Friday, February 27, 2015

Benefits of Teen Martial Arts

By Theo Lincke, 1st dan, 14 years old

The teen years have considerably been the most active (physically and mentally) years of a child’s experience. The change in education, maturity and understanding of the natural world greatly affect a child’s perception of others and life around them. There is no doubt that the effort that teens fabricate in their day-to-day lives is the ne plus ultra of emotional and physical capabilities. Often, stress and anxiety pursue a teen’s brain wi
th constant change. New social norms begin to mold to the child and the teen must be able to accept various social rules made by others. Because of this, a child is benefited in an activity that stimulates them in a way that purges deleterious emotional responses. An activity that makes them fit into a system or lifestyle, and one that speeds the maturity of youth years.

The human brain is a complicated product of the body. The trite emotions of any child through adult is in effect to the various chemicals found in the brain. Studies have shown the scientific and medical benefits of exercise, including the increase of the acid 5HIAA, which is in charge of tryptophan production. Tryptophan is a common soother of the brain by producing serotonin, the main “calming agent” for anxiety and anger. The studies show that the more mental stimuli, or intense brain activity (such as khiapping, and channeling of anger through physical exertion) the more effect on serotonin production. Taekwondo, however tough and physically challenging, is a proven meditation method. Every intense workout is another step towards the war against anxiety and anger. “Psychology Today” claims that the most influential emotion in teens is generally anxiety which leads to immense amounts of anger and drastic mood “attacks”. Thus, it is medically proven that martial arts for teenagers is beneficial to the child’s mind which mends social interaction.

As someone who as experienced teen martial arts, I often find myself imitating taekwondo attributes outside of classes. Quickly responding to teacher requests, Obeying specific demands without much explanation. I have come to realize the lifestyle that taekwondo gives children and students. Taekwondo may be defined as a sport, all physical movement, however, the sport shapes understanding of confidence, leadership and opportunity. One can safely say that Taekwondo is a lifestyle because of this manifestation of leadership and confidence. Seth Mullins states in his article Teenagers and Struggle for Identity, “One of the biggest challenges that they face during the transition between childhood and adulthood is this struggle with their own sense of identity”. Understanding who you are is an extreme problem facing teens and being apart of a lifestyle lets a teen understand how they interact personally and socially. As a personal lifestyle, they are often more autonomous and self directed because they are not limited to set rules of more abstract lifestyles. By being so, they are able to understand who they are better because a teen will know their own needs in education, athletics, and emotions.

Any young child will struggle with constant “downers” towards important characteristics in maturity. Many studies have proven TV to be the #1 affect towards irresponsible extroversion. The use of mature topics in television manipulates children’s needs. Many role models have come from sketchy television characters. Television is not the only factor however. Many more factors such as irresponsible companionships, unfit teachers and frankly an open mind all affect this ability to be drawn into lies. The reason children fall into this manipulation is the level of maturity they posses. Children are not experienced in the world so they do not know what goes on, only what they have seen which is absolutely incorrect. Being lead by an experienced teacher may seem like this manipulation, however, the child will have experience following a leader. The difference between a leader and a manipulator is the manipulator’s keen ability to play with emotions. A leader purely gives the follower facts and a good leader knows exactly what to honestly tell their followers. Being lead by an experienced leader is a beneficial part of a teens life because the leader will become a role model due to the teens ability to pick role models, sometimes bad and sometimes good. In taekwondo, the role models are the more important and life changing ones. As a child picks leaders out in taekwondo, they learn and become leaders themselves. Everything a teacher has in themselves is translated down to the student if it is sincerely honest. Martial arts for teenagers often learn these valuable skills such as leadership and confidence and further obtain opportunities in their social life.

There is so much a student can learn when engaging in teen martial arts. A teen is able to gain valuable attributes from valuable leaders. By joining taekwondo, every skill adults have is transmitted towards the teen and this is how a teen thrives with taekwondo.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Meet the CTI: Littleton School

Taekwondo martial arts school in Littleton, CO

Looking for karate or martial arts classes for yourself or your kids in the Littleton, Morrison or Chatfield area?  The Colorado Taekwondo Institute, with 5 locations in Littleton, Lakewood, Conifer, Golden and Westminster,  prides itself on maintaining a top-notch school with an environment largely focused on providing students with the best instruction available.

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute Littleton Campus of the is located on Simms Street, between Bowles and Belleview Avenues, making it conveniently located to students from all around the area. The school neighbors several wonderful small businesses in the shopping center including, Iwayama Sushi and Chatfield's Sports Bar & Grill.

The Littleton location opened in 1994. Students come all over the southwest metro-Denver area to train with the most experienced and hardest working black belts. Our dynamic classes provide the best in martial arts lessons for toddlers, kids, teens and adults. The Littleton school has twelve fully accredited black belts, who all began at this campus as white belts, and now assist or instruct, as well as continue their training, at the Littleton location.  The head instructor is Master John T. Sautel, 6th degree black belt in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo. With over 30 years’ experience as a martial arts instructor and also a licensed Jefferson County School middle school teacher, Master Sautel is an excellent teacher of students of all ages.

One thing that is special about the Littleton Taekwondo school is the layout. Within its large space, it houses two large workout areas, both with custom-built suspension floors made to maximize workout benefits. Students are able to practice and experience their martial arts training in both carpeted workout areas.  The workout rooms also have shelves with plenty of room for students to put their workout bags on while participating in the classes. All workout rooms also include everything teachers use to sharpen specific skills.

The pro shop carries the newest offerings in student manuals, sparring gear, belt racks and apparel. We have t-shirts, key rings, and many other items to personalize your experience at the Littleton location.  The large TV in the lobby, screening DVDs of past events offered by the CTI, allows friends to see our students in action, achieving awards, sparring and competing in those events.

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.

For more information about the Littleton school, go to or give us a call at 303-979-2621.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Healthy Dose of Humility

By Kelsey Smith, red belt

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a man is in possession of an arrogant disposition and a gloating tongue that he must be in want of attention.

In plain English, no one likes a braggart. You know it, I know it. When was the last time you actually enjoyed listening to someone talk about how amazing they are? Conceited people aren't interesting or engaging with anyone other than themselves. The occasional obligatory "stroking of the ego" and "tooting of one's own horn" is all well and good and healthy (and oftentimes enjoyable) but when your achievements/skills/exploits become the centerpiece of your conversation, it's time shrink your head down to a manageable size again.

Judo Great Grandmaster Shin Talking to StudentsModesty, a benefit of martial arts training, is a foundational pillar to becoming an elite leader, powerful black belt, and just an all-around pleasant person. The ability to objectively view one's accomplishments and be able to downplay (but not deny) their prowess is a skill that ought to be more openly admired and respected. When practicing modesty, one may notice a distinct difference in how others treat you. Suddenly, instead of having to compliment yourself, others may grace you with a kind word or two. People may have more interest in what you have to say, and will find your company much more agreeable.

Arrogance only breeds disdain. Modesty, on the other hand, leads to more opportunities. A humble attitude and politeness go hand-in-hand, and the last time I checked, good etiquette led to some nice returns. Better relationships, more interesting conversations, and more chances at opportunities not offered normally to people, to name a few. Looking at it that way, why wouldn't you want to gain a more humble outlook on yourself? It's not particularly difficult, and you'll come out better for it. In the end, only good can come of attaining a strong sense of humility, and implementing it in your daily life.

41st CTI Superbowl

The 41st CTI Superbowl is February 27-28 at Alameda International High School in Lakewood, CO!  The CTI Superbowl is presented by Grandmaster James M. Sautel, 7th dan, Master Merinda J. Sautel, 6th dan, Master John T. Sautel, 6th dan, and Master Erik R. Albrechtson, 5th dan.

Instructors and students from across the Colorado Taekwondo Institute will converge for the two day event consisting of competitions in poomse, free-sparring, board breaking and more.  Competitors of all ages and belt levels will vie for coveted CTI Superbowl awards in the many exciting divisions.

The CTI Superbowl has grown over the many years and celebrates the end of the CTI-year with exciting competitions and demonstrations.  This is also the only CTI Championships where under-black belts compete for the Grand Champions Awards!  Points are tallied for each competitor in each of their competitions, and the highest scores win.

Martial art teen girls doing a front kick in unisonAs always, families and friends of the CTI students and instructors may come and watch for free!  This day is dedicated to the members of our United States Armed Services and we want everyone to come and celebrate the competitors achievements and sportsmanship.

Last year's under-black belt Grand Champions at the 40th CTI Superbowl were:  Thomas Ma, Julianne Todd, Rob Sarche and Jennifer McKernan.

Who will capture the top awards this year?

For more information, click here!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kids Martial Arts Classes at the CTI

By Emily Brophy, 1st dan, 14 years old

One of the most important things of education is the classes and how the information is transferred from teacher to student. It is important at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute for every student to be honest and have a good attitude towards the class and the teacher. At Colorado Taekwondo Institute (CTI) the goal of the teachers is to provide a good learning experience for all of the students.

Our classes are structured so that all students get a great warm up, basics, and some poomse work at the end of class. It is important that every CTI
class starts with a 30 minute warm up. We start with jumping jacks to get the blood flowing and the muscles warm, then follow with stretches. These stretches are included to specifically target the muscles and tendons used in kicks and punches. The warm up is the most important part of the whole class; without properly stretched muscles, the likelihood of an injury is greatly increased. The main focus of the stretches is for kicking and stances. Because Taekwondo is so focused on strong stances and powerful kicks, it is important to warm up these muscles.  Then after these stretches is basics which includes kicking, punches, blocks, and strikes. The stretching that was done in the beginning of class helps with the basics. After the basics which are done in a simple side stance, the class with then work on poomse. Poomse is a collection of the basics to form a solid form. Poomse is the culminating part of a CTI class, and then is followed by bowing out to the instructor.

At CTI it is important for the students to get the full extent of martial arts instruction, and that each student feels like they are accomplishing something during class. CTI’s instructors use names in class to point out accomplishments that the student made during class. The instructors participate in the classes as well to give the students someone to follow during class, and look up to. During CTI classes assistants will sometimes come into class, and students with get one-on-one help from an upper belt on a poomse or self defense.

Kids martial arts classes are unique because the classes are structured to be successful, and they encourage students to be proud of who they are. The instructors are positive and work out with the class, and the students learn all of the necessary information. Classes at CTI encourage the students to have strong traits, such as honesty, team-work, good attitude, anger management, and leadership. CTI classes encourage everyone to be honest and accept the choices they make.

It very important to be honest with everyone in your life because then you develop a good reputation and people are more likely to believe what you say.  An example of where it is difficult being honest is when you have done something wrong or broken something and you need to confess. Telling someone that you did something bad is the hardest thing to do. Being able to do that is a strong personality trait. During CTI classes it is important to be honest with the other members of the class and work together as a team.

A young martial arts kidEveryone must equally contribute to a team, and not any one person is better than anyone. However the team might elect a leader who will guide the team, this leader is not better than any other member of the team. Being part of a team is not about who can get the most work done in the least amount of time, it is about trying your best and getting help from the other members of the team to achieve this goal. Being part of a team is to split up the work and achieve it more efficiently and in some cases quicker. Children martial arts classes are based on team-work, and this trait is important to making the classes run smoothly.  If the students and the instructor do not work together during class, it will make the class difficult and not fun for anyone.

Attitude is a choice and cannot be blamed on anyone or anything except you and your actions. Having a negative attitude towards a teacher, parents or friend makes them feel down and you feel worse and tend to lash out with mean and hurtful words. Attitude also relates to not having good sportsmanship after a game or tournament. After classes, CTI encourages the students to tell everyone in the class that they did a good job. This helps keep a positive attitude after class as well as classes later in the week.

Anger Management is an important part of everyday life, and everyone should learn how to manage their anger as a life skill. But sometimes it is not the easiest thing in the world to do, it takes practice and requires positive outlet to expel all of the negative energy. Sometimes finding a positive outlet for negative energy can be challenging, but there are multiple things that can be used to expel extra energy in a positive and fun way. Exercise is a great way to expel energy, and can keep you from feeling negative, because you feel like you have accomplished something. One of the important lessons that CTI classes teach is “Ho-shin” which means “self-control before self-defense.” It is important that students are able to defend themselves but it is also important to have control and manage anger, so as to not hurt other people around the student.

Leadership is also another important skill that kids martial arts classes encourage and help students to become leaders. It is important for every CTI student to be a strong and positive leader; classes at the CTI help to grow this skill. As the student learns new poomse and moves up the belt ranks, they become a leader to the younger, lower ranking students in the class. It is important that all students learn how to lead, how to go hard in class, and have the strength to be a role model to other students.

Children's martial arts at the CTI provide traits for lifelong learning, and give each and every student a positive experience.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Preparing for the 41st CTI Superbowl

By Coghan Spery, 1st dan, age 15

The 41st Colorado Taekwondo Institute (CTI) Super Bowl is just around the corner, and most students have probably already started to train for it in class.  However, sometimes training for the tournament in class only is not enough. There are a few good ways to train for a tournament outside of class, you can add into your day without much trouble.

Before a tournament, you want to go over your moves as much as possible, whether it is poomse or your break.  Although most people are busy during the middle of the day, there are a few good places to slide in a practice quickly.  One of these places is before or after you go to bed, sliding in a practice is very easy, because a single poomse is usually less than a minute.  If you can practice your poomse, even just once a day, it will make a huge difference for the tournament.

Purple belt martial arts kids doing a patterned movement formAnother good way to prepare for the Super Bowl would be to starting to eat healthier.  It will help if you are in good shape for the tournament, and although MSK students usually are, it never hurts to eat healthy for a little while.  If you could lay off the chips, sodas, and double cheeseburgers, you would have an advantage at the upcoming tournament.

With the 41st Super Bowl coming up soon, all students should be getting ready, whether that is practicing their poomse more often or eating healthier.  If you do these things, you will be more prepared, and do even better at the Super Bowl.

Read more about the Taekwondo Superbowl Tournament at our website

Monday, February 9, 2015


By Eileen Lindner, 1st dan

Mrs. Lindner with her son Ryan
Mrs. Lindner and Son
Modesty is important in daily life.  Being proud of what you can do is a valuable trait; but overstating it is arrogance.  Working hard to achieve a skill, or do well at school or work is important and requires being modest so you can learn new things.  If you think you've learned all you need to know, you are showing arrogance, for we should never stop learning, or being open to new things or ideas or learning from the experiences of others.

Being modest means you are rightfully proud of what you can do; but are also ready to learn more, to get better and to never stop learning.  If you are working on a Taekwondo skill or poomse (patterned movement) move, we know those take hundreds if not thousands of repetitions to be part of our muscle memory – even longer to be proficient at them.  Modesty allows us to learn nuances from our instructor to improve as we go, and avoid creating bad habits in learning.

Modesty helps in everyday life.  It is valuable to know what you can and cannot do, and how you can help in a situation at work. It is just as valuable to know when to ask for help instead of diving into something that isn't familiar to you, out of arrogance.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, modesty helps us identify each in ourselves to strengthen both!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Meet the CTI: Conifer School

The front of the Martial Arts School Conifer Location

Looking for karate, taekwondo or martial arts classes for yourself or your child in the Denver/Foothills area?  The Colorado Taekwondo Institute has 5 campuses located in Westminster, Golden, Lakewood, Littleton, and Conifer.  The Conifer location of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is located in the Conifer Marketplace, next to Liks Ice Cream.  This location, just off of Highway 285, by the turnoff for Highway 73 toward Evergreen, allows us beautiful views of Conifer and instant traffic updates – especially on summer evenings!

The Conifer campus of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute opened in 2007, and now has over 70 students.  Students come from Bailey, Evergreen, Morrison, Pine, and Conifer to train with the most experienced and hardest working black belts in the 285 Corridor. The school is located on Highway 285. Our dynamic classes provide the best in martial arts lessons for toddlers, kids, teens and adults.The Conifer location of the CTI has 7 fully accredited 1st degree black belts, who all began at this campus as white belts, and now assist or instruct, as well as continue their training, at the Conifer school.  The head instructor at Conifer is Grandmaster James M. Sautel, 7th degree black belt in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, the highest ranking and most experienced black belt in the area.  With over 30 years’ experience as a martial arts instructor, Grandmaster Sautel could teach at any campus – his choice to teach in Conifer has ensured that this campus in the mountains has the best of everything.

Morning, afternoon and evening Taekwondo classes are offered for all ages at this location. Our students range in age from 2 to 57.  We have students who train together as a family in our family classes.  Many of our young students have encouraged their parents and siblings to join classes suited for their ages.

Both the morning and evening adult classes are taught by Grandmaster Sautel, President of Colorado Taekwondo Institute.  We offer morning and afternoon sessions for our youngest students, the 2-5 year old tigers. Two to three martial arts classes are offered every day, Monday through Friday.

The custom suspension floors in our workout room provide support and cushion for your joints.  Some of the large windows in the workout room look out into the lobby, with a spacious viewing area where supportive parents watch their children learning new and increasingly difficult moves.  The other full length windows are open to the sidewalk, and seating area for our neighbor, Liks Ice Cream.  Summer evenings find many prospective students enjoying a treat while watching our students work out.

The pro shop area carries the newest offerings in sparring gear, student manuals, event patches and belt racks.  We have t-shirts, key rings, and many other items to personalize your experience at Conifer school of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.  The large TV in the lobby, screening DVDs of past events offered by the CTI, allows friends to see our students in action, achieving awards, sparring and competing in those events.  Registration fees for tests and events are also accepted at this location, by cash, check or credit card.

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.

For more information about the Conifer Campus of the CTI, go to or give us a call at 303-838-2783.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Right Choice for Me

By Sally Morgan, 2nd dan

Being a CTI Taekwondo instructor, I always remind my students how special they are.  The practice of Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo is not an easy one.  I tell them that if it were, everyone would be training in Taekwondo.  When my young students come into class they see other kids their age training just like them and of course they don’t think there is anything special about it!  Then I ask them how many students in their class do martial arts; or how many in their school.  Some may answer with one or two, but most do not know anyone who trains the way they do.  This gives them a new perspective on just how elite their training is.

When people watch movies that show martial artists punching, kicking and leaping through the air, they want to be like them.  What the movies don’t show is the years of hard work and sweat that goes into it.  Martial artists are not born spinning and flying through the air effortlessly.  Though some of us may have a natural ability, practicing a technique hundreds and
even thousands of times is what makes it all look so effortless.

In order to become proficient in martial arts we must possess a passion and commitment that is beyond the average person.    We sacrifice, we endure sore muscles, aching joints and even have a fair share of bruises.  We find a way to convince our bodies to do things that we never thought possible.  We are challenged to excel in coordination, balance and strength.   Most important, we must be patient.  Nothing in martial arts happens overnight and if we are unable to accept that, we probably would never see a black-belt around our waist.

When I started learning Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, I believed like most people, that the name of what I was learning was just that; “a name.”  I have now been in for almost 10 years and have come to realize that the name and style cannot be imitated in any other martial art out there.  I was very lucky to have “just happened” to fall into Moo Sul Kwan.   Over the years, it has become an “active choice.”  I choose to stay loyal to Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo for many reasons.  And though my understanding of this art is much more prominent than it was when I was a white belt, I know I still do not understand everything and have much more to learn.