Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Importance of Self-Protection from a CTI Woman's Perspective

Martial arts girl defending herself with self-defense and taekwondoAs I originally started the Colorado Taekwondo Institute as a girl at the age of 8, I can proudly say that, for the most part, I feel assured that I possess an instinctual level of defensive strategy. As I have grown up, I have become more accustomed to situations where I am put in a dangerous position, especially as a young woman. What is a startling, and terribly frightening truth about our society, and our international society in general, is that women are considered feeble, incapable of their own defense, and physically are inferior to that of men. Our physical stature is something that can be taken advantage of. One out of every 6 women in America have been victims of rape or attempted sexual assault. That is 17.7 million women. Especially from my 5’3” perspective, danger hangs especially high above my head. I am small in stature, and without training, would be easily overcome by a large opponent. What is so incredibly important about CTI, especially for women, is that it gives them a sense of their own body, how it moves, what its strengths are, and how to defend it. CTI students are given the opportunity to learn customizable sparring styles, and can support those with strong basic techniques. We can tailor a fight to our advantage considering over size compared to that of our opponent. This is crucial, because it drastically decreases the chances of being overpowered when we can anticipate the movements made by a much larger opponent.

The other key focal point of CTI which allows women to feel more comfortable is the heavy focus on respect. All instructors are given the same attention, and students are encouraged to assist each other and help each other grow. The cruel slurs and physical domination a woman may feel in dangerous situation is absent in the CTI schools. The images women are expected to portray in every day society are non-existent within the classroom, where the only judgment of character is a student’s drive to grow. A student’s background and social and familial situation is not a basis for judgement. This provides that respect is given to all persons that strive to improve, and is not based off of social normalities which confine women to a box.

I am greatly appreciative of this experience, because I know that I am at a disadvantage when it comes to safety. However, living in fear of a situation, and not approaching it at all only leaves things to stray in the same. CTI has given me an opportunity to feel a little more comfortable as I hand off into the world. When I head off to college in a year, I don’t want my experiences to be inhibited by fear. CTI has brought a security that I would not have felt before. Yes, I still have to hold my keys in my hand while walking at night, lock my car doors, and travel with large groups in cities, but I have assurance that if a situation does arise, I will be well-prepared. Women should feel this comfort with themselves, and CTI is a great way to discover that. Society’s vision of women will not change on its own, we have to change it ourselves for our own safety, and that of the generations to come.

Monday, July 25, 2016

CTI Masters Seminars - Sparring and Staff

Two girls sparring at a martial arts seminar taught in Denver CO

89 students and instructors attended our recent CTI Masters Seminars on Saturday, July 23rd, at the Green Mountain Campus.

There were two seminars offered, Staff Technique and Sparring.

The Staff Seminar was for black and red only and covered many of the aspects involved with staff training.  Because of the large turnout, Grandmaster Sautel, Master Merinda Sautel, Master John Sautel, Master Alice Meyung and Master Clayton Garner led everyone on a jog to the local park where everyone could spread out!  The hard work and summer temperatures got the upper belts sweaty and more proficient at their staff techniques.

Later, the Sparring Seminar took place and involved students of all ages and belt levels.  Divided into three main groups, the participants began with a special sparring warm-up led by the master instructors.  After the intense exercise, the basics of good solid sparring were covered as well as well as many great strategies that can be used at anytime!

Look for the next CTI Masters Seminar - Poomse!  Ask your instructor for more information.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Learning Self-Respect and Respect For Others Through Taekwondo

By Bruce Dean, 1st dan

To me respect means many things in many different ways.  The first of these is the flavor of respect that is accompanied by wariness.  But it is not merely wariness or fear.  One might be wary of a gale at sea or a forecast of several feet of snow in the mountains, or one might be wary of an opponent’s awesome defensive side kick.  But to do nothing about this wariness is merely to be afraid.  Rather, to respect something fearful one must take measures to mitigate the possible impacts.  In a gale on a boat at sea, the respectful sailor would change course to out run or avoid the worst parts of the storm.  And he would batten down all the hatches, reef the sails, run safety lines and wear a safety harness while on deck.  For the case of the snow storm in the mountains the respectful mountain man would stock up on food and water, and periodically shovel and plow to mitigate the chance of snow loads damaging the house or of being trapped or “snowed in”.   And if a generator was available the mountain dweller would wisely make sure that it had plenty of fuel and was in proper working order, before the storm.  And in the case of the opponent and his awesome defensive side kick the respectful student would avoid showing his front and avoid just “charging right in.”

Karate and taekwondo black belts doing martial arts blocks and kicksAnd still another type of respect is the one that comes with a sense of admiration.  But this is not merely to like or dislike.  Instead it is a sense of admiration that is accompanied by an appreciation of what is required to achieve that which is admired.  For example, one might admire a particular guitar player or singer, but unless one understands what was required for that musician to achieve their level of virtuosity it is very difficult to truly respect their accomplishment.  Similarly, one might admire what Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan or Jet Li does on a movie screen – even though movies are, of course, choreographed.  But unless one understands the level of proficiency required of a martial artist to go full speed and yet not injure his opponent it is once again difficult to really respect what these martial artists/actors are doing.  Which is to say nothing of the respect commanded by a 79 year old great grand master who does 2000 or more leg chops while teenage children of steel can barely walk after 200.

And the final flavor of respect that I have in mind is respect that comes with a sense of reverence. - a sense of holiness or destiny.  And this type of respect can be found and experienced in many different ways.  For example, someone who does not hold reverence for life and its remarkability might not have any reservations about building a deck out of wild harvested redwood.  But the student who holds a reverent respect for life and its myriad forms could likely only imagine that the appropriate place to see redwood is not in Lowes or Home Depot, but rather in an old growth forest.  And a similar sense of reverent respect must extend to one’s self.  The gift of life is not one to be squandered. And while there are many who abuse themselves with unhealthy habits (My family and I love the term “death sticks” from the second Star Wars movie when referring to cigarettes) the student who has a proper measure of self-respect must revere their body as the incredible gift it is.  It must be cared for and treated appropriately.  It must be nourished and kept fit.  And it also must be properly cared for when injured or ill.  And listened too.  By showing a reverent respect for one’s self the  student is first able to maximize the holy gift he was given – life itself. But also by showing a reverent respect for himself, the student is able to fully and truly respect life in all its forms, including his fellow humans.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Thinking in Taeguek il Chang

By Peyton Brauch, 1st dan

With one calm breath you step into chumbi stance.  The roaring crowd at the tournament phases into a wasteland.  An attacker appears on your left.  With swift moves and a loud yell you low block their kick and step in for a punch to the solar plexus.  Your strong stance helps you return to a walking stance, blocking the attacker on your right.  When you finish your counter attack another attacker comes into view at the front.  You turn to block their low kick, setting them off balance.  This makes it easy to twist into a midsection punch.

Martial arts black belts doing a side kick and jump front kickJust when you thought it was over the man on your right is throwing a punch.  As you step over, you strike his arm with a powerful montang makki.  This allows you to step in to punch him a second time.  You realize that he was just a distraction.  As you check around your shoulder the attacker on your left is coming back with a punch.  Your inner to outer, inner forearm block protects you before you step into a punch.  Once that attacker is finished you step to the front to low block another opponent's kick. Your counter attack startles him and you are shocked to see more attacks coming.

The attacker on your left decided to arm himself with a pipe and swing it downwards toward your head.  You perform a quick high block and kick him, leading into a powerful punch.  As you finish that attacker, the opponent on your right decided to try the pipe as well.  The pipe collides with your area makki and sets you up for a kick and punch.

Accomplishment floods your mind and body as you think you are done.  As you do this your senses spike as you hear a yell from behind.  You quickly turn to a final opponent throwing a low kick.  You counter with a low block and step into a punch.  An ear piercing kihap escapes your mouth and you stay in your stance.  As you return to borrow stance you breathe deeply.  You have returned to the big gym in Alameda International High School, and are in the midst of tournament competition.  As the judges give you a score you sigh with relief and accomplishment.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

MSK Summer Expo XXXII

Students at a Colorado martial arts convention sitting in formation

Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo XXXII was incredible!  The 32nd annual Expo was held at beautiful Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado from June 3-5.  For all ages and belts levels, the Expo was three days of seminars and workshops in all areas of Moo Sul Kwan martial arts.

The Expo weekend began on Friday evening and continued through Sunday early afternoon.  Expo participants were divided according to age and belt level and were taught by some of the very finest instructors in Moo Sul Kwan and the American Martial Arts Sports and Education Association!

This year, Great Grandmaster Bong Yul Shin taught as a special guest along with Grandmaster Charles Hildebrand (President of Moo Sul Kwan and the AMASEA).   The Moo Sul Kwan Expo XXXII Teaching Staff also included Grandmaster Jim Sautel, 7th dan, founder of the CTI and master instructors; Mindy Sautel, 6th dan, John Sautel, 6th dan, Erik Albrechtson, 5th dan, Fred Sautel, 5th dan, Alice Meyung, 5th dan and Clayton Garner, 5th dan.

This year there was extra special Expo Events for everyone like the Expo XXXII Saturday night festivities which included students and instructors performing "MSK Commercials", live music and more for all the family members and friends.

Expo participants also took part in the MSK Broken Knuckle Challenge I - a tough MSK obstacle course that tested everyone's abilities!  Taking several hours to complete, each team took turns at each of the challenging events at altitude!

To see some photos of Expo XXXII, click here.

See you next year at Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo XXXIII!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Lacrosse Goalie Gets a Kick Out of Taekwondo

By 9 News, 07/04/16

Students at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute working out with Caela McCartney
ARVADA - In some sports, the pain is absolutely worth the gain -- especially when the reward is a black belt. Just ask Ralston Valley's Caela McCartney. After seven years of strict training, the junior finally achieved Taekwondo's highest rank.

"It's really tough," McCarney said. "You have to go through each belt, then you have to wait awhile for your next test for each."

While McCartney has seen the firsthand benefits of the Korean martial art, her black belt means more than just self-defense. Since taking up lacrosse her freshman year of high school, McCartney has found Taekwondo has directly improved her performance in her other sport.

"I think if I didn't do [Taekwondo], I wouldn't be on varsity," she said.

After the goalie of her freshman team quit unexpectedly, McCartney stepped in to play the remaining games. This year, she was given the opportunity to compete for the starting position on the varsity team after it lost its keeper. Caela's performance impressed the coaches, and their faith in her could be seen on the field. In her first full season of lacrosse, Caela helped lead her team to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs.

"I think our defense was probably one of the strongest," she said. "This year since we connected well together, I think we played way better as a team."

Of course, natural ability has something to do with it. But McCartney will also argue, Taekwondo has given her an edge -- especially in net.

"[In Taekwondo] we do 'side stance,' which is the position I'm in for goalie. Since I was used to being in side stance and having fast motion with the side stance, it helped," she said.

McCartney's work with a bow staff has also helped her reflexes with a goalie stick. The benefits have become so obvious, even her lacrosse coaches have taken notice.

"They try and incorporate a little bit of Taekwondo stuff into it to help me understand what I have to improve on," she said.

Her martial arts training has also improved McCartney's mental toughness. She has developed a fearless attitude in net and isn't very sensitive to pain, which is reflected in their 12-4 record this past season. Still, that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

"I get more bruises at lacrosse than anything," she said.

McCartney hopes to continue both sports through high school, in addition to playing in the Ralston Valley marching band. Her ultimate goal is to now play lacrosse in college.

Copyright 2016 KUSA