretty soon everyone making you angry will be grinning.

Anger management is just one of the many things we work on at the Colorado Taekwondo Instiute. Being angry isn't fun, and it won't get a person very far in life if everything frustrates them. It's good for your health to keep the tension down and just smile and think of burritos.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Martial Arts for Kids!

By Justin Lautrup, 1st dan, 14 years old

a young black belt doing a side kickThere are many positives of starting martial arts as a child that will aid them through out there entire life, such as focus and zeroing in on objectives, discipline and listening skills, energy and anger release, confidence and courage, motivation and the will to try hard at every thing your child will do.

In today's world of fast paced games, television, and social media, there are many distractions to to keep your child off task or unfocused. Martial arts for kids helps them focus on a goal and stick with it until it is completed, and then move on to the next objective or goal. In addition it is a great way to get your kid up and moving, and to help them release energy, tension, and overall deal more effectively with stress.  Martial arts helps them work on listening skills and work ethic.  This helps and encourages them to be more disciplined at home, school, and any other extra activities they may be doing.  Martial arts also gives them the confidence and courage they need to use in different situations such as standing up for themselves or others when they are being bullied, making smart choices about school and friends, and building self esteem.  Kids martial arts is additionally a great way to get and keep your child motivated to get good grades, try hard in any thing he/she might work on.

Before I started Taekwondo, I was easily distracted and no good at listening. If my dad told me to put on shoes, leave my room, get a jacket and get in the car, I'd leave my room, sit down and start playing with Legos or another distraction before I could remember the rest of the things that my dad had told me to do. Then my dad would come back inside, and walk me through the rest steps until I got in the car and we could leave. Now my dad forgets his jacket and I have to remind him to get it! Just kidding, but after only a couple of classes I got much better at listening and completing multiple tasks without having to be told two times.

Furthermore, before I started martial arts at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, I was never bullied, for real, but I tended to be on the passive and side and less motivated to speak up in school, with friends or other activities, but by starting martial arts I got a boost of self esteem and without being a bully, unkind, or rude, I spoke up when it was the right time to. There are also many social and unexpected benefits of starting your kid in martial arts, such as yearly summer sleepover camps,summer and winter day camps, and weekend expo's, and even world tours with other students. This gives them a better sense of independence and helps them achieve more on there own without the help of others. All of these activities are enjoyable, interesting and a great way to make new friends. The first time I went to a sleep away camp I was nervous and a little scared, but it was a great and safe experience. I learned a ton and came home wanting to go again as soon as possible.

Next, martial arts for kids in addition to being a great way to boost motivation and confidence, and exercise focus and discipline, is also a workout and gives your child something physical to do that is also safe. This helps them grow up happier and healthier, and gets them to go to sleep faster at night. Kids martial arts is also a great way to release anger and stress.  This helps them be happier and be less stressed. This also helps mental performance.There are many advantages to starting martial arts as a kid, like the motivation and willpower, anger and energy release and management, the confidence and courage to stand up for themselves, and listening and discipline skills, and focusing on a goal until it is completed.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Taekwondo Instructors at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute

By Mindy Sautel, 6th dan

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute (CTI) is proud of its numerous, highly qualified Taekwondo instructors.  The Moo Sul Kwan martial arts instructors certified by CTI go through a rigorous process to earn instructor certification.  Our Taekwondo instructors are trained by our CTI Master instructors from white belt through black belt.

Students start learning to be Taekwondo instructors when they become purple belts and a member of the leadership team.  This leadership team meets several times a month to go over all aspects of martial arts instruction, leadership, role modeling,  judging, etc.  Any student wishing to pursue the goal of "Taekwondo Instructor" must be an active participant of the leadership team.  This "Taekwondo instructor" in training must also attend his/her required number of classes, additional classes for assistant instructing training, and most all of the CTI events.

Martial arts instructor doing a flying kickThe Colorado Taekwondo Institute hosts many events each year and several are dedicated to the training of its martial arts instructors.  The most significant event for instructor training is the CTI Black Belt symposium held in October of each year.  It is a weekend solely dedicated to the upper belt training of CTI students with the belt levels of purple, brown, red and black.  Students attend many classes throughout the weekend to learn various Moo Sul Kwan martial arts instructor techniques.  The purple, brown and red belt assistant instructors attend classes to learn how to run the exercise portion or basics portion of a class.  They also learn how to talk to and instruct students on an individual basis.  These assistant Taekwondo instructors also learn subjective judging techniques, how to talk to parents and how to effectively work with students. The first and second dan Taekwondo instructors learn more in-depth ways to run a highly effective Taekwondo class.  This instruction ranges from class safety, to classroom etiquette, to how to get your students to the next level, etc.  Our first and  second dan martial arts instructors are also given explicit instruction on how to run a dynamic class, how to praise-correct-praise, and how to keep students motivated.  The CTI Black Belt symposium also provides instruction for our third and fourth dan black belt instructors.  These Taekwondo instructors are typically program directors so they receive instruction and training on how to build the Taekwondo program at their campus and much more.

There are periodic Master Seminars throughout the year where members of the leadership team work on specific instructional techniques.  Each CTI tournament provides a unique environment for our Taekwondo instructors to work with their students in a different environment than the classroom.  We have classes at our yearly Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo for black belts and upper belts to work on classroom instruction.  The CTI Summer Camp is an excellent venue for our young Taekwondo instructors to learn a multitude of techniques.  Our leaders work with groups of younger students for six days as group leaders, teachers and role models.  This experience is unparalleled for our martial arts instructors.

One of the main goals of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is to provide quality martial arts instruction in an educational environment.  Any student wishing to be a Moo Sul Kwan martial arts instructor can achieve this goal by following the guidance of the CTI master instructors and the training plan. Becoming a CTI Taekwondo instructor is attainable with hard work, classroom participation, event and leadership training participation.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Martial Arts Classes for Adults

By Bruce Dean, 1st dan

I turned 51 last September. And I don’t necessarily notice too much, except maybe when my knee aches. Or better yet when I am attending a Moo Sul Kwan expo or symposium and we are asked to line up by age. And while maybe a few years ago I might not have wondered what benefit could be had from adult martial arts classes, these days that question has become more pressing. This is especially so after a near miss last fall with an infection in my right knee. And then, of course, there are those who do not understand what The Colorado Taekwondo Institute, Conifer Location and Moo Sul Kwan, mean to me. These are some of the same people who suggest that maybe water aerobics would be a better choice for physical fitness. I guess those people really don’t know me very well. Let me try to explain...

As I was part way through my commute this morning I heard an excerpt of a speech given by a former pro football player who had recently succumbed to cancer. In the speech he said that winning over cancer is not about whether you live or die. Rather, victory was in how you live your life and whether – in a battle, as a warrior – you let cancer defeat you, beat you down, take from you your love and your hope, and leave you broken and beaten. This really struck a nerve for me. Going on three years ago my father in law passed away with the unwelcome assistance of pancreatic cancer. And while this horrible disease robbed him of his health and his strength and his rugged good looks, it did not defeat him. The last time I saw him in this world he still had the same faith, the same positive outlook, and the same strength of character that I had always known him to have. And while the disease stole his life from him and from us – far too soon – it did not defeat him. There was never surrender. He was a warrior until the very end.

And compared to metastasized pancreatic cancer, my trifles with a bit of titanium in the lateral compartment of my right knee are insignificant. Yet, one must answer for one’s self why or what is the appeal of martial arts classes for adults. I think that anyone who walks through the door of a dojang and ties on that first white belt has shown a warrior’s spirit. They have entered battle with intent to persevere to whatever goal brought them into that room “behind the glass”. And while most will never know what it feels like when the six hour lesson at Snow Mountain Ranch is over – and weeks later your first black belt is presented – I think that those few who manage to overcome and to persevere might inspire others to come. And I still remember my day of perseverance on in June of last year. One of the best things I remember was in the middle of the test, while working out, Grandmaster Sautel asked me in front of the entire room, “Bruce, how old are you?” I answered (I was 50 at the time) and continued paying attention and doing my best for the rest of the day. It occurred to me later that perhaps he had asked the question for the benefit of the young teenagers in my test class – that maybe at that moment they were in need of some inspiration – that maybe if that old guy with the knee brace could do it then maybe the 14 and 15 year olds could do it too.

But it was never my intention to be an inspiration. And that is not why I participate in adult martial arts classes or what I personally derive from that participation. But you might be able to tell the most important parts from some of these words I have written. I am a warrior – as are all of us in Moo Sul Kwan. My battle is with age and physical decay. And while for all eons this is a fact accepted beyond question, there seem to be real exceptions. Two Moo Sul Kwan national conventions ago I did 400 chops BEFORE my particular class started warming up. And those chops were lead by Great Grandmaster Bong Yul Shin who is somewhere north of 70 years old. And those 400 chops he lead for my class were on top of the however many hundreds he had lead for the classes before. Talk about an inspiration. But one of the things I totally got from that day is that the best way to prevent the physical decay is to take care of your body, while pushing it to never let the decay set in. Maybe many years ago when I was sixty pounds heavier that would have been a good realization. But as it is now, my intent with the next many years of classes at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is to reject decay. My intent is to embrace fitness – both physical and mental. My intent is to stay young by being a warrior – by fighting for health and rejecting the slow descent into old age. And my battlefield will be the dojang. And my fellow soldiers are my fellow students. And death will eventually steal all of our lives from us. By I will fight to never be defeated. So do martial arts classes for adults let us cheat death and old age? No, I think not. But if any of us are only as young as we feel, then it is good to feel young and very alive when your class is over.