Friday, November 17, 2017

Waiting to be Uncovered: Lakewood CTI

By Logan Gill, red belt
The front of the Lakewood Colorado Taekwondo Institute martial arts school

If you’re looking for genuine, quality martial arts training with master black-belt instructors, you’ve come to the right place. The Colorado Taekwondo Institute has classes for all ages and offers campuses in Denver and across northern Colorado. Our headquarters near Green Mountain services the Lakewood and the surrounding area. The Lakewood location offers evening classes Monday through Thursday for all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re retired, working, in school, or have children looking for a fun, after-school and rewarding athletic program, the Colorado Taekwondo Institute offers genuine martial arts training for everyone of any age or previous experience.

The Lakewood Campus offers classes almost every day of the week taught by certified Taekwondo Black Belt instructors.  Our classes range for all belt levels and ages. Our Taekwondo classes involve sparring, poomse (patterned moves), and various other techniques. On Mondays and Wednesdays we have 5:00 classes for ages 5 and up and classes at six for adults. Tuesdays and Thursdays provide classes at four, four-thirty, five, and six for all belt levels. The Lakewood campus is located at 12354 W. Alameda Parkway near Green Mountain in Lakewood.

The Taekwondo philosophy has roots in the ancient majesty of Korea thousands of years ago.  Our modern Taekwondo school has five tenets: courtesy, integrity, self control, perseverance, and indomitable spirit.  Every one of these is integrated into our practice every class.  Along with martial arts, the students also learn a bit about the history of Taekwondo and how it developed in Korea then spread to the rest of the world as a leading martial arts and education form.  Taekwondo classes also can increase memory and agility for older students and provide a safe energy outlet for younger ones.

Along with martial arts education, the Colorado Taekwondo Institute periodically hosts community service events such as food drives and donations to charity organizations.  Every year, students and instructors from every one of our campuses gather at Lakewood Campus and perform a food drive throughout the surrounding area, collecting thousands of meals worth of food for those less fortunate.  We donate everything to the Food Bank of the Rockies and other nonprofit organizations around Lakewood and Denver.  Anyone is welcome to join us as we give back to our community.

The story of how Taekwondo reached Colorado is long, but we can start with Lee H. Park bringing Taekwondo to the United States in 1969.  Lee H. Park was a ninth-dan black belt in Taekwondo and had black belts in Hapkido and Judo.  About two decades later, CTI’s founder and top instructor, Master Sautel, brought Taekwondo to Colorado and started the Colorado Taekwondo Institute with a mission of educating the community and providing genuine and quality black-belt instruction.

Every few months, our school holds tournaments to encourage friendly competition.  We usually compete in sparring, poomse, and board-breaking.  We also have overnight events, summer camps, instructional expos, private lessons, and many other Taekwondo-related events. All can be found on

Whether you are looking for a safe activity for you energetic children or are looking for good after-work exercise for adults, the Lakewood location of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute offers genuine, quality martial arts education for all.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Food For Change

By Sarah Luper, red belt

Taekwondo students helping at local food bank

Being part of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute also means being part of the larger community. During the 11th annual CTI Food and Clothing Drive a hard working group of students went out to local neighborhoods and collected items for those who are less fortunate. 

That morning, our large group gathered at the Green Mountain Campus despite the chilly forecast.   Everyone was excited to get out and collect as many items as possible. Everyone was paired up with a driver and some younger students. After each group had been assigned a section of neighborhoods, we all set out. 

It was so much fun to see our junior students so excited to go out and collect food to help those outside of our school. The little ones in our group were especially excited to be near their own neighborhoods. They wanted  to have a competition to see which group in our car could collect the most items.  I agreed, but of course they wanted to pick the teams. 

Because of their self-control and respectfulness, we mostly let the younger girls do the talking at the houses. They were very good at telling people where we were from and what items we needed.  Even near the end of the morning when everyone was getting tired, our  group was still upbeat, positive and trying to squeeze in every last house.

When we got back to the Green Mountain Campus, I was amazed at how much food people had collected. When our car pulled in, there were already mountains of cans scattered throughout the parking lot. As other groups returned with their bounty of items, everyone would rush up and grab armfuls to be sorted into piles. After everyone had returned, we all began to load the food up and deliver it to the King's Cupboard Food Bank. We also sorted more for the Jeffco Action Center. Contributing to this large task made me think of all the people we were able to help.  It was definitely the highlight of my month.               

Friday, November 10, 2017

Learning Self-Defense Through MSK Taekwondo

By Ethan Trapp, 2nd dan

If you have been looking for self defense classes or to pick up a martial art, you have come to the right place. The Colorado Taekwondo Institute is a wonderful school to learn self-defense thtough Taekwondo. Coming from Korea, Taekwondo is one of the original oriental martial arts along with Karate, Hapkido, and Judo. Taekwondo is indigenous to Korea, which means this type of self-defense comes from and evolved solely in Korea. It has been around for thousands of years under a few different names such as So Bak. The word Taekwondo also means “the art of smashing with the feet and hands” in Korean. The style taught at Colorado Taekwondo Institute called Moo Sul Kwan teaches great values to students, is a great physical fitness program, and has a friendly and welcoming environment.

Adults learning self-defense in a self-defense classThe best part about Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo is the strong character it teaches its students. In the student manual, there is a list of the Tenants of Taekwondo. These values include courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. These Tenants of Taekwondo can be seen in everything we do. From the regular classes to the tournaments to the social events, we are constantly reminded of and taught these traits. Along with that, there are monthly homeworks that teach about other traits of a black belt such as honesty, healthy eating, and the importance of exercise. Personally though, the most important value I have learned through Taekwondo at the CTI has been hard work and the rewards you gain through hard work. This has completely changed my life and influences all of my decisions now. So, one great benefit of Taekwondo is the important principles it teaches.

Another important aspect of self defense training is the physical workouts. Not only does Taekwondo make you a better person mentally, but it also makes you physically fit. With all jumping jacks, stretches, and exercise, you are sure to workup a good sweat. There is focus on endurance training and muscular fitness in Taekwondo. At the beginning of a typical class, we do jumping jacks, which elevate your heart rate and get you breathing. Then we do stretches, which prevent injuries and energize you. In this section, we do pushups and situps, and these help with all of the techniques and help your muscular fitness. Later on, we do the basic kicking and punching routine, which again helps with endurance. This physical fitness is a great help to other sports as well as living a healthy lifestyle.

Lastly, the environment created by the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is a family friendly and inviting atmosphere. At the CTI, even with the competitions, we are all one big family. Even after your first class, you are guaranteed to meet a few new people. There are many different classes that cater to the varying ages and abilities of students. The biggest sign of the friendly environment though is the act of shaking hands, which students do all the time. At the end of every class, the students shake hands and tell each other good job. Even after a fierce sparring match at one of our tournaments, the competitors have a genuine handshake after and show mutual respect. As you can see, the CTI provides a positive environment to learn for your self defense classes.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

CTI Students - Leaders in their Community

By Lynne Deane, red belt

In general, an effective leader breeds an organization of followers with like qualities.  For good or ill.  A leader with compassion, empathy, and ethics will draw to them and build an organization that works towards a positive goal complimentary to those traits.  Leaders who breed followers by intimidation and bullying will breed an organization of bullies.  Both can be effective in getting their way – but as an organization working for the good of the community, it is imperative why the CTI promotes effective leaders of good.

Colorado Taekwondo Institute - martial arts instruction for students of all agesWith so many distractions and focus on the negative, the CTI student has a real potential to positively impact their community, their class, their work environment, or wherever they interact with people.  CTI students need to be leaders in their community to promote a positive impact on that community.   A lot can be done with leadership by example.  A CTI student, younger or older, can lead their peers by being a good example and by being proactive when it comes time to helping the class or work environment, and also by going above and beyond with activities such as volunteering.

As a result, we all benefit from the CTI student taking on a positive leadership role and the school’s credibility grows and with that grows the school’s potential future impact.  The CTI student’s positive impact on their community is a positive donation to the karma bank – which implies that only good can come of it for all impacted.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Kicking Together - A Family Martial Arts Experience

By Amy Krupp, blue belt

An entire martial arts family's uniformsA year and a half ago, I was researching martial arts for families in my area, and stumbled across the website and Facebook page for the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. I knew that I wanted to get myself and my then 3.5 year old daughter enrolled in martial arts in order to give us skills needed to defend ourselves, should the need ever arise. Beyond that, I didn’t really have any idea of what I was looking for. The CTI seemed organized based on the website, seemed involved with their students based on the Facebook page, and had many glowing reviews. When I gave them a call to try out some classes for both of us, I had no idea how important this organization would become to my family.

Watching my three year old participate in her first Taekwondo tournament is an experience I’ll never forget. She had been a student for two months prior to her first tournament. I was probably more nervous than she was, watching her run up to the judges to introduce herself before performing her very first poomse (series of patterned movements). I didn’t know how she would react to having five black belts she’d never met watching her, and having her perform all on her own, but she did a wonderful job! As a parent, I couldn’t be more proud of her. Or so I thought. Then it was my turn to do my first poomse at the same tournament. It had been years since I’d been that nervous. My daughter had made it look so easy! I was even more proud of her then.

Participating in the same sport as your child is incredibly rewarding. We share a bond that is hard to fully appreciate until you are a part of it. Watching my child participate in Taekwondo is an amazing experience, but being a student myself, I have a deeper understanding of what she is experiencing. I can help her at home with her Taekwondo studies at a much higher level than I could as a spectator. We count in Korean together over dinner. We compare trophies and medals after tournaments, and talk about what we learned in class that day. We celebrate our belt promotions together, do our homework together, practice poomse together, and study for our promotion tests together.

Taekwondo has come to mean a great deal to me, and I could not be happier to share that experience with my daughter. I am looking forward to the day that my son is also old enough to participate. I can’t help but look ahead, and think of the day when all three of us are black belts. I’m looking forward to reminiscing about our first tournaments together, and remembering all of the times that I tied their belts and wished them luck before they competed. Family karate lessons has been a truly wonderful experience for us. As my classmate, Ms. Melodie Page said, “The families that kick together stick together.”

If you're looking for martial arts for families, I highly recommend you picking up the phone and calling the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wild Horses

By Eric Evans, 2nd dan

It is not everyday you get a chance to drive out to the country in Colorado, and help out on a ranch.  Recently, the Moo Sul Kwan Black Belt Team did precisely that.  It was a great experience and we were able to give our help and show our appreciation for someone who has done so much for our Moo Sul Kwan family.  If you have been to a Camp MSK, you know that we owe all the great food and planning to Cindy.  Thank you Cindy!

Cindy started out the day by giving us a tour which included some of the history and challenges she has faced since purchasing the property.  We were introduced to the multiple chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, 4 horses and her cow.  Two of the horses are wild rescues and are Mother / Daughter.  They are beautiful. It was then time for the 25+ black belts to get to work.

Black belt martial artists helping out by doing community serviceA team set out to teardown and stack the irrigation line that ran across 3 sections of the property.  We had no idea what we were doing, but after a little trial and error we found a good pace and had the piping stacked up in no time.  At some point during our adventure a couple of the ducks were loose and group of had a great time chasing them around.

One of the other teams set out to demolish the overgrown garden.  It is amazing how quickly such a daunting task can be accomplished when a group of people with good leadership are set to it.  The group tore into the weeds and brought down the old fence in record time.  They celebrated with a large bonfire leaving the weeds and tree limbs  in a nice ash pile.

At one point some of the team was seen riding bareback around the property.  The horses were given quite the workout that day.  The cow was even given a special treat.  We had to push and drag that cow out of its comfortable stall.  She did not want to leave her “safe place.”  But after we drug her into the field, she was prancing around, jumping and trying to get the attention of all the neighbor cows.  It reminded me of how students must sometimes feel.  There are times their parents must drag them kicking and screaming.  Once they are in one of our dynamic classes, they are happy, punching, kicking and enjoying themselves.

Yet another group was set to shovel the horse and cow stalls into what seemed like 70 wheelbarrow fulls of what Greely calls the smell of money.  Only a few mishaps with the wheelbarrow occurred and the team was smiling ear to ear at the end.  Mr. Orton came prepared with his chainsaw to make short work of tree trimming one of the other black belts found his calling with the organization of the barn workbench tools, nuts, bolts and miscellaneous items.

After loading up the trailer a team was off to the dump.  The trip was largely uneventful, but we did get to know each other a little more.  At the dump we were slightly concerned that we may have to restrain Mr. Scott and remove any of the ‘small treasures’ he might find there.  The team then continued on to clean out a storage unit and return the items to Cindy and her kids.

Cindy served a wonderful lunch for the entire team and we finished the day off watching our master instructors construct an engineering feat.  Cindy would no longer need to drag a hose from trough to trough.  The group had created a watering system that could be used to fill all the troughs at the same time.

In all it was a very successful day.  It was a great example of how big of an impact we can have on our community.  Our 11th Annual CTI Food and Clothing Drive is another example.  We had the chance to recently fill the food banks and give hope to those in our communities that need it the most.

We can make a difference. What may take a single person weeks or months to accomplish, we can knock out in a single morning!