Friday, April 29, 2016

Why Individual Sports, Including Martial Arts, Are Valuable for Teenagers

From the time they are born, children are constantly growing physically and mentally each day into the adult that they will one day become. They learn and grow as toddlers, children and as teenagers. Much research shows that children are developing well past their teenage years. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, "the brain doesn’t look like that of an adult until the early 20s."

So the teenage years are a valuable time for children to continue to learn life skills, such as perseverance, self-reliance, confidence, focus and physical fitness. Team sports often can provide the same benefits, but often they are not as beneficial because they have to rely on the team. If they aren't the best on a team, they won't play as often as the "super stars" on the team. With an individual sport, such as Karate or Taekwondo, each teen puts in their own effort and they receive what they put into it. Martial arts for teenagers are so wonderful and they develop so many benefits, including:

Teen martial arts classes at the Colorado Taekwondo InstitutePerseverance: "The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places." - Author Unknown -- One great thing with martial arts, such as Taekwondo or Karate, is that they have a belt system which teaches students to persevere. Each belt has certain requirements that the teen must learn and master before moving on to the next belt. The process to get to black belt will take many years and a teen will have to persevere to obtain that goal. Luckily with the each of the small goals along the way, they learn how to push step-by-step to work hard until they reach their goal.

Self-Reliance: "Youth athletes in individual sports learn to be self reliant. Their success is entirely dependent on their own efforts. If they want to win, they can’t count on someone else carrying them through the competition. If they lose a match, individual sport athletes can’t blame anyone else for their failure. This teaches them to be responsible for their own action and decisions." -Sports Signup

Confidence: "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." -E. E. Cummings -- Often times children will start to become more shy or reserved during their teen years. But it is also the time when they need to learn to speak up and have great self-esteem. Speeches in high school, job interviews and public speaking are all right around the corner for them, and this is an important time for them to learn to have high esteem for themselves and to be confident.

Focus: “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” -Zig Ziglar -- Teenagers are often stereotyped as being lazy and lacking focus. As above, the teen years are important for their development for the "real world" after high school. Martial arts classes, such as those taught at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, are a great way for teens to develop their focus. Classes are structured and students need to focus on the task at hand to learn and develop their moves as they prepare for their next belt or an upcoming tournament.

Physical Fitness: "Approximately 12.7 million, or 17 percent, of children and adolescents are obese." -American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry -- This is an alarming statistic. Almost one out of 5 American children are obese, not just overweight, but obese. More and more children are eating less healthy and getting less excersise. Teen martial arts are great for developing physical fitness. Jumping jacks (cardio), push-ups & sit-ups (muscular strength & endurance), all through kicking, punching and blocking are a great, and fun way, for teens to keep themselves in shape and become much more healthy.

As you can see, individual sports are great for the development of teenagers. Teen martial arts is something you should consider for your child. With five Denver-metro locations, the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is bound to have a class and program that will work for your family. Give us a call today and see what we have to offer your family.





Friday, April 22, 2016

Martial Arts Lessons for You: Westminster Edition

Martial arts classes in Westminster at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute

Colorado has become synonymous with health and fitness. Mountain biking & hiking in the summer, and skiing/snowboarding & snowshoeing in the winter, Colorado is filled with calorie burning activities. But, maybe you're looking for something new. Taekwondo is one calorie burning activity that you might not think of in the mountains.

Taekwondo in Westminster is rapidly growing activity at the campus of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. The classes are led by highly qualified instructors and provide high intensity, calorie burning fun. The classes contain students of all different experience levels. The levels are distinguished by belts from white all the way up to degrees of black belts. The classes are tailored to be challenging for the beginners and advanced at the same time. Almost all of the exercises are done just by stretching and moving your own body without any extra equipment or weights. Imagine getting a tremendous workout that builds muscle, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and agility using nothing but your own body. The workout can be experienced and shared by all the members of your family.

The Westminster school of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is located off of W. 88th Avenue and Garrison Street, in the Lake Plaza shopping center. It's easily accessible for everyone in Westminster, Arvada and Broomfield.

The workouts in the Westminster Taekwondo location are performed in a clean and spacious workout room. The carpeted custom suspension floors provide a support and cushion for joints while working out. It's hard to explain how much fun jumping and exercising can be with that little extra bounce in your step. That little extra cushion gives the younger students more confidence and gives the older adult student a little bit of a fountain of youth.

Even if you aren't in the class, there are many large windows that allow parents or children to view from the lobby. The lobby area provides a comfortable area to watch all the fun happening behind the glass. The school is also located next the Liks Ice Cream shop so you can enjoy some ice cream before or after class. The Westminster school is also near Sideways, I Love Sushi and Amadeo's Italian restaurants for some good food after a great workout.

The Westminster campus of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is lead by Master Erik Albrechtson, a 5th degree black belt in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo. Master Albrechtson has help from several other “home grown” assistant instructors. All instructors of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute started out as white belt students in the school. Each instructor has been developed and educated in the best methods of instruction in martial arts. Quality instruction provides the basis for getting the most out each class.

The experiences at Westminster school aren't limited to classes. The Colorado Taekwondo Institute provides events year round to meet with the other 5 campuses around Colorado and the Denver metro area. The events include tournaments where we compete with other equally aged and experienced students. Other events include weekend getaways in the mountains where students can focus on having fun and learning while enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery.

So, when your looking to try something out of the normal mountain routine, the Westminster campus of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute can provide martial arts classes in westminster, which is a great way to cross-train for any of the other normal activities. The increase in core strength, flexibility, and endurance can be a benefit for mountain biking, rock climbing and skiing. Try it out! Give us a call at 303-428-5377 to learn more.

Monday, April 18, 2016

CTI Masters Seminars a Kick!

By Taryn Dwyer, red belt
Martial arts girl doing a kick with a snowman in Colorado
One of the foundations of Colorado Taekwondo Institute is continuous learning.  This is evident in the fact that once you become a black belt you are not considered a master of Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, but rather a master of the Basics.  Learning never ends and you can never know it all.  I think that this is one of the things that draw students of all ages to the martial arts, and to MSK Taekwondo in particular.

The CTI does an amazing job of fostering this desire to always be learning by offering its students numerous opportunities to learn.  Not only are there classes held five days or more a week, there are tournaments four times a year, a 3-day Expo in the Summer, as six-day Camp MSK and even other camps and clinics.  In addition, the CTI occasionally holds seminars that allow students from all of the campuses to come together to learn more about a particular aspect of their study.

Recently, the CTI held two such Masters Seminars at the Green Mountain Campus, Poomse & Target Kicking.  The event was advertised as an event for “all belt levels”.  As an adult lower belt myself, I am often nervous about such things because I have an unfounded fear that I will arrive the morning of the seminar and find myself in a room of upper belt students or a room of Tigers.  This was not the case at all.  The participants in the seminars ranged from brand new Tigers, to adult white belts who had just started their studies a couple of weeks prior, to master instructors.

We started the first seminar much like we start every class and every promotion test, with warm-ups and stretching.  Then we began the Poomse part of our training for the day.  I honestly had no idea what to expect.  I did not know if the instructors were going to break down our highest Poomse with us or if they were going to teach us new moves.  What I was not expecting was for the instructors to start breaking down the ready stance, or Chunbi Chasi.  The second rule of Poomse Training is “In assuming the ready stance be calm, cautious, and courageous.”  I had memorized it months ago and I recited it in promotion tests and in class on numerous occasions, but I had never really given it much thought.  We listened to Grandmaster Sautel speak about it and then as a group we practiced our ready stance.  And then we practiced some more.  It really made me stop and think about what I was doing and realize that there really is a reason for everything we do in class.  

After a few more practice rounds we split into groups based on age and belt rank and were assigned a black belt instructor to work with.  I really enjoyed this part of the seminar because not only did we get to meet other students who were at the same point in their studies as we were, but we got to work with other instructors.

The next part of the day focused on Target Kicking.  After a second warm up and some more stretching, we were again broken into groups based on age and belt rank.  This part of the day was slightly different.  We stayed in the same groups, but we rotated through different stations and got to work on different skills with different black belts.  We started working on some basic kicks that I had done in class before and learning how to hold the targets for our partners.  It was something I really enjoyed learning about because now my kids and I can practice at home together.  We also got feedback on our form and learned how to improve out accuracy and power.  We then progressed to some more advanced kicks that were new to me and challenged me a great deal.  It was great to be able to spend so much time dedicated to an area that we usually do not get to spend a whole lot of time on in class.  We ended this part of the seminar with a demonstration by some of the black belts of some advanced breaks.  It was motivating and entertaining at the same time.

Overall the seminars were an amazing experience and I am so glad that I pushed myself and attended them.  I returned to class the following week feeling energized and reinvigorated and anxious to incorporate what I had learned into my work in class.  If you were not able to attend the Poomse & Target Kicking Seminars, or did not know if they were really right for you, I highly recommend that you make a point of attending them the next time they are offered.  It is a great opportunity to learn more about Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo and improve your skills beyond what you would be able to learn just by attending class.  I would like to thank CTI for continuing to offer programs that push us to become stronger athletes and better people.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Where To Go When Looking for Kids Karate in Denver

By Eileen Lindner, 2nd dan

Childrens and kids karate classes taught at the Colorado Taekwondo InstituteIs your young child ready for taekwondo, martial arts, or kid's karate classes?  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?  This could mean that kids’ 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.

The benefits to the child in a kids’ taekwondo class include improvements or increases in:

  • listening skills
  • coordination and motor skills
  • balance
  • self-confidence
  • self-control
  • discipline
  • respect
  • attention span & focus
  • patience
  • relationships with peers and other adults

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 proven routine which improves the attention, focus, discipline and skill of every student on a consistent basis.

The Korean 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.  Following directions and paying attention are the primary focus of tiger classes.  Within the framework of the children's karate, they learn to stretch, punch, and kick; while learning respect for authority, patience, and discipline.

Whether your child is 2 years old or 12 years old, kids’ 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 speed, with their own skill sets of coordination and focus.  The Colorado Taekwondo Institute tiger instructor knows well how to encourage them individually and within the larger group to continue to improve to earn their next belt over several weeks or kick a higher target right there.

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 kids karate classes, go to or give us a call at 303-428-5377.

Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 All-City Championships

The patch for the 2016 Denver All-City Champs martial arts tournament
2016 All-City Champs
The 2016 All-City Championships will take place on April 29 - 30, at Alameda International Junior/High School. The All-City Championships is hosted by the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.

There will be competitions for all ages and belt levels in poomse, sparring, First Point Wins! and board breaking.

Black Belts began on Friday evening with black belt competitions including staff poomse, breaking, poomse, sparring and more!  The action will resume on Saturday morning for black belts and all the different belt levels and ages.

Speak with your instructor for more information.

You can register online here!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Martial Arts Lessons for You: Littleton Edition

Best taekwondo lessons and martial arts classes in Littleton, Colorado

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute has five different locations including Littleton, Lakewood, Westminster, Golden and Conifer, all providing educational Martial Arts training within a positive environment. The different aspects of learning include how to use self-control, build self-confidence, and maintain a healthy lifestyle; definitely the best when it comes to martial arts classes in Littleton.

The Littleton school is located on South Simms Street, in between Belleview Avenue and Bowles Avenue, within a shopping center with other businesses including Iwayama Sushi and Pump N Save gas station. There are also quite a few elementary, middle, and high schools in the neighboring areas, some of which are: Westridge Elementary, Montessori Peaks Academy, Mount Carbon Elementary, Summit Ridge Middle School, and Dakota Ridge High School.

The Littleton location first opened in 1994 with students coming from surrounding areas, especially around the southwest metro-Denver area. Students come to train with many highly educated, experienced, and energetic black belts. The campus provides classes for children as young as 2 years old, along with kids, teens, and adults of all ages. The Littleton school has ten fully accredited black belts that have all been participating at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute for over 6 years, and all began as white belts at this campus. These black belts instruct and assist, and also continue their personal training at the Littleton campus. The head instructor at Littleton is Master John T. Sautel, who is a 6th degree black belt in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo. He is an exceptional teacher of all ages with over 30 years of experience as a martial arts instructor, and is also a licensed Jefferson County School middle school teacher.

An exclusive attribute of the Littleton school is the design of the workout rooms and lobby. This includes two spacious workout areas with custom-built suspended floors, which allow the students to amplify their work out and participation abilities. These areas are also carpeted to enable a good learning experience in a comfortable environment. The large work out room includes equipment rack shelves for students to put their workout bags on while engaging in class; this gives them easy access to equipment they may need during training. Both workout areas include all utensils that are needed for instructors to ensure an educational and fun-filled class.

There is a pro-shop in the lobby area that includes student manuals, sparring equipment, and required patches. There are also key rings, t-shirts, and equipment bags to complete the fulfilled experience at the CTI Littleton location. There is a TV in the lobby that exhibits screenings of past Colorado Taekwondo events including tournaments, summer Expo’s, and Camp’s that show experiences and immense learning that happen while participating in these events. The lobby area also includes a place for parents, friends, and family to sit and watch as the students participate in classes apart in a setting that won’t interfere with their learning. The smaller work out room for the toddlers also includes a space set aside for parents to watch. The CTI staff and students, along with their families, make it possible to have a family-friendly environment.

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute has a mission to: “Encourage world-class leadership through educational excellence and Moo Sul Kwan martial arts traditions.” The devotion of the CTI black belts and instructors ensures that students will be educated in a positive learning environment to be developed into leaders with many skills that can be carried over to family, school, and the community. With over 30 years of excellence, the Colorado Taekwondo Institute can promise the finest teaching of any educated-based taekwondo classes in Littleton.

For more information on the Littleton school, visit or call at 303-979-2621.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Our CTI Mission

"To encourage and develop world-class leaders through educational excellence and Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts traditions"

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute mission statement is the organization’s ultimate goal with its implementation strategy stated as firmly rooted in its foundation. To examine the objective which is to foster world-class leaders, you can’t help but be struck by the ambition. How many martial arts organizations can aspire to such a daunting task?  Wouldn’t it be easier to just say CTI is here to generate black belts (and the money associated with them coming and going through the revolving pay-me-for-a-belt door)?  Perhaps this is what frustrates or turns away those people who are looking for just that? Developing a world-class leader is not something you just show up for.  It requires a lot of training, direction, and energy from both the student and the teacher!  It requires more than just showing up to class. It requires teachers who are equipped to develop their student and a receptive student who is willing to put in the work for the reward – not of a belt but of the life lessons that lead to developing leadership skills.

Martial arts black belt doing a high flying jump kick

Go a bit further and the mission statement focuses on the implementation through educational excellence and Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts traditions. Knowing that the CTI is founded by educators who have a passion for teaching, it is not surprising then to see that advancement in the CTI curriculum requires study, practice, and not just physical but also written test performance. The material is rooted in the MSK traditions with studies across the spectrum of knowing your poomse details and history, Korean and CTI history, exercise benefits and “rules of engagement”, to understanding Great Grandmaster Park’s (founder of Moo Sul Kwan) model concept (the integrated mind-body-spirited student) and the how our training develops his 5 components of health related physical fitness (muscular strength and endurance, cardio endurance, flexibility, and body composition) as well.  Not to mention the creative flair of forcing yourself to make the attempt at a self-portrait – a daunting task for me at least! Our education across the integrated person sets us apart from just martial artists who break boards and do poomse; it makes us unique; it prepares us to be leaders in our schools, work, and community – and within our dojang.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Snapshots of our 2016 AMASEA National Convention Bus Trip

2016 National AMASEA martial arts convention in Missouri

The 2016 American Martial arts Sports and Education Association National Convention in Cape Girardeau Missouri, was a blast. The trip started off from the Green Mountain campus Thursday evening. Over 40 master instructors, instructors, black belts and students loaded up for a trek that would cross Colorado, Kansas and Missouri.

The bus trip provide students with an opportunity to get to know one another and share movies, games and stories.  After watching a movie, the group settled down for the evening as the bus driver worked his way across Kansas.  The next morning, we arrived at the City Museum of St. Louis.  Joining up with 5 other members of our group, the now 49 members of CTI climbed, crawled and slid through the museum.

The St. Louis City Museum opened in 1997.  Bob Cassilly, an artist, revamped the 600,000 square foot former International Shoe Company into a wonderful mixture of art and playground.  With the help of 20 other artists, Mr. Cassilly has created an environment that patrons can climb over, under or through.  Each year the artisans create new tunnels, playground features and artwork.

One of my favorite quotes from the trip was when Robbie Crandell asked “Hey, can I go stick my head in that frog’s mouth?”.  Robbie then proceeded to dive into the frog and the associated tunnels.  The group spent a few hours exploring the multiple tunnels, sculptures and slides.  After lunch, it was time to try out the ten story slide one more time before heading out to the bus.  The entire group had an excellent time and spent the next leg of the trip down to Cape Girardeau sharing stories of places they explored, and battles from the ball pit.

Friday evening the group joined Missouri students and instructors at the Southeast Missouri State University Show Me Center for an evening of dynamic classes.  Black Belts kicked off the evening in a One Step Sparring class lead by Master Albrechtson.  It felt great to warm­ up, stretch and knockout multiple rounds of one­-steps.  The under black belt students attended classes on self-­defense, poomse, target kicking and free sparring.  The evening concluded with the black belts facing off in free sparring while Mr. Sandusky led students through Poomse.  Sparring students from other campuses and states provided us the opportunity to evaluate our skills and abilities against opponents we may have never met before.  In the end there were many handshakes and smiles as we turned in for the night.

Saturday morning classes included circuit training with Great Grandmaster Bong Yul Shin and Great Grandmaster He-­Young Kimm. Students had the opportunity to workout and learn from these two legends while the black belts worked on falling techniques.  Grandmaster Charles Hildebrand provided a class on Hapkido counter techniques which provided not only the basic introduction to some of the lower belt Hapkido techniques, bu
t also the counters for those techniques.  The morning concluded with an excellent class on lower black belt forms from Master Fred Sautel and self defense led by Master Rick Schutt.  In the lower black belt forms class, the 1st and 2nd dan black belts worked through an impressive 30 repetitions of poomse.  The class reminded all of us of what we can accomplish in a short amount of time when we put our minds to it.

After a quick lunch, the CTI Black Belt Demo Team provided a demonstration to music for the students and families attending the National Convention.  As the Moo Sul Rock band played, the black belts performed basics, one-­steps, poomse, staff poomse, target kicking and breaking in an impressive display of teamwork.

It was then time to experience a Great Grandmaster Shin class.  GGM Shin has a way of pushing you past what you thought your body was capable up.  Other students worked with Great Grandmaster Kimm on Hapkido techniques reciting the uplifting words of “I am feeling good.” Classes including many different areas until late afternoon.  The students then gathered together for a group picture and headed out for pizza.

It was impressive to see the huge group, calmly and respectfully, enter the pizza place and disperse throughout the restaurant.  The staff was very impressed with how polite all of the younger students are.  After the evening meal the group headed back to the hotel to clean up and prepare for the evening awards Ceremony.  At the Awards ceremony, students from all different Moo Sul Kwan campuses socialized, danced and sang.  The group had an excellent time and enjoyed watching our fellow black belt instructors receive awards for accomplishments and achievements for the past year.

Sunday morning provided an opportunity for students to compete in the Moo Sul Kwan Olympics.  Later that day the group experienced the Jones’ paradise.  Master Bill Jones and Kimberly Jones opened their beautiful home to the group.  We cooked, played pool, socialized and ate incredible food as the band provided entertainment for everyone.  A special thanks to the Jones’ as they always provide an welcoming environment for our group.

Monday the trip back started early.  Driving back during the day provided students a view of the Missouri and Kansas countrysides.  Soon, we were back in Colorado, ready to tackle the new challenges and opportunities for success that lay ahead!