Friday, September 18, 2015

Taekwondo Instruction & Learning Theory

By Eileen Lindner, 2nd dan

Learning theories are many and varied, as are the ways that individuals learn best. There are several paradigms which encompass most of the theories.  Behaviorism, constructivism, cognitivism, and humanism are the main paradigms of learning theory.  Using learning theories to facilitate the learning of a physical curriculum, like taekwondo, may best be done using aspects from different paradigms.  There is not one exclusive best paradigm to enhance martial arts training and instruction; rather it is best done incorporating many facets of differing paradigms and theories.

Taekwondo instruction is physical, and differs in many ways from the classroom model that learning theories most often refer to in evaluation.  The instruction in Colorado Taekwondo Institute martial arts school follows a basic pattern for every class.  Following this standardized curriculum allows aspects of differing theories to relate easily.

Since every learner could have a differing learning style, the instructor must be able to adapt a theory to fit an individual – many individuals at once – during instruction. The seven learning styles are: “visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary.”  Learning styles can change within an individual, often dependent on the curriculum, or the student’s age.

Taekwondo instruction requires not only the physical knowledge; but the ability to adapt a teaching method to particular students.  Knowledge of these learning theories and their students will help the instructor improve both instruction and their students’ performance.

Martial arts red belts crossing roundhouse kicksThe behaviorism theory, used with knowledge of constructivism, only enhances learning for the student.  The specific stimulus-response based instruction used with accommodation, assimilation, and equilibrium in the student, is a perfect example:  The basic mid-section punch is taught the same way, every class, until the student seems to understand it and perform it the same way over a period of time.  At that point, the details of chamber hand, focus, two knuckles for impact, etc. are reinforced.  Then the instructor can draw the connection of that same punch used in motion, during poomse, to improve both the basic punch and the technique in poomse.  The stimulus-response has created a connection for the student, and then the accommodation and equilibrium are put into play for the student to evolve and improve.

Combining stimulus-response with the other theories of cognitivism and humanism sounds disconnected; but they can be put to work together to enhance learning and performance.  The experienced Colorado Taekwondo Institute instructor can do this intuitively; and all instructors can benefit from studying these theories. The instructor presents all necessary information to follow Component Display Theory; is aware of the basic needs of their student as in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; and maintains consistent stimulus-response in the instruction situation, as in behaviorism.

The instructor, to use these theories properly, should also be capable of identifying the learning style that their student best responds to.  Many younger children need a visual, aural, and physical presentation of instruction.  Often, older students vary between logical and physical with visual aspects.  Teaching different students at once means the instructor has to incorporate this knowledge during class, adapting methods as students appear to follow, or be confused by a given instruction.  Most experienced instructors say what they are doing, then show what they are doing, then say it again, before asking the student to perform the technique – allowing at least three learning styles to be addressed at once.  The martial arts instructor also can face a certain student, or position themselves to best see the process and progress of their students.

Being familiar with different learning theories and learning styles allows the taekwondo instructor to best reach and instruct each student in an individual manner – even in a large class setting.  The more knowledge the martial arts school instructor has of their students, the better the instruction.
Using aspects of all the listed learning theories happens regularly in Colorado Taekwondo Institute classes, as the instructors put the students first and adapt to best teach each person.  Contact us at to see how our instruction can best help you and your child achieve your goals!


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Pavlov’s Dogs: How Ivan Pavlov Discovered Classical Conditioning;, retrieved June 1, 2015.

Culture and Cognitive Development from a Piagetian Perspective; Dasen, Pierre R., retrieved June 1, 2015.

Jean Piaget;, retrieved June 1, 2015.
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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs;, retrieved June 2, 2015.

Monday, September 14, 2015

26th DMAC Kicks It!

The 26th Denver Martial Arts Championships was excellent!  The two day event took place at Alameda International High School in Lakewood, Colorado on September 11-12.  Students and instructors came from many campuses and clubs for the annual event sponsored by the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, the American Martial Arts Sports and Education Association and Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts Institute.

The championships began on Friday evening with black belt competitions including Free Sparring, First Point Wins!, Staff Poomse and Poomse-Breaking.

26th DMAC Black Belt Grand Champions: Bridget Sautel, Tyler Murphy, and Natasha McKernan

Here are the results!


1st place
Julian Marine, Jacob Hoenmans, Kyle Janowski, Katelyn Minden, Jonah Elstad, Gwen Gutierrez, Devan Bagley, Katie Dahl, Merrick Oleszek,  Abbey Salamera, Caela McCartney, Brynn Konrad, Ryan Wyngarden, Rick Orton, Derek Simpson, Phillip Hoenmans, Trish Nguyen, Tyler Brooks, Elijah Blue, Owen Hughes, Taylor Allen, James Black, Ed Stanton, Evan Strickfaden, Greg Rodriguez, Zach Farr, Bryce Riffle, Arkhip Saratovtsev, Sean Huntley, Meryn Probasco, Gillian Boswell, Keira Jacobo, Mateo Piza, Kylee Ruhser, Aiden Sturm, Yosef Rutan, Jason Stencel, Jr., Isabella Lasater, Emily Chavez, Lance Schwartz, Ellie Stanton, Megan Garcia, Dylan Soule, Zach Bickford

2nd place
Jack Henning, William Maes, Luke Walker, Kylie Bickford, Calvin Jensen, Evelyn LaMorgese, Nina Madayag, Lindsey Boswell, Chase Wyngarden, Elizabeth Hawkins, Jakob Deverell, Cody Jacobson, Makayla Trapp, Taryn Dwyer, Uriah Hernandez, Payton Reynolds,Dakota Jesse, Marley Griffin, Anya Trilk, Gaven Brave,
Elliot Logan, David Malec, T. J. Tibbetts, Isaac Downs, Angelenna Amaducci, Peyton Beard, Caidan White, Hudson Van Voorhees, Diego Quezada, Braden Schmidt, Kevin Villa, Robert Haight, Jason Stencel, Sr., Adolph Ordaz, Aiyana Godwin, Walyon Keane, Audrey Logan, Caidan Murphy, Alex Schwartz, Theryn Ochsner, Rusty Martino, Tyler Cobb, Josh Stencel, Will Kennedy

3rd place
Quynn Cotner, Oliver Faler, Mitchell Oleszek, Braden Zach, Grant Haverkamp, Konner Evans, Charlie Smith, Lauren Smith, Robbie Crandell, Mya Field, Dante Hulin, Joshua Miller, Dean Loux, Irene Kim, Devon Lewis, Elise Smith, Matt Nguyen, Lee Tomjack, Kirun Agarwal, Colton Blake, Bradan Zandin, Krustal Shockley, Brecken Lusk, Donovan Penrod, Sigourney Zager, Christopher Cardella, Gabe Zinser, Jovan Moore, Lucah Meyer, Isaac Jensen, Jeremiah Block,   Tyler Gray, Alexis Block, Jack Weichert, Nick Tibbetts, Tatum Fahey, Kaylyn McEwan, Adina Johnson, Amadeo Sandoval, Carson Mack, Ashton Price, Colton Walker

4th place
Jasmine Salamera, Chad Bickford, Nico Trilk, T.J. Gutierrez, Kaddie Williams, Aspen Hawkins, Logan Gill, Sean Konrad, Sam La Morgese, Johnny Williams, Devon Bilyeu, Melodie Page, Bowen Meyer, Libby Girard, Campbell  Copt, Isaac Jensen, Ethan Girard, Evan Zdechlik, Katelynn Ward, Paul Tafoya, Melissa Black, Adrian Farr, Hunter Nicholas, Autumn Manuelito, Aydon Lewis, Colin Palminteri, Logan Brooks, Donovan Jarrett, Alaina Faler      


1st place
Marcus Monie, Aidan Soule, Andrew Roy Wolfe, Leto Ochsner, Enzo DiAlessandro, Allan Stanton, Dylan Wellensiek, Brady Teagan, Channing Toal, Cole Massa, Tait Shamus, Cooper Ivie, Lucy Walker, Alexandra Kennedy, Aspen Block


1st place
Bridget Sautel, Tyler Murphy, Shekina DeTienne, Jennifer McKernan, Ethan Trapp, Theo Lincke

2nd place
Erik Ondrejko, Coghan Spery, Lydia Lincke, Kyle Feagans, Natasha McKennan, Nathaniel McKernan

3rd place
Andy McDaniel, Hope Morgan, Kathleen Sautel, Eric Evans, Kenny Brancio, Justin Lautrup

4th place
Nick Slinkard, Collin Kreutz, Emily Brophy, Eileen Lindner, Casey Feagans, Ethan Price  

BREAKING (Under Black Belt)

1st place
Ed Stanton, Jovan Moore, Arkhip Saratovtcev, Zach Farr, Christopher Cardella, Derek Simpson, Devan Bagley, Aspen Hawkins, Dakota Jesse, Calvin Jensen, T.J. Gutierrez, Brecken Lusk, Taylor Allen,  Mariah Cordova, Payton Reynolds, Phillip Hoenmans, Kaddie Williams, Chad Bickford, R. J. Larson, Kylie Bickford, Nico Trilk, Chase Wyngarden


1st place
Bridget Sautel, Collin Kreutz, Caleb Feagans, Jennifer McKernan,  
Brian Steward

2nd place
Hope Morgan, Tyler Murphy, Emily Brophy, Theo Lincke, Eric Evans

3rd place
Andy McDaniel, Peyton Brauch, Natasha McKernan, Eileen Lindner,
Zack Greaves

4th place
Erik Ondrejko, Don  Johnson, Kathleen Sautel, Lexi Johannes, Nick Slinkard


1st place
Andy McDaniel, Erik Ondrejko, Hope Morgan, Ethan Trapp, Nick Slinkard, Natasha McKernan, Trish Nguyen, Dante Hulin, Konnor Evans, Casey Feagans, Katie Dahl, Ryan Wyngarden, Dakota Jesse, Waylon Keane, Marley Griffin, Chad Bickford, Peyton Reynolds, Megan Garcia, Ben Techmeyer, Sean Haverkamp, Emily Chavez, Brynn Konrad, Alex Price, Devan Bagley, Susan Burgstiner, Issac Downs, T.J. Tibbetts, Sigourney Zager, R. J. Reynolds, Chase Wyngarden, Kyle Janowski, Ellie Stanton, Amadeo Sandoval, Will Kennedy, Zach Bickford, Tyler Brooks, Gavon Brase, Adina Johnson, Aidan Sturm, Nick Tibbetts, Quynn Cotner, Braden Zack, Evan Strickfaden, Robert Haight, Ed Stanton, Kirun Agarwal, Zach Farr, Arkhip Saratovtsev, Mateo Piza      

2nd place
Brian Steward, Don Johnson, Collin Kretuz, Bridget Sautel, Peyton Brauch, Lexi Johannes, Rusty Martino, Carson Mack, Lauren Dahlberg, William Maes, Derek Simpson, Caela McCartney, Lucah Meyer, Gillian Boswell, Taylor Allen, Donovan Penrod, Kevin Villa, Chris Cardella, Ethan Girard, Braden Schmidt, Darcy Stanton, Jason Stencel, Sr., Paul Tafoya, Adolph Ortiz, Greg Rodriguez, Alex Schwartz, Evan O'Finelly, Lance Schwartz, Katelyn Minden, Issac Jensen, Oliver Faler, Tyler Gray, Caiden Murphy, Yosef Rutan, Theryn Ochsner, Elijah Alire, Merrick Oleszek, Mitchell Oleszek, Irene Kim, Charlie Smith, Zayne Lineberger, Kylie Bickford, Josh Miller, Lindsey Boswell, Gwen Gutierrez, Abbey Salamera, Sam LaMorgese, Rick Orton, Logan Gill                      

3rd place
Emily Brophy, Caleb Feagans, Lydia Lincke, Coghan Spery, Zach Greaves, Kyle Feagans, Sarah Dahle, Jakob Deverell, Calvin Jensen, Melvin Marine, Logan Brooks, Jacob Hoenmans, Jameson Healy, Mya Field, Makayla Trapp, Kaddie Williams, Nico Trilk, Aspen Hawkins, Cody Jacobson, Jonah Elstad, Nancy Fanning, Julian Marine, Sean Konrad, Aydon Lewis, Kaylyn McEwan, Dylan Soule, Colin Palminteri, Joshua Stencel, Owen Hughes, Benson White, Kylee Rusher, Jack Henning, Audrey Logan, Peyton Beard, Matthew Ordaz, Bruce Riffle, Adrian Farr, Krystal Shockley, Diego Quezada, Caiden White, Aidan Hutchison, Colton Blake, Sean Huntley, Mariah Cordova, Katelyn Ward, Elliott Logan, Ashton Price, Anya Trilk

4th place
Ethan Price, Eric Evans, Jack Eddy, Jennifer McKernan, Kenny Brancio, Kathleen Sautel, Jason Stencel, Jr., Tyler Cobb, Angeleena Amaducci, Meryn Probasco, Johnny Williams, Lauren Lundeen, Jovan Moore, Gabe Zinser, Bown Meyer, Ethan Dwyer, Brendan Zandin,       Evan Zdechlik, Bill Schwartz, Hunther Nicholas, Autumn Manuelito,   Isabella Lasater, Jack Weichert, Allan Stanton, Lenox Jacobo, Tatum Fahey, Donovan Jarrett, Robbie Crandell, Grant Haverkamp, Lydia Willis, Devon Lewis, Uriah Hernandez, Evelyn LaMorgese, Nikki Garcia, T.J. Gutierrez, Dean Loux


1st place
Trish Nguyen, Konnor Evans, Chad Bickford, Jacob Deverell, Dakota Jesse, Peyton Reynolds, Makayla Trapp, Brynn Konrad, Zayne Lineberger, Kaddie Williams, Jonah Elstad, Irene Kim, R.J. Larson,   Sean Konrad, Elijah Alire, Tatum Fahey, Amadeo Sandoval, Will Kennedy, Joshua Stencel, Owen Hughes, Gavin Brase, Adina Johnson, Nick Tibbetts, Aidan Sturm, Alex Schwartz, Peyton Beard, Adolf Ordaz, Robert Haight, Jason Stencel, Sr., Kirun Agarwal, Zach Farr, Arkhip Saratovtsev, Bowen Meyer, Isaac Downs, T.J. Tibbetts, Libby Girard, Gillian Boswell, Elliot Logan, William Maes, Emily Chavez, Carson Mack, Rusty Martino, Ryan Wyngarden

2nd place          
Elise Smith, Logan Gill, Melvin Marine, Dante Hulin, Kameron Evans, Elizabeth Hawkins, Casey Feagans, Jasmine Salamera, Alex Price, Katie Dahl, Charlie Smith, Susan Burstiner, Julian Marine, Robbie Crandell, Aydon Lewis, Ellie Stanton, Dylan Soule, Colin Palmenteri,   Tyler Gray, Oliver Faler, Jack Weichert, Isabella Lasater, Lance Schwartz, Evan O'Finelly, Audrey Logan, Branden Zack, Matthew Ordaz, Bryce Riffle, Ed Stanton, Krystal Shockley, Diego Quezada,     Caidan White, Mateo Piza, Kevin Villa, Jovan Moore, Taylor Allen, Keira Jacobo, Ben Techmeyer, Ashton Price, Lauren Dahlberg, Waylon Keane, Jacob Hoenmans, Josh Miller

Friday, September 4, 2015

A CTI Testimonial: Part 2

Hannah E.

Martial arts kid breaking board with side kickMy son began taking Taekwondo at Colorado Taekwondo Institute 18 months ago and has loved every minute of it! In fact, he can't get enough of the martial arts for kids, of the personal and physical challenges and of the caring staff. While attending CTI, my son (and entire family) has benefited from: 1. the incredible staff, 2. top quality skills training, 3. education and support in maintaining high values and morals, 4. awareness of caring for the community we live in, 5. being challenged mentally and physically

  1. The staff at CTI has been nothing less than amazing! the skill and the experience of the instructions has provided top-notch instruction for my son. I love how the teachers take the time to point out the finest of detail to help my son be the best he can be. They pay careful attention to all the students so they can all see improvement and growth. It is also obvious that they care for their students as individuals and take the time to learn more about their life outside of Taekwondo. 
  2. My son is very competitive and enjoys the competition at tournaments. He has never placed less then 2nd and has mostly received 1st place trophies and metals. It is important to him that his skill training be the best in the area to ensure the continues success at tournaments. We are very impressed with the top quality skills training. 
  3. Colorado Taekwondo institute is intentional on teaching high morals and values to all their students. My son has benefited in all areas of his life from this. Specifically, the five tenets of Taekwondo are behaviors that are developed and expected from their students. Those tenants are Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and indomitable Spirit. 
  4. We are very impressed with the involvement CTI has in the community! They do can food and clothes drives, they collect and donate turkeys, they rally for those in special and specific needs and teach the students to be a part of caring for others. 
  5. It is very important that my son is challenged both mentally and physically. I love how CTI continuously provides him with new challenges every month. Whether it is learning a new form or a new character trait, my son is always challenged to do more, get better and have fun! I highly recommend Colorado Taekwondo Institute to my family, friends and all people who are looking for Martial Arts training.

Tammy V.

We couldn’t be happier with CTI and specifically the Westminster school and their martial arts for kids. We enrolled our daughter about a year and a half ago for many reasons, among which was a slight bullying problem, and she has learned so much during this time. Her self-confidence has increased tremendously. In today’s crazy world it’s unfortunate that, as parents, you look to find tools to give your children that will help protect them now, in middle and high school, and beyond. What we love so much about CTI is the fact that even though they are teaching self-defense, they do not teach the kids to fight/stay and fight, but give them the confidence to walk away from a troubled situation or the skills needed to provide themselves with an opportunity to get away. An example of the confidence it has given her is that when her school went into lock-down last year, while many of the children were frightened and emotional, our daughter said she wasn’t that scared because she knew she and some other classmates knew Taekwondo. How amazing is that, that at 9 years old she was able to feel secure in an unnerving situation!

The instructors are amazing and really care about each child and their individual training. The leadership skills that our daughter is learning are invaluable. The instructors give opportunities right off the bat for the children to help lower belts in their training, whether they are one belt above or several, fostering bonds and teaching skills and the attitude of helping others. They do a great job at motivating the kiddos to keep them engaged and excited about the program. The instructors are able to balance a form of teaching that allows them to instruct and correct the children with discipline while doing it in a fun and non-threatening manner. The tournaments, the encouraging words in class, the extra-curricular activities which allow the children to have fun with each other and their instructors outside of working hard in the class room, the summer camp opportunities, are just a few of the things CTI does to keep the children enthusiastic and motivated and wanting more. Thank you CTI for the skills you have given our daughter and we look forward to many more years at CTI and happily recommend them every chance we get.