Monday, October 29, 2018

Exercising on a Regular Basis

By Lydia Willis, red belt, age 12

Do you exercise on a regular basis? If not you should. There are many different benefits of exercising daily. For example it can make you happier, exercise can help increase your energy levels, and it can also help with relaxation and sleep quality.

Three Taekwondo black belts performing side kicksExercise can make you feel a lot happier on a day to day life. It helps with depression and anxiety. When you exercise it produces many changes in the part of your brain that regulates your stress and anxiety. By exercising you increase your brain’s sensitivity and produces serotonin and norepinephrine hormones which relieve feelings of depression. Endorphins produce many happy and positive feelings. They are also produced when you exercise and they help to reduce the perception of pain. Exercising not only helps with feelings of depression, but also with feelings of anxiety.
It can help you be aware of your mental state and practice distraction from your fears. One of the most interesting parts of this is that it doesn’t matter how intense your workout is to get the benefits of extra happiness. One study had several people who were diagnosed with depression worked out daily and it showed their happiness levels increased and their depression spells decreased.

Another benefit of exercise is that it is able to increase your energy levels. Exercising can be a serious energy boost for those who do exercise daily and are healthier and for people suffering from various medical conditions. One study even found that after only six weeks of regular exercising feelings of fatigue in thirty-six healthy people who had reported persistent fatigue reduced significantly. To go even further exercise can seriously increase the energy levels of people suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other serious fatigue illnesses. Exercise is one of the best ways to counter attack CFS and his more effective than most other treatments. Even passive treatments like stretching are better than many other kinds of treatments. Finally, exercise is also really good for people with diagnosed with progressive illnesses including cancer and multiple sclerosis. The more you workout the easier it becomes to go about your daily life

The final benefit of exercise that I have is that exercising can help with relaxation and sleep. There is an energy depletion you get when exercising that stimulates a recuperative process when you’re asleep. If you workout at night the high temperature rise you experience while working out helps to cool your temperature while you sleep. One study was able to find that one hundred and fifty minutes of vigorous exercise made an improvement of sixty-five percent in sleep quality for those who participated. A different study that lasted a little bit longer explained that after sixteen weeks of physical activity increased sleep quality by a serious amount and even helped seventeen different people suffering with insomnia to sleep much better than the control group.

Exercise is important to your well being and everyone should exercise more. It helps with anxiety and depression, being wide awake during the day, and staying fast asleep at night.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Becoming CTI Family

By Amy Krupp, purple belt

My daughter and I joined the Colorado Taekwondo Institute a little over two years ago.  Our main motivation for joining was to learn self-defense skills.  In the two years that have followed, Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo has evolved into a major part of our lives.  Our family is in the four walls of our dojang 5 out of the 7 days of the week.  A large portion of my yearly vacation time from work is spent traveling with my school, and attending  Taekwondo events, and I love every moment of it.

One of my daughter’s favorite memories from this past summer is attending the Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo in Keystone, Colorado with me.  MSK Taekwondo has evolved for us from a way to learn self-defense to a way of life.

My daughter was three when she first tied her white belt around her waist.  She learned how to count to ten in Korean not too long after she learned how to do it in English. To this day, she can’t do jumping jacks without counting in Korean while she does it.  The CTI has been instrumental in everything from improving her gross motor skills, to increasing her self-confidence, to instilling in her a love of exercise.  She does well under pressure, due in part to her participation in CTI tournaments.  It has been amazing to watch her grow and mature due to her martial arts training.

My son is two years old and will be joining the CTI family very soon. Although he’s not yet a student, MSK Taekwondo has always been a part of his life.  He was just 6 months old when he came to watch his first CTI tournament.  His big sister has been teaching him poomse in our living room since he could walk.  He learned how to say “Taekwondo” before he could speak in complete sentences.  I can’t wait to see him bow into class for the first time, and officially join the Moo Sul Kwan ranks.

Taekwondo training with my children is an incredibly rewarding experience that is difficult to put into words.  MSK Taekwondo has become one of my greatest passions in life, and having my children take part in it with me is incredible.  They will grow up understanding what it means to be a martial arts student.  They will know the pride that comes with tying a belt around your waist and wearing the Moo Sul Kwan emblem on your back.  They will understand what it feels like to walk into class and have all of your stress melt away.

As a parent, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with shaping your children into good people, and to wonder if the decisions you made while raising your children were the right ones.  I can say without a shadow of a doubt that joining the Colorado Taekwondo Institute will always be one of those decisions that I know we did right.  Our family is, and always will be, a proud Moo Sul Kwan family. 

Friday, October 19, 2018


By Shekina DeTienne, 2nd dan

Everyday takes courage.  After repetitive action, the courage, faith and comfort follows until it becomes normal.  Walking as a toddler, going to school as a kid, driving a car as a teen, starting a new job, the list goes on.  Everything takes some level of courage.

For some, the motivation and discipline is strong enough that they may not even consider taking action as courageous.  For others like myself, courage is not a strong suit.  I have always wanted to hide inside my shell, not leave a well-established comfort zone and just hang out.  I'm thankful everyday for parents that kicked me out of that bubble and demanded that I fight to become more.  There is not a single successful person who woke up one day and said, "Wow, success! How did that happen?"  They had to fight and push every day to make their dream a reality.  I'm learning that courage is one of the defining factors of success.  Risking failure for their dream is not even a question, it is payment.  The bigger the price, the bigger the prize.

Teenage Taekwondo black belts using courageBut what is your prize?  What is your goal?  Why do you wake up and what do you work for?  These are questions that my mentors asked me and questions that I had to take a hard look at.  What drives someone with the spirit animal of a chicken to get out of their bubble and bust out of their comfort zone?  The realization that I can have everything and be everything that I only dreamed.  I can become a master instructor.  I can have a booming business and become debt and time free.  I can be the coolest sister and auntie on the planet.  I can be a multi-millionaire and use that to better everything around me.  I can be a leader.  And I will be.  But those results take action and courage.  With the prize in mine, those goals consistently in front of my face, courage to risk failure is a small payment.

Twenty seconds of courage is what it takes to make the first actions to push out and work to making the uncomfortable comfortable.  But the main key is action.  For most, fear is natural and courage is not.  Defeating apprehension with action is how courage is reinforced.  After repeated action, the new normal is established and the meaning of courage is redefined.  And then the next challenge is put in sight.  Long story short; fear is not real, it is a smoke screen and the best cure is courage and repetitive action to overcome.  Just pay attention, try your best and keep pushing forward.  Doing just a few simple things everyday will bring you goals and dreams into reality.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Taekwondo for Adults

By Tyler Murphy, 3rd dan

An adult taekwondo martial arts woman breaking a boardThere are not very many activities that are good for exercise, fun, and encourage self directed learning.  Especially as an adult it is difficult to find a good way to exercise other than going to the gym and exercising aimlessly.  In Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo it is always easy to stay motivated and to have a direction in the way that we exercise.  Our adult martial arts classes consist of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, which contributes to our students being more rounded physically and mentally.   Every class is exciting, and we are always working toward the same goal as a class, while working toward our own individual goals.  The instructor is able to motivate and maintain a direction for the entire class, while giving each individual something to work and improve on.  Everybody is different, and in order to improve this individual attention to detail is essential for each student in the class.

Our classes are well organized and are centered around the Moo Sul Kwan basic routine. This means that every class will be a good work out, and that all campuses are on the same page regarding their training.  Since we are united as an organization, our events are more organized, and all students are able to learn effectively together since they are at similar points in their training. 

Another benefit of our basic routine is that, even though we are working as a class, each student is able to focus only on themselves for that period of time.  This is especially beneficial for adults.  After working all day and dealing with other concerns in life, students can focus on only themselves and what we are working on in class while letting everything else fade away for the class.  Our instructors are able to direct class in such a way that no other student we have to be concerned with anybody or anything else, which will lead to better improvement as a martial arts school, and as an individual as part of Taekwondo for Adults.  Every student is different so it is excellent that the instructors can focus on individual students and give them what they need.

Another great thing about classes at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute is the continuous learning that occurs every class. We learn poomse, which stands for patterned movement. Every student is able to learn poomse at a pace that is right for them.  This constant learning is part of what helps our students to stay motivated, since there is always something more to learn, and work on.

Adult martial arts classes at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute take exercising to the next level with the many benefits that come from our curriculum and basic routine.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Anger is Natural

By Deb Denny, red belt

Anger is a natural and powerful human emotion, one that needs to be channeled in positive ways to remain healthy. Pent up or out of control anger can result in problems – problems at work, school, home that can affect the overall quality of your life. Explosive anger can affect personal relationships as well as your health and wellbeing. Physiologic changes accompany anger states that can cause health problems if a person is continually agitated without a healthy release for the emotion. Like a pressure cooker without a relief valve, pressure builds up within until the pot explodes.

In nature, anger triggers aggressive responses necessary for our survival. In modern society where jungle survival is not the general rule, anger needs a healthy outlet to release the built-up pressure. Physiologically, anger is accompanied by a rise in blood pressure, blood sugar and release of chemicals such as epinephrine and cortisol. Continued exposure to these hormones can lead to decreased ability to fight disease, stroke, diabetes, insomnia, heart attacks and depression.

Martial arts black belt practicing to develop anger managementAnger management can be accomplished in a number of different ways. Relaxation, restructuring your thoughts, better communication, avoidance of triggers, and removing yourself from the stressful situation. However, exercise is the best way to change your outlook and increase the release of happiness chemicals such as endorphins into your system. MSK Taekwondo is inherently setup to help you manage anger in a number of ways.

The structure of MSK Taekwondo is designed to minimize injury and maximize exercise benefits. A robust stretching and warmup followed by intense interval workout will elevate calming endorphin levels in your bloodstream. The focus and intensity required will help to forget your problems and melt away all the stresses of our busy lives. Achieving this post-workout release will open your mind to solutions that you might not see in an agitated state.  As soon as you enter the dojang, you leave all your cares outside to focus intently on the techniques to be learned. The workouts instill a sense of well-being, and induce a deep, restful sleep that in itself will help in minimizing the need for angry outbursts in our daily lives.

The principles of MSK Taekwondo teach us the value of “HoShin” in life. Self-control is stressed and taught on all levels through the aims, objectives and tenets of the school. Training the body, mind and spirit ingrains these concepts so they reflect in our everyday lives. Every movement we learn from self-defense, sparring and poomse has a level of control to the technique. In class we learn to use power with the ability to stop before causing harm. This correlates with using self-control techniques in anger situations and will help you to diffuse anger.Teamwork and acceptance of our fellow students in classes, tournaments and symposia teaches tolerance and patience, necessary skills for dealing with other in daily relationships.

In conclusion, MSK Taekwondo teaches us to manage anger through the model concept in the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective domains. By training the body, mind and spirit we learn to alter our behavior in life through one’s journey in the Moo Sul Kwan Colorado Taekwondo Institute.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Overcoming Dyslexia through the Tenets of Taekwondo

By Jonah Elstad, red belt, 13 yrs old

Dyslexia is a reading and spelling disorder that I struggle with every day.  Being a student at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute has helped me overcome dyslexia.  I have applied the five tenants of Taekwondo to my difficulties with dyslexia. The five tents of Taekwondo are; courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit . I have had to learn how to deal with my dyslexia and this is how the tenants of Taekwondo have helped.

First, courtesy has helped me to be polite to my teachers when I need extra help. Being polite to my teacher instead of getting frustrated helps both of us. If I was not nice to my teachers, then they would not be as eager to help me.  Showing courtesy to those who help me helps the process go smoother.

A purple belt martial arts karate kid holding 1st place trophySecond, integrity is super important to have.  Since I am not a good speller I often want to cheat.  I do not want to be a cheater or a liar and being at CTI reminds me of the importance of integrity.   I have never cheated before but sometimes I have wanted to because I have struggled, and it seems so easy to cheat.  I would rather be known as a bad speller than a cheater and I appreciate how Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo constantly reinforces that.

Third, perseverance means not giving up.  If I just give up I will be a horrible speller.  I do not want to be a horrible speller, I want to be a great speller.  I use the perseverance I learn at CTI and I strive to get better.  I will never give up no matter how difficult it is.  I want to be a good example to others who struggle to not give up.

Fourth, self-control is very important when having a learning disability.  Having good self-control helps me to focus better. If I didn’t have good self-control I would get distracted easily. So, I need to stay focused and not get side tracked.  Self-control also helps me in the other tenants of Taekwondo!

Fifth, having an indomitable spirit means being brave.  I show courage when I am scared to ask a question. If I am not brave enough to ask a question, then how will I ever know the answer?  Sometimes it is embarrassing to admit that I have dyslexia and need extra help.  However, learning to have an indomitable spirit has helped me overcome this.

In conclusion, Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute has been a great help to me to overcome the daily struggles of having dyslexia. I will always have dyslexia, but I have learned to cooperate.  The five tenants of Taekwondo can help you with your difficulties too!