Sunday, December 15, 2019

Taking on Leadership

By Lynne Dean, 1st dan, CTI Masters Club Member

Black belts developing leadership through martial arts lessons

The fact of the matter is that being a leader is HARD work.  Especially being an effective leader.  CTI students are taught from the beginning of the CTI core principles.  These tenants – courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control, and indomitable spirit – are fundamentally the basis of a good leader.  The CTI student has to practice these principles in each class and event.  And, since practice prepares us for success, this naturally positions CTI students to be leaders in their community.Why should a CTI student become a leader in their community? – The answer is multi-faceted.  They have the training.  They have the opportunity.  And the CTI student also has the mandate to not just be an effective member of their community, but to make an impact.

And so – with all this practice and training – how can a CTI student show leadership in their community?  It’s not about making big speeches or leading big teams although there are certainly opportunities there with sports, clubs, and community service organizations.  Fundamentally, a CTI student leads by example.  They influence their peers by their example.  They practice what they preach by working ethically and with integrity on positive ways forward to the happenstances of community interactions.  In a day to day community where folks tend to take the easy way out and no one really does want to be singled out, the CTI student has the opportunity to shine by example and provide positive energy towards the overall good of the community.

Whether at work or at school (or both!), CTI students can apply their core tenants and also the tenacity they build by being associated with CTI.  A leader has to have vision that helps them generate a path forward towards a goal.  It takes a lot to get through our classes and events.  It takes thoughtful planning to reach the goal of the next belt.  As CTI students, we can take advantage of those hard won skills by applying them to our goals and tasks at school/work and at other community events.  We have opportunity and motive.  And so we have to be convicted and take on the leadership roles wherever we can.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

21st LHP Team Champs


Students of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute sitting in a formation to spell "CTI"

A fantastic day was had by all at our 21st Lee H. Park Team Championships on December 7th!  Honoring our MSK / AMASEA founder Great Grandmaster Lee H. Park and our United States Veterans.  An all-time MSK/AMASEA/CTI record 391 Moo Sul Kwan students and instructors packed Alameda International for exciting team competitions.

The day began at 7 AM with black belts competing in Team Poomse, Blindfolded One-Step Sparring, Team Staff, Team Breaking and Team Self-Defense.

Later, all belts and ages took their turn in Team Creative Basics, One-Step Sparring, Breaking, Poomse, Most Kicks in a CTI Minute and Basics Challenge.

There was also a demonstration provided by our CTI Black Belt Club which involved five different CTI Campuses.  The demo showcased many of the different areas that are trained in Black Belt Club classes.

Our United States National Anthem at this year's LHP Team Championships was led by Michael and Doug Sandusky, with all of the black belts and students singing along.

The end of this fantastic team championships saw our 3rd dan and above black belts compete in Blindfolded Breaking competitions.  Winning CTI Black Belts performed five blindfolded breaks to the delight of everyone in attendance!

The next Championships is the 46th CTI Superbowl is February 28-29!

Click here to see some photos of our 21st LHP Team Champs.

How the Founding Fathers used the Five Tenets of Taekwondo

By Karen Carreon, red belt, CTI LeAD Team Member
A martial arts toddler girl kicking a target with a black belt

For those who are requested to give speeches in CTI soon, the topic at hand is to speak about a person who has signed the Declaration of Independence.  I must admit, my memory of history is quite foggy and so I decided to read up on our very own history. First, a Founding Father can be described as “a person who starts or helps start a movement or institution.”  Specific to our country, a Founding Father is “a member of The Convention that drew up the U.S. Constitution in 1787.” The efforts of our Founding Fathers was to break free from the Monarchy of Great Britain and create our own government that best suited Americans. 

To create a document, present it to King George III, fight for our freedom and liberties to lay down the framework of our current operating system of government took amazing courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control, and of course an indomitable spirit.

First, it took some courtesy, i.e., consideration for others to word things in a way that allows and encourages freedoms and opportunities for its citizens, rather than blind loyalty to a crown that has the potential of tyranny.  Consideration and courtesy also is in play when the Constitution was written to have large and small states with equal representation and a checks and balance system of legislation so that no one branch or entity has too much power.

Integrity means an adherence to a code of conduct.  Our Founding Fathers adhered to many codes of conduct.  They came from many backgrounds from lawyers to farmers.  Some had political background and some did not. But they all shared a desire to create a government that served the common good and that the rules or laws applied to everybody.

It took a lot of perseverance and self control for our Founding Fathers to even be able to get together and discuss what it is the colonies want and will fight for.  There were no easy travel plans, no telephones. Many rode horses for days through inclement weather and other obstacles just to meet. It took steady persistence to draft, to write, to agree, to come together united and create a document that not only shaped our country but inspired other countries to do the same.

And finally, our Founding Fathers demonstrated great indomitable spirit.  To declare independence from Great Britain in writing was a daring act. They could have faced death as punishment.  Many fought in the Revolutionary War. It was their life's mission to help create our great nation and we should always remember to honor them and all our veterans who serve to maintain our freedom.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Transferring Skills

By Sarah Smith, orange belt

A martial arts black belt doing a jump kick on a taekwondo targetLeadership is a foundation of Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo and the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.  Students are not just encouraged to learn basic self-defense skills and develop into black belts, but they are encouraged to grow as dynamic leaders inside and outside of their campus and school.  The Colorado Taekwondo Institute offers opportunities for students to become leaders internally (through becoming instructors or volunteering at events to bringing in food for donations to the local foodbank) and externally (by exemplifying the core values of Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo and inviting others to attend a class).

Learning martial arts at CTI has made me a better therapist and supervisor.   How?   Learning a new skill as an adult is difficult. It requires courage, patience, self- control, integrity, and indomitable spirit (and a lot of humility, and humor).  In practicing these regularly,  I have an increased awareness of how difficult it can be to un/learn a behavior and/or transition into a new set of expectations, which allows me to be more empathetic and understanding.  One of the aspects of Moo Sul Kwan and the Colorado Taekwondo Institute that I appreciate the most is the development of values in its students that can then be applied to all areas of life, in all stages of life.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Family Matters

By Beth Wolfe, orange belt, daughter and mother of 4 green belts and one orange belt!

There are undeniable benefits to working out.  Benefits that span age groups and are recognizable to anyone; benefits that are even recommended for better health.  Within the spectrum of martial arts, there are additional benefits that we experience - character building, respect, coordination and balance...the list goes on.  These things engage us, encourage us, and enhance our lives, but something else very special is possible at Colorado Taekwondo Institute - family participation.

So often our schedules are filled with activities divided by age groups.  We run from one thing to the next, everyone doing their own activity, filling endless hours with our busyness.  These activities have merit - we all need to have our own things that shape us. We all know that celebrating individuality is an important part of being human, and finding out who we are as people.  But what happens when there’s an activity the whole family can participate in? What changes when everyone is doing something together?

Three kids from a family doing martial arts as a familyI have seen tremendous benefit from working out with my family.  It’s more than just working out; it is building bonds over common ground when it feels like common ground doesn’t exist (i.e. when teenagers have taken over your life…).  Bridging gaps between generations (we have three generation in CTI!) with something that doesn’t require language, technology, or Common Core Math to understand is a priceless reward.  Working out together, experiencing the health benefits, cheering each other on, practicing together; these are all wonderful things we use to draw each other closer.  Building character together and finding the ways that martial arts eases our stress while spending quality time together doing something the whole family loves is an incredible bonus.  Helping each other improve, and learning that doing your best is the most important part has been beyond therapeutic for us. It’s amazing to see my children encouraging each other, especially when they didn’t win first place or do as well as they’d hoped. Seeing their integrity emerge, watching them begin to come forward as leaders, and feeling their respect for one another increase is an irreplaceable gift that CTI has given me as a mother.  And the look on my children’s faces when they see that their mom can break a board or win a gold medal at a that’s priceless.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

24th MSK Black Belt Symposium

All of the students at the 24th Moo Sul Kwan Black Belt Symposium

This year's MSK Black Belt Symposium, was a three day event that took place at the Inn at SilverCreek in Granby, Colorado.  It was excellent!

Symposium participants trained extremely hard in poomse, sparring, one-step sparring, breaking, staff, self-defense and other areas of Moo Sul Kwan martial arts.  The weekend began with poomse training for everyone on Friday evening.  Saturday began at 6:00 AM with black belt advanced exercise.  The day's seminars and classes continued until 4:00 PM.

On Saturday evening, everyone, including many family members and friends, took part in the Symposium Banquet and Party which showcased the gameshow "Are You Smarter than a Junior 1st dan?", music by our own black belt band Moo Sul Rock, a movie on our recent parade participation in Littleton, photos from the recent MSK Summer Expo and more.

The theme of the weekend, "Beyond the Expected", was  evident in each of the classes.   A special obstacle was thrown in the was of the students - they were blindfolded for part of each of their classes.  Performing without sight proved to be very challenging, with everyone learning a lot about balance, posture and much, much more!

Some Symposium blurbs:

Peyton Brauch, 3rd dan says, "I would recommend the Symposium because it helps instructors, future instructors, and assistants gain new perspectives about Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo and on how to lead others."

Averie Chavez, brown belt, says, "The  best part about the  Black Belt Symposium was being blind folded breaking boards I learned at the symposium a few moves poomse and sparing judging I would recommend the symposium because it is really nice to learn you get to have lots of fun and being with other brown belts red belts  and black belts. "

Eileen Lindner, 3rd dan, says, "My favorite part of the symposium was talking with the other tiger teachers, working on improving our instruction.  I also always enjoy staff work.  I would recommend the symposium because upper belt training is invaluable.  Spending time with upper belts in a totally different environment builds our community even more, and there is always a surprise!"

Deb Denny, 1st dan, says, "My favorite CTI event is the annual Black Belt Symposium.  I find that there is plenty of content and it is impossible not to improve your skills.   Classes focus on breaking down fundamentals, as well as learning advanced techniques.  Learning in an environment with so many upper level black belts in one place insures that there is always someone available to assist with anything you need help with, and in turn improves your skills with assisting other students.   The atmosphere is electric with high levels of enthusiasm."

The Symposium was led by Moo Sul Kwan / AMASEA masters including;  Grandmaster Jim Sautel, Grandmaster Mindy Sautel, Grandmaster John Sautel, Master Erik Albrechtson, Master Alice Meyung and Master Clayton Garner.   Other Symposium instructors were:  Andy McDaniel, 4th, Dustin Wheeler, 4th, Bridget Sautel, 4th, Abdu Kikhia, 4th, Michael Sandusky, 4th, Collin Kreutz, 3rd, Tyler Murphy, 3rd, Peyton Brauch, 3rd and Eileen Lindner, 3rd.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Benefits of Taekwondo for Kids (A Parent’s Perspective)

By Brian Jensen, purple belt

The Benefits of Taekwondo for Kids (A Parent’s Perspective)It probably comes as no surprise that kids, like most adults, have numerous demands on their time and energy.  For example, my kids participate in baseball, basketball, soccer, student leadership, the school store, orchestra, and gymnastics (don’t worry, we don’t do all these in the same day).  Not to mention actually going to school and having homework and special projects to do at home.

At first glance you might wonder how anyone could possibly fit in another activity, like Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo.  Well, to those who try, the benefits speak for themselves.  In addition to the obvious health benefits of flexibility, strength, balance, and cardiovascular health; kids learn discipline,manners, self-esteem, and perseverance.  They also learn how to handle pressure, pay attention, focus even when tired, and how to handle defeat as well as victory.

But the most amazing benefit to me is how MSK Taekwondo actually prepares kids to handle the demands of life and get everything else done.  By taking on another “responsibility” in MSK Taekwondo, you actually give yourself a BETTER chance of accomplishing everything on your plate.

It reminds me of the story of the college professor who demonstrates this theory to his class.  He has a jar into which he wants to put some sand, some pebbles, and a few large rocks.  After placing the sand and pebbles into the jar, he is unable to fit all of the larger rocks into the jar; there isn’t enough room left for them.  He then empties out the jar and tries again.  However, this time, he puts the large rocks into the jar first.  Then he puts in the progressively smaller rocks until he finishes with pouring in the sand.  An amazing thing happens…he can actually fit everything into the jar this time.  Nothing has changed.  The size of the jar is the same.  The size and quantity of the rocks, pebbles, and sand is the same.  The only thing he changes is the order in which he puts the items into the jar.

You see, the jar represents your life (your time) and the large rocks represent the truly important things in your life, like your goals, dreams, and your family and close friends.  The pebbles represent things that matter, but aren’t really that important in the big picture of life.  These are things like your car and issues that dominate your thinking, but that you won’t even remember in six months.  The sand represents the small stuff, like playing video games, menial tasks and being mad at people for silly reasons. When we fill up our lives with the small, unimportant things, we don’t have room for the things that really matter, the things that move the needle.  But when we prioritize the important things, we somehow find a way to make room for it all. I believe that Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo at the CTI is one of those important things that somehow creates space to handle the other demands of life.

One of my mentors often talks about “the big domino.”  When I feel overwhelmed and like I don’t have enough time to get everything done, he challenges me to ask myself the question, what is the one big thing that I can do that would either “knock down many smaller dominoes” or make them irrelevant.  What is the thing I can do that would take care of my to do list (or make some items irrelevant)?MSK Taekwondo is a big domino.  It teaches kids the traits, habits and attitudes it takes to be successful in other areas of life.  Not to mention it releases endorphins that improve your mood and get your mind working to help you to accomplish more in less time.

And I couldn’t leave out one of my favorite side benefits… my 2-year-old can count to 10 in Korean!  I’m not sure she can even do that in English yet.

The benefits of Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo? There are probably too many to list in an article.  But do yourself a favor and try it.  You’ll be amazed and how much you can get done when you prioritize the right things!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Seniors and Exercise

By Thomas Hurst, orange belt

A senior doing martial arts at a Taekwondo tournamentExercise is good for all ages, as is evident with the success of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. I believe that there is a misconception among the general populace that you have to be “in shape” to even start a martial art, martial arts are too hard to learn, seniors learning martial arts at various health clubs and recreation centers and there is a fair amount of interest expressed for that particular program. However even with the backing of the government there are many that do not take advantage of the program. Again why?
only young people can do it, and they would be embarrassed to exercise in front of other people. These are all misconceptions of not only martial arts but of exercise programs in general. Medicare has been promoting a no cost program for

I believe that most who do not participate do not see the advantages to regular exercise programs, do not participate long enough to develop friendships and a feeling of camaraderie and teamwork. That is a benefit of CTI that doesn’t happen when you are working out on your own or with a video.The support of staff, higher belts, fellow students, and family is a great motivator.  To understand that is not just about physical exercise but mental exercise that conditions your whole self.  It is also about character building and modification, for others to see and follow.

I had the very same misgivings when my family urged me to start again in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo at the CTI. I knew I needed to exercise to maintain my physical abilities to perform my job or the hobbies and recreational activities of which I am fond. For me it is the physical activity, stretching, and mental focus that now appeal to me. It is the feeling of accomplishment that comes with each stripe and with each belt. It is the difference in performance that I can perceive and demonstrate outside of class by performing demanding physical tasks. It is knowing that I am attempting to maintain that sharp mental focus necessary to keep up with the demands of modern society.  It means I can keep working if I need to or want to, and I can play with the grandchildren and help them experience life in the mountains. It is the feeling of family, teamwork, and friends at CTI that helps keep me motivated.

We cannot remain young no matter how hard we try. We can however make those years we have left more enjoyable and I believe we can make them last a bit longer by promoting a healthier lifestyle, especailly by martial arts for seniors.  In my case I know that muscles will hurt and joints will ache regardless so I might as well be strong.  There are many that will be put off by the realization that there will be some discomfort and will not subscribe to the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. There are no promises that it will be easy but we are going to become”experienced by time”. Let’s make the most of it!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Achieving Goals and Better Self-Esteem through Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts

By Amy Krupp, red belt, CTI LeAD Team Member

The first time I read the Aims of Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts, written by Great Grandmaster Lee H. Park, I was a new white belt student studying the CTI Student Manual in preparation for my yellow belt written test. The second aim reads: “Help students in identifying and accomplishing appropriate goals, developing a sense of self-esteem and confidence, in encouraging their desire for self-directed learning, and in expressing themselves as thoughtful individuals.” As a white belt, my goals were pretty simple: lose weight, get through all of the jumping jacks at the beginning of class without needing to rest, be able to touch my toes during stretches, and get the foot movement correct on Taegeuk Il Chang. I didn’t really understand how martial arts could bring me better self-esteem and confidence, but I was hoping that was true, because I needed it. Going to class was intimidating. Being the only white belt, and the newcomer who didn’t know anyone, was a little bit scary. Looking back on it, I can see that most of these feelings were due to my own self-esteem and confidence issues outside of the dojang.

Taekwondo students achieving goals and developing self-esteem through martial arts
Reading that second aim struck a chord, and I hoped that some of it would prove to be true for me.  It wasn’t long after I was promoted to yellow belt that I started to settle in to my place in class. My instructor had always been wonderful and supportive, but I was starting to develop a camaraderie with other students in my class too. A couple of the black and red belts had taken me under their wing so to speak, and were encouraging and friendly, helping to guide me in my training. It felt like I was starting to get some people in my corner. I didn’t have to motivate myself to go to class anymore- I wanted to be there. I was happier when I was there, and I was definitely less stressed when I left. I was starting to notice small strides toward my first goals of physical fitness, which motivated me even more to keep at it. I even broke my first wooden board, which was something I didn’t think I’d ever be capable of doing. That feeling when my foot went through that board for the first time was amazing.

Around the orange and green belt level, I had become 100% committed. Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo had become my passion. Suddenly my goals had developed from small strides in physical fitness to big “pie-in-the-sky” goals. Sure, I still had short term goals. Like fixing my front kick foot position, getting the pivot correct in my side kick, reaching my next belt. But I had bigger dreams too. Like getting to the purple belt level so I could start going to upper belt training on Saturdays, join LeAD team, be on the demo team, make it to black belt, be able to travel with the Black Belt Team during a World Tour, become an instructor and have my own students. I knew in order to reach these goals, I needed to keep at it. I needed to push myself harder than I ever had, and not waste any opportunities for training. So that’s what I did. I never missed an event, and it was very rare that I missed a class. I was more driven toward these goals than I had ever been before. And somewhere along the way, I needed to go down a size in my dobok pants.

I realized recently, a little more than three years since I first bowed in to class, that many of these “pie-in-the-sky” goals have either become reality, or are now within my reach. My self-esteem, confidence, and physical fitness are like night and day from where I was in 2016. I’m in the best physical health of my adult life, and am happier than I have been in a very long time. I used to be the new white belt who didn’t know anyone. Now I’ve been fortunate enough to have met some of the very best friends I have ever had through the CTI. The first time I read that second aim of MSK martial arts, I admit I had some doubts on whether or not any of that would ever hold true for me. Not only has it held true, but it’s gone above and beyond anything that I thought would be possible. My instructor, Grandmaster James Sautel, will ask us on occasion to think of where we could be in a year if we keep pushing as hard as we can every class. It only occurred to me recently that he is referring to Aim #2. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Education at the CTI

By Hope Morgan, 3rd dan

Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo is unique in that it does an absolutely amazing job of emphasizing the importance of education in the lives of its students. Not only do we educate ourselves in all things MSK Taekwondo related through our classes, events, written tests, and monthly homework, but we strive to make it known to all students that education is a significant aspect that extends beyond the walls of our campus. We want our students attending school to take their studies seriously. And for the adults not in school anymore? We want them to understand that education is still just as important for them. Even when the work may seem hard, tedious, or even pointless, our desire to educate ourselves should never waver because learning and gaining more knowledge will only help us to become better people.

Martial arts students learning about education at the University of Colorado
A big misconception is that education can only be found in schools, but what is education? It’s knowledge gain. It’s learning. And that’s something that you can find anywhere, anytime, in any situation. The opportunity to learn is always obtainable. We can learn by listening, watching, and applying our knowledge in specific ways. It’s important we take advantage of these everyday chances and use them to our benefit.

Time and time again, we hear that knowledge is power. The civilizations and societies that have historically flourished and prospered are those that live by this motto. The more people educate themselves, the better they can serve their communities, helping them grow and advance. If people settle for minimal knowledge and don’t challenge themselves to expand their learning, they plateau. The world around us is continually changing and it’s our responsibility to positively foster that change. To do so, it’s necessary we understand what is around us, and with the insane abundance of information out there, our pursuit of learning should be constant.

It makes sense that I may be a little biased towards promoting the importance of education considering my career as an English teacher, but this is a concept I wrestle with everyday. I repeatedly see and experience the good education can do for students. When my students take their studies seriously-- when they try and try and keep trying-- they truly do boost their chances of success beyond the walls of our high school. Learning goes beyond math problems and writing essays and it certainly goes beyond the classroom setting. Everyday, I remind myself that my main focus is not to teach students how to craft the perfect argumentative essay or how to analyze a short story for theme (although that is all part of my job description). My main focus is to teach them to value their learning, to seek the best for themselves, and to never settle for less than what they are capable of. THAT’S what education teaches us, THAT’S what education does for us, and THAT’S why education is important.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

30th Denver Martial Arts Championships

The patch from the 30th Denver Martial Arts Championships

What a fantastic weekend!  305 CTI students and instructors came together at Alameda International and had a wonderful time.  This tournament broke the all-time DMAC attendance record with 55 divisions of Poomse, 60 divisions of Free Sparring, 61 divisions of First Point Wins!,  29 divisions of Board Breaking, six divisions of Staff poomse and 3 divisions of Black Belt Grand Champions!

The action began on Friday evening with dynamic black belt competitions.  On Saturday, everyone competed in the many divisions. 

There was also a special CTI Black Belt Club Demonstration displaying the talents of our BBC Members.

Congratulations to Hope Morgan, Collin Kreutz and Makayla Trapp for capturing the Black Belt Grand Champion awards.

Here are the results of our 30th Denver Martial Arts Championships:

1st place
Collin Kreutz, Abbey Salamera, Makayla Trapp, Katie Minden
Quynn Cotner, Evertt Lasater, Cody Jacobson, Annabel McLane
Mason Zerbib, Coco Dailey, Ed Stanton, Audio DeChant
Long Pham, Jack Weichert, Ariana Ormsbee, Taneli Alahuhta
Katie Dahle, Andy McDaniel, Zachary Palmer, Mason Rutz
Ace Ashworth, Tristyn Cvanciger, Lindsey Boswell, Keet Holdridge
Sean Huntley, Logan Keckler, Eli Quinones, Aidan Sturm
Maddie Swartz, Averie Chavez, Josie Landis, Makenzie O’Conell
Rosario Ramirez, Colston Yoder, Peyton Brauch, Candice Chandler
Thuy Pham, Malachai Romero, Eleanor Smagala, Alex Tan
Ryann Beaver, Alex Schwartz, Emma Burden, Hank Haubner
Zane Kaulbach, Evan McEwan, Jason Ranjit, Jack Susmark
Rose Basnet, Lucas Brown, Jennifer Hancey, Brandon Kirt
Ella Laird, Evelyn Vahle, Bradley Wangberg

2nd place
Hope Morgan, Jonathan Castro, Nick Slinkard, Philip Hoenmans
Caiden Murphy, Gillian Boswell, Nthaniel McKernan, Quinn Martin
Marley Powers, Vanessa Tao, Justin Gann, Mark Scott
Grant Shirley, Alexis Chavez, Rylan Lamkin, Owen Robertson
Lars Den Hartog, Kayla Albrechtson, Everly Flower, Paxton Barnett
Payton Dahm, Rue Weerapura, Ryan Marine, Brody Mitchell
Ellie Stanton, Reagan Beaver, Zachary Cotner, Joshua Miller
Jasmine Salamera, Calvin Haubner, Hannah Meadows, Alex Hancey
Lily Laird, Bella Lasater, Mitchell Oleszek, Thomas Burden
Amy Daly, Sabrina Liu, Brecken Schubert, Jason Stencel, Jr.
Aspen Swift, Scott Hancey, Ethan Price, Austin Swartz
Christian Jezek, Maxwell Shelly, Sam Powers, Thomas Misiak-Kacsh
Ella Foster, Gregory Smagala, Dylan Soule, Eliza Eichelberger
Logan Martin, Amy Krupp, Jamie Tipton, Gavin Vahle
Rhaf Alboaquh, Miles Humphress, Darcy Stanton

3rd place
Colton Shirley, Caden Johnson, Evelyn LaMorgese, Eva Welch
Jason Stencel, Sabrina Jensen, Tegan Moore, Nathaniel Ramirez
Kathleen Sautel, Rowan Lasater, Tristan Garcia, Joshua Ranjit
Lauren Smith, Caleb Romero, Freya Brown, Ahas Weerapura
Colton Christensen, Deb Denny, Don Johnson, Liam Gilmore
Noah Gomez, Jameson Healy, Zoey Krupp, Lance Schwartz
Allan Stanton, Adriana Carreon, Chase Harkins, Jacob Hoenmans
Lee Tomjack, Hayden Welch, Meryn Probasco, Sete McCallin
Patrick Stolle, Dane Frazier, Phineas Hallock, Brandon Brech
Shayla Mannering, Ivy Strickland, Lydia Willis, Angela Root
Carrie Chauhan, Regan Lamkin, Oliver Shultz, Silar Washer
Azeb Alboaquh, Tyler Cobb, Grant Erickson, Tim McNamara
Aubrie Schafer, Kaleb Guffey, Evelyn Fleetwood, Rylan Lemons
Oliver Garner, Nathaniel McKernan, Frank Merritts, Evan O’Fihelly,
Joshua Stencel

4th place
India Ross, Nate Larson, Katrina Siegfried, Dalton Cole
Bode Zimmer, Karen Carreon, Judson Ver Beek, Toby Palminteri
Merrick Oleszek, Henry Rumph, Kyle Feagans, Natasha McKernan
Mattox Bubenik, Lillian Eichelberger, Connor Rhoden, Matthew Ashworth
Nethika Suraweera, Maxwell Weaver, Jackson Babcock, Roland Dander
Colin Duncan, Warren McDonald, Garrett Thomson, Alejandra Ramirez
Keira Haubner, Kirun Agarwal, Coen Cooley, Zach Greaves
Lainey Dokter, Evan Erickson, Liam Jewett, Julian Marine
Chase Johnson, Akshay Chauhan, Connor Thomson, Max Babcock
Christian Lloyd, Abby Booten, Shekina DeTienne, Matthew Jewett
Mateo Piza, Kaytie Rees, Dylan Wellensiek, Thomas Hurst
Maxwell LaPlant, Joshua Myers, Marley Griffin, Marshall Peck
Rosa Peidalue, Colin Stetson

1st place
Amalina Tarr, Rebekkah Copel, Chase Gentry, Grace Bubenik
Eddie Garner, Henry Ratigan, Jonah Strankman, Caroline Nusbaum
Keatyn Adams, Avery Erickson, Joaquin Torres, Ibenez Mangines
Astrid Christensen, Lily Lloyd, Daxton Frandsen, Rowan Beaver
Landon Adams, Thomas Krupp, Noelle Brown, Jameson Rhoden
Evelyn Oldnam, Marshall Fleetwood, William Lopeman

BREAKING (Black Belt)
1st place
Collin Kreutz, Hope Morgan, Don Johnson, Makayla Trapp
Evelyn LaMorgese, Ed Stanton,

BREAKING (Under Black Belt)
1st place
Abbey Salamera, Quynn Cotner, Jason Stencel, Susan Burgstiner
Aidan Sturm, Katie Minden, India Ross, Dalton Cole
Caiden Murphy, Lily Strickland, Lance Schwartz, Jonathan Castro
Jordan Rutz, Nethika Suraweera, Nate Florence, Coco Dailey
Nate Larson, Taneli Alahuhta, Matthew Ashworth, Meredith Botnick
Eva Welch, Caden Johnson, Colton Shirley

1st place
Nick Slinkard, Collin Kreutz, Eric Evans, Makayla Trapp
Katie Dahle, Keet Holdridge,

2nd place
Hope Morgan, Philip Hoenmans, Kathleen Sautel, Jennifer McKernan
Merrick Oleszek, T.J. Gutierrez

3rd place
Ethan Price, Peyton Brauch, Kyle Feagans, Evelyn LaMorgese
Natasha McKernan, Cody Jacobson,

1st place
Abbey Salamera, Meredith Botnick, Katie Minden, Quynn Cotner
Everett Lasater, Cody Jacobson, Annabel McLane, Mason Zerbib
Audio DeChant, Long Pham, Zachary Palmer, Tristyn Cvanciger
Lindsey Boswell, Maddie Swartz, Rosario Ramirez, Colston Yoder
Alex Tan, Sigourney Zager, Hope Morgan, Jonathan Castro
Philip Hoenmans, Gillian Boswell, Quinn Martin, Marley Powers
Vanessa Tao, Grant Shirley, Alexis Chavez, Rylan Lamkin
Owen Robertson, Ryan Marine, Zachary Cotner, Joshua Miller
Calvin Haubner, Alex Hancey, Colton Shirley, Evelyn LaMorgese
Jason Stencel, Sabrina Jensen, Tegan Moore, Nathaniel McKernan
Josua Ranjit, Lauren Smith, Freya Brown, Ahas Weerapura
Noah Gomez, Allan Stanton, India Ross, Katrina Siegfried
Bode Zimmer, Kyle Feagans, William Schwartz, Lydia Tan
Amalina Tarr, Tyler Murphy, Evan Shacklett, Abigail Antony
Dale Sanders, Lindy Mandelbaum, Elsie McDonald, Michael-Erik Meadows
Candice Chandler

2nd place     
Collin Kreutz, Makalya Trapp, Coco Dailey, Jack Weichert
Ariana Ormsbee, Andy McDaniel, Mason Rutz, Ace Ashworth
Sean Huntley, Averie Chavez, Keira Sherman, Ryann Beaver
Nathaniel Keckler, Jennifer McKernan, Mark Scott, Lars Den Hartog
Amy Daly, Sabrina Liu, Brecken Schubert, Jason Stencel, Jr.
Aspen Swift, Scott Hancey, Austin Swartz, Caden Johnson
Rowan Lasater, Liam Gilmore, Jameson Healy, Zoey Krupp
Adriana Carreo, Chase Harkins, Phineas Hallock, Brandon Brech
Shayla Mannering, Matthew Piedalue, Isabella Sandoval, Ivy Strickland
Lydia Willis, Karen Carreon, Judson Ver Beek, Toby Palminteri
Merrick Oleszek, Mattox Bubenik, Rolan Dander, Colin Duncan
Alejandra Ramirez, Coen Cooley, Lainey Dokter, Evan Erickson
Liam Jewett, Julian Marine, Nate Florence, Atom Taylor
Dylan Rodgers, Ashley Rohman, Deb Larson, Regekkah Copel
Kaiden Rees, Vivi Brown, Lauren Dahlberg, Sarah Dahle
Henry Ratigan

3rd place
Ed Stanton, Taneli Alahuhta, Katie Dahle, Keet Holdridge
Eli Quinones, Josie Landis, Makenzie O’Connell, Thuy Pham
Malachai Romero, Eleanor Smagala, Alex Schwartz, Caiden Murphy
Justin Gann, Kayla Albrechtson, Paxton Barnett, Payton Dahm
Rue Weerapura, Brody Mitchell, Reagan Beaver, Jasmine Salamera
Lily Laird, Bella Lasater, Mitchell Oleszek, Christian Jezek
Maxwell Shelly, Eva Welch, Tristan Garcia, Thomas Misiak-Kacsh
Caleb Romero, Colton Christensen, Deb Denny, Don Johnson
Jacob Hoenmans, Meryn Probasco, Seth McCallin, Patrick Stolle
Angela Root, Carrie Chauhan, Regan Lamkin, Oliver Shultz
Silar Washer, Nate Larson, Dalton Cole, Natasha McKernan
Lillian Eichelberger, Connor Rhoden, Maxwell Weaver, Warren McDonald
T.J. Gutierrez, Garrett Thomson, Zach Greaves, Chase Johnson
Akshay Chauhan, Connor Thomson, Susan Burgstiner, Jude Weaver
Evan Zdechlik, Isaac Jensen, Emma Antony, Miette Jandreau

4th place
Peyton Brauch, Emma Burden, Jack Susmark, Everly Flower
Ellie Stanton, Sam Powers, Ella Foster, Gregory Smagala
Dylan Soule, Eliza Eichelberger, Logan Martin, Kathleen Sautel
Lee Tomjack, Hayden Welch, Dane Frazier, Azeb Alboaquh
Tyler Cobb, Grant Erickson, Tim McNamara, Aubrie Schafer
Kaleb Guffey, Evelyn Fleetwood, Rylan Lemons, Nethika Suraweera
Jackson Babock, Lily Strickland, Max Babcock, Christian Lloyd
Abby Booten, Shekina DeTienne, Matthew Jewett, Mateo Piza
Kaytie Rees, Dylan Wellensiek, Eric Evans, Jordan Rutz
Konner Evans, Jennifer Kautz, Kayla Romero, Aidan Soule
Charlie Booten, Dean Loux, Kaylyn McEwan, Lorianna Shultz
Taylor Tipton

1st place
Abbey Salamera, Meredith Botnick, Katie Minden, Quynn Cotner
Everett Lasater, Cody Jacobson, Annabel McLane, Mason Zerbib
Audio DeChant, Long Pham, Hope Morgan , Jonathan Castro
Philip Hoenmans, Gillian Boswell, Quinn Martin, Marlery Powers
Vanessa Tao, Alexis Chavez, Sabrina Jensen, Tegan Moore
Nathaniel Rameriz, India Ross, Katrina Siegfried, Bode Zimmer
Lydia Tan, Ariana Ormsbee, Andy McDaniel, Mason Rutz
Nathaniel Keckler, Mark Scott, Caden Johnson, Rowan Lasater
Karen Carreon, Judson Ver Beek, Toby Palminteri, Atom Taylor
Dylan Rodgers, Justsin Gann, Kayla Albrechtson, Paxton Barnett
Payton Dahm, Rue Weerapura, Tristan Garcia, Caleb Romero
Jack Susmark, Colton Chistensen, Deb Denny, Nate Larson
Dalton Cole, Lillian Eichelberger, Connor Rhoden, Everly Flower
Ellie Stanton, Kathleen Sautel, Lee Tomjack, Hayden Welch
Jackson Babcock, Konner Evans, Logan Keckler, Nick Slinkard
Henry Rumph

2nd place 
Zachary Palmer, Tristyn Cvanciger, Grant Shirley, Rylan Lamkin
Colton Shirley, Lauren Smith, Freya Brown, Ahas Weerapura
Amalina Tarr, Evan Shacklett, Collin Kreutz, Jack Weichert
Ace Ashworth, Sean Huntley, Averie Chavez, Keira Sherman
Jennifer McKernan, Lars Den Hartog, Liam Gilmore, Jameson Healy
Zoey Krupp, Adriana Carreon, Chase Harkins, Merrick Oleszek
Mattox Bubenik, Roland Dander, Colin Duncan, Nate Florence
Ashley Rohman, Deb Larson, Ed Stanton, Eli Quinones
Josie Landis, Makenzie O’Connell, Thuy Pham, Eleanor Smagala
Caiden Murphy, Brody Mitchell, Reagan Beaver, Jasmine Salamera
Lily Laird, Bella Lasater, Mitchell Oleszek, Jacob Hoenmans
Meryn Probasco, Seth McCallin, Patrick Stolle, Natasha McKernan
Maxwell Weaver, Warren McDonald, Garrett Thomson, Jude Weaver
Evan Zdechlik, Dane Frazier, Eric Evans, Jordan Rutz
Sarah Smith, Hannah Meadows, Thomas Burden, Keira Haubner
Kirun Agarwal

Thursday, September 5, 2019

More Lessons in Integrity

By Kyle Feagans, 3rd dan

“The most permanent lessons in morals are those which come, not of book teaching, but of Experience” -Mark Twain: A Tramp Abroad

Definitions of Integrity as defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary:

Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values:
The quality or stat of being complete or undivided: completeness

Kyle F, martial arts black belt, breaking board with a knifehand strikeThe definitions listed above, like many characteristics, are pretty simple to interpret, do the right thing.  While there is no challenge in understanding the meaning it is the ability to be ever vigilant in living to one of the highest character standards of all…INTEGRITY.

Integrity, to me, means trying to do the right things all the time.  As many of you know, integrity is a characteristic that can come under challenge by any one or at any time.  While pondering on and somewhat struggling on what to write about integrity I ended up on the World Wide Web and came across many fascinating and inspirational stories about integrity.  Stories where people are faced with the challenge of doing the right thing even when they thought nobody would know if they chose to do the right thing or not.

I read several stories where people were faced with the challenge of doing the right thing.  One story that I really enjoyed, as it brought back great memories with my dad, was about a young boy who was fishing with his father late into the evening the day before Bass Season.  During this evening they had been successful in catching sunfish and perch.  When the boy hooked and caught a big Bass he wanted to keep it.  His dad checked the time informing his son that he would need to return his catch back to the water as it was only 10 p.m. and still two hours away from the opening day of bass season.  Although the young man did not want to return the fish with the guidance and words of wisdom from his father he chose to do the right thing.

My favorite story, however, was about a successful businessman on the verge of retirement and his approach in choosing the next CEO of the company.  Instead of going through the traditional selection type process with his young talented executives he decided to give each of them a seed to plant, water and grow over the course of a year.  Each executive took their seed home eagerly planting it in a pot of soil.  Over the course of the year the executives talked about the plant, tree or bush their seed had turned into.  There was, however, one executive who did not join in on these conversations because no matter how much care and attention he paid to his seed it would not grow.  After a year the CEO met with all of them as promised complimenting them on the beautiful plants and trees they had grown. He told them “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO.  As he surveyed the room his eyes fell upon the pot of dirt of the executive who was unable to get his see to grow.  He asked this young executive to forward asking what happened to his seed.  The young executive told his story of how he planted, watered and cared for the seed over the course of the year but it just would not grow.  At this point the CEO of the company asked everyone, except this for this executive to have a seat.  Once everyone was seated he said “Behold your next Chief Executive Office.”  At this point in the story the CEO looks at the rest of his executives and says “One year ago today, I gave everyone a seed.  I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back today.  But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.  All but one of you brought me trees and plants and flowers.  When you discovered the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.”

This story, like many of the stories about integrity, is about doing what you know is the right thing no matter what.  It is about doing the right thing because you never know who may be watching.  Integrity is a characteristic, when placed at the forefront of our being, will be the beacon that helps us adhere, to be undivided in the endeavors of life.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Taekwondo For Teens

By Lindsey Boswell, red belt, CTI LeAD Team Member

Teenagers practicing martial arts: learning and having fun

With today’s social media, teenagers are spending more time online than they are with other people. They spend hours on their phones or computers, sitting down with their heads bent forward. This puts them at risk for physical, mental and social issues.

Physically, teenagers are more sedentary today. An article in Time Magazine discusses how the activity level of children changes in the teenage years and teens are becoming just as sedentary as adults over 60. This decline in physical activity has increased the obesity rates in schools.  Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo is a good option for teenage martial arts to help combat obesity and increase fitness because it provides both cardiovascular and muscular endurance.

Mental and social effects on teenagers today are greatly influenced by the media and social sites. This allows for constant images and messages to consume their time, often causing low self-esteem and depression. Prior to the rise of social media, kids who were bullied at school had a chance to get away from it during after-school hours and weekends. With smartphones today, bullying can happen at all hours, with little relief.

One way to combat these negative effects of new technology is to have teenagers be involved in sports, physically removing their phones from them during practice. Taekwondo places just as much importance in mental and social education as it does on physical fitness. Each class provides a great workout, with continuous learning, keeping the classes stimulating and fun. MSK Taekwondo supports respect and discipline in class and out, training students to be kind, upstanding citizens in their community

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute is much like an extended family. Social gatherings, events outside of class, and camps offer the students more time with other people and away from their electronics. Taekwondo is a great option for martial arts teens because it allows a support system for social and mental growth, and builds confidence and leadership skills with physical achievements.

Thursday, August 8, 2019


By Lynne Dean, 1st dan

To be honest or not?  Truthfullness in and of itself is something we should strive for. But truthfulness or honesty, is not necessarily a driving life characteristic.  Integrity however is defined as the quality of being honest.  It is further defined as the state of being whole.  And that wholeness is a worthy life pursuit.

Grandmaster Bong Yul Shin teaching self defense to Moo Sul Kwan black beltsWhether to have structural integrity or moral integrity – that wholeness, that resulting stability, that soundness – is a driving quality worthy of integrating into our lives as a driving principal.  As CTI students and black belts, integrity is one of our 5 core tenants. The importance of living to that tenant within our school and especially as black belts is something that distinguishes us within our community.  In a world of “little white lies” and “all talk but no action”, a person with integrity stands out.  That person is honest, sure, but that person follows up on their word. That person cannot let acting in a lie, no matter how small, be the case.  A person with integrity will grate at that circumstance.

There are countless times when I have had to actively NOT take the easy way because it was not within the character of maintaining integrity.  For instance, there was a case where I could have taken advantage of damage made to my home by weather.  I had a contractor who was “all about it” as far as getting anything possible on that insurance claim.  But I had to put my foot down and actively counsel against that.  Taking advantage of the situation and “no one would know” aspect of it wouldn’t sit well with me because I would know and it would have impacted my ability to maintain a clear conscience and to remain whole.

“Take the upper ground.”– It’s a strategic phrase that applies to not just warfare but to approaching a life with integrity.  A person who is living a life focused on taking the upper ground will not get bogged down and lay waste in the quagmire of dishonesty and second-guessing.  A counselor and now good friend once told me that if you can say that you have done your best when facing life’s challenges – that is truly the ultimate goal.   Is your “best” right or wrong or the “best clinical response”?  It doesn’t matter.  You are freed from second guessing yourself if you can honestly respond to your conscience with “Yes – that was my best”.

The key point is to maintain focus on maintaining your integrity – maintaining your state of being whole – maintaining your drive to live with a quality of integrity – a quality of honor.  Don’t succumb to the easy way out. Maintain the higher ground. As I continue to live and learn, if I can honestly do the best I can to maintain that higher ground, then Truth will Out and Karma will play it’s game, and in the end I will be whole and fulfilled in knowing that I am living a life of integrity.

Monday, June 17, 2019

MSK Summer Expo XXXV and Camp MSK '19


Students celebrating Moo Sul Kwan's 50th year in the United States

The first two weeks of the summer of 2019, was an incredible  time for everyone in MSK, the AMASEA and the CTI!

First up was our 35th Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo in Keystone.  Six days later followed Camp MSK '19 at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Our Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo XXXV was a tremendous weekend in so many ways.  Mrs Yong J. Park attended this year's Summer Expo at the Keystone Lodge and Spa in Colorado.   Along with Mrs. Park, special guests included Richard Park and family, Great Grandmaster Bong  Yul Shin, Grandmaster Charles HIldebrand, Master Alan Williams, Master Fred Sautel and many others.

There were Expo seminars, classes and events for the participants of all ages and belt levels.  Each class was taught by an excellent MSK Expo Teaching Staff including grandmasters, masters, regional directors and chief instructors of Moo Sul Kwan and the AMASEA

Expo Saturday morning brought the return of the infamous Moo Sul RunThe challenging course tested the teams martial arts skills, reasoning skills and physical fitness.  The MSK Masters Team, featuring Erik Albrechtson, Fred Sautel, Alice Meyung and Clayton Garner set the time for everyone to beat.  (Some almost got close!)

One of the fun events dring the Expo was the Expo Saturday Evening Banquet.  It took place at the Keystone Convention Center and celebrated our Moo Sul Kwan's 50th Anniversary. 

On Sunday, after the several dynamic classes, Richard Park and Mrs. Yong J. Park gave a talk to the Expo attendees - a beautiful end to a perfect weekend.

Camp MSK '19 took place at Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby, Colorado, next.  The six day Moo Sul Kwan camp was an enormous success.  Perfect weather, wonderful food, dynamic classes and top-notch training made this year's Camp MSK one of the finest of all time!

Everyone received training in poomse, sparring, one-step sparring, self-defense, kicking, breaking and the many other areas of Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts.  There were also fun classes in wall climbing, zip lining, bike riding, swimming, archery, tubing, basketball and more!

Black belts began training at 6:00 AM each day, with everyone accomplishing a magnitude of experiences and successes before lunchtime.  After lunch, everyone was back at it until dinnertime.  After dinner, special events took place each evening to round out the day including; Team Night, Minute to Win It, Camp Movie Night, Kamp Karoke and Musical Breaking Night.  During the Camp week, every one made the annual 2.5 mile hike to the waterfall.  Along the way there was a Moo Sul Snowball Fight (girls vs. boys), work on self-defense, jaunts up the testing hill for the testers, and more!

On the last morning, demonstrations with music were given by the each of the Camp MSK Teams.  Before the demos began for the many parents, family members and friends, a special Moo Sul Bike Demo took place to the delight of the crowd. 

Special thanks to Cindy Tusa and Pam Sautel for all of their fantastic help!

See you next year at Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo XXXVI and Camp MSK '20!

Sunday, May 19, 2019


By Lara Buff, yellow belt

Modesty is a very useful life skill that requires practice for most people to successfully develop. Unfortunately in today’s society, with the ubiquity of social media and even among traditional news outlets, it’s very easy to find examples of arrogance and hubris. More air time tends to be granted to those who brag loudly than those who speak modestly, making it difficult to find examples of positive behavior to emulate.

Martial arts students practicing and learning about modestyIt’s human nature to want to pay more attention to winners rather than losers: for example, in professional sports. After a big game, reporters are granted access to the locker room to interview key players, and press conferences are held.When one’s team has won the game, it’s enjoyable to listen (or read about) the players describing what they did right and how they played well, and examine highlights of the game. When one’s team has lost, it’s tempting to just turn the TV off and not ever even find out whether the players take responsibility for the loss, lay the blame elsewhere, or praise the other team for having played a good game. In this way, we tend to limit our exposure to these potential, important examples of humility.

Role models of modesty and decency don’t tend to garner the same amount of interest as those of arrogance and pride. Athletes in particular often create a sensation when they brag about how great they are, and how much better they are than their opponents past and future. It makes us want to stay tuned and find out whether they are worth the hype they have created for themselves; whether we root for them or want to watch them fail, our attention is fixed on the loudest braggarts rather than other, more modest competitors. Why is it important to find role models? We need to know what modesty looks and sounds like so we can learn how to emulate those features.

By behaving with modesty, we can avoid putting ourselves into embarrassing and even potentially risky situations. We are imperfect beings, and even the best of us can have bad days. I might be a very good skier; if I were to go around bragging about my skills, I would draw more attention to myself and make it more likely that someone would decide to make me prove my abilities by challenging me to a race. Pride would compel most people to accept the challenge, even if slope conditions were less than optimal. Now I’ve put myself in a position where I feel I must push myself harder than usual for the sake of my own pride. If I should fall, or lose the race in some other way, it would be considerably more humiliating the more time I had spent going on about how awesome I was; not only that, but a high-speed fall on skis can be very dangerous. If I had simply been modest from the beginning, a loss wouldn’t sting nearly so badly as if I hadn’t put myself on such a high pedestal, and a win would still feel just as good. Or, perhaps I would have felt comfortable enough in my skiing abilities that I would not have allowed my pride to goad me into racing at all!

Behaving with modesty rather than arrogance may require a conscious choice or series of choices, at least at first. Paying attention to positive role models and choosing to imitate them, rather than models of hubris, can be helpful as we practice humble behavior. As with most things, the more we practice, the easier it becomes to make the correct choice. Modesty can help us avoid embarrassing situations, and keep us from putting ourselves at unnecessary risk.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Why Our Family Makes the Expo a Priority Each Year

By Annie Jensen, blue belt


We,  the Jensens, are faithful participants every MSK Summer Expo (except when the Expo was 3 days after our baby girl was born!). We are dedicated! We make it a priority and don’t miss it. And as a family we are very intentional about how we spend our time and money. It is a well considered decision to commit to this once-a-year experience.

Here are our three main reasons that we always make the MSK Summer Expo a top priority.
A group picture of the the Colorado Taekwondo Institute students at the Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo
It is a Family Commitment to Health. 
There is probably no better way to kick off bathing suit season than by sweating with your hundred best friends, at altitude, in the beautiful Colorado mountains. When you put that much time and effort into exercise it actually becomes difficult to go back into your ‘lazy winter slump’. This is because (according to science!) an intense, immersive experience actually changes your brain.

It creates new pathways and habit patterns that ensure you put your health and wellness first - without any further effort. You heard me right. You get incredible lasting benefits from this immersive experience just by showing up and participating!  The work you do at The Expo not only changes your body for the better. It allows you to step into summer more confident, and happier than you were just days before. I see this in our family every year. And not only for my husband Brian and I but for our children. How cool is that?

It Eases Transition Time. 
We have three kids, 10, 7 and 1 - which means we have a busy school year and an even busier summer. And while kids are super excited for summer they don’t always adjust well. It goes from "We can’t wait for summer,” to, "I’m bored, there is nothing to do’”  within minutes. (If you have school aged kids you know exactly what I mean!)

I have a feeling that the MSK Grandmasters  know exactly what I meant because the Summer Expo is perfectly timed.  It's always just a few days after school is out providing the perfect transition from the classroom into summer. You have something exciting to look forward that bonds you as a family.  You are all together, working hard, striving to be your best.  You come away united and better able to take on all the upcoming summer adventures.

The Expo helps us start our summer on purpose instead of just letting it sneak up and happen to us. Which brings me to point #3….

It Sets The Tone. 
What I love about The Expo is that I know, without a doubt, that we never regret going. Yes, it is a lot of work. Yes, you are pushed out of your comfort zone. But when its all said and done you never regret it.

You know that you are a better person for the days you spend pushing yourself to be your best. Pushing yourself beyond where you thought you could go. Sure, you improve your health and fitness but you also, and perhaps more importantly, improve your mental stamina. You decide on purpose  to live outside your comfort zone. And pushing yourself, living just outside your comfort zone, is truly a secret to a successful and fulfilling life.

As a result of kicking off summer at the Moo Sul Kwan Summer Expo we choose better, more fulfilling and healthier options all summer long.  For example, for the rest of the summer we are much more likely to chose a hike than a movie after the expo.  Something about the Expo not only sets the tone but awakens us as individuals and as a family determined to strive fore more than the status-quo in all our activities.

Monday, April 29, 2019

2019 All-City Championships Results!

339 Moo Sul Kwan students jammed Alameda International for an excellent weekend!

Martial arts students getting ready to compete at taekwondo tournament

Two days of exciting competitions and demonstrations were had at this year's 2019 All-City Championships in Denver, Colorado!  Moo Sul Kwan students from many schools, campuses and programs gathered together at Alameda International Junior/Senior High School on April 26-27.

The action began on Friday evening with black belt competitions.  Sparring started off the night, followed by black belt poomse and breaking divisions.  Saturday began early with black belt staff competitions and more black belt board breaking,

Students of all ages and belt levels came on Saturday to compete, learn and have fun.  Special guests were on hand from the Lee H. Park Institute in Cape Girardeau, Missouri - instructors Jill Mills, Sharon Sink and Holly Dirnberger brought some wonderful students for the sparring competitions on Saturday.

Twice during Saturday, the CTI Demonstration Team performed for the crowds.  The demo, named "Fifty Years" with special music written and played live by our black belts, showcased the talented martial artists poomse, breaking, one-steps, self-defense, exercise, advanced kicking and more!

The day ended around 3:00 PM with the presentations of the Black Belt Grand Champion Awards to: Eileen Lindner, Kathleen Sautel, Merrick Oleszek and Emily Artman.

Here are the final results of the 2019 All-city Championships:

1st place
Taneli Alahuhta, Max Babcock, Paxton Barnett, Mathias Bauer
Abby Booten, Gillian Boswell, Lindsey Boswell, Meredith Botnick
Anabella Briceno, Lucas Brown, Jonathan Cassatro, Averie Chavez
Alexis Chavez, Quynn Cotner, Benjamin Crowley, Payton Dahm
Lars Den Hartog, Konner Evans, Kyle Feagans, Ella Foster
Dane Frazier, Zach Greaves, Jacob Hoenmans, Junaid Jensen
Sabrina Jensen, Caden Johnson, Collin Kreutz, Ariana Lamb
Nate Larson, Eileen Lindner, Finn Linse, Evan McEwan
Annabel McLane, Katie Minden, Thomas Misiak-Kacsh, Brody Mitchell, David Moyer, Merrick Oleszek, Mitchell Oleszek, Ariana Ormsbee, Mason Rutz, Isabella Sandoval, Kathleen Sautel, Colton Shirley, Gabriella Sleight, Gregory Smagala, Sarah Smith, Jason Stencel, Ivy Stickland, Maddie Swartz, Austin Swartz, Alex Tan
Lydia Tan, Layla Tran, Tina Vo, Bradley Wangberg, Ali Wolfe, Ryan Wyngarden, Dylan Kiser, Eli Quinones

2nd place
Emily Artman, Avery Barden, Regan Beaver, Sophie Briceno
Thomas Burden, Emma Burden, Christopher Cardella, Karen Carreon
Candice Chandler, Tristyn Cvanciger, Sarah Dahle, Shekina DeTienne
Bruce Duong, Eli Eastment, Zoe Economou, Lincoln Ennenga
Eric Evans, Evelyn Fleetwood, Nate Florence, Tristan Garcia
Oliver Garner, Kaleb Guffey, Phineas Hallock, Thomas Hurst
Christian Jezek, Nathaniel Keckler, Logan Keckler, Amy Krupp
Evelyn LaMorgese, Josie Landis, Bella Lasater, Rowan Lasater
Sabrina Liu, Melvin Marine, Warren McDonald, Jennifer McDonald
Natasha McKernan, Tegan Moore, Hope Morgan, Caiden Murphy
Jackson Noller, Khristin Paisley, Zachary Palmer, Meryn Probasco
Connor Rhoden, Malachai Romero, India Ross, Jordan Rutz
Jasmine Salamera, Brecken Schubert, Keira Sherman, Grant Shirley
Dylan Soule, Ed Stanton, Garrett Thomson, Michael Veith
Maxwell Weaver, Evan Weber, Mia Wolfe, Ava Alvarado

3rd place
Annie Abbink, Ryann Beaver, Owen Bernath, McKenna Boehm
Briar Boehm, Peyton Brauch, Mattox Bubenik, Craig Cardella
Tyler Cobb, Mariah Cordova, Zachary Cotner, Amy Daly
Lainey Dokter, Grant Erickson, Garrett Falk, Jackson Foster
Shaylan Gangoo, Justin Gann, Noah Gomez, Hank Haubner
Clavin Haubner, Philip Hoenmans, Hannah Holmes, Miles Humphress
Sean Huntley, Cody Jacobson, Ivy Jensen, Don Johson
Irene Kim, Deb Larson, Everett Lasater, Christian Lloyd
Ryan Marine, Elsie McDonald, Tiffany McDow, Aiden Molina
Colleen Monahan, Mulligan Liam, Colin Palminteri, Toby Palminteri
Nathaniel Pierce, Caleb Romero, Kayla Romero, Abbey Salamera
Bridget Sautel, William Schwartz, Alex Schwartz, Mark Scott
Evan Shacklett , Oliver Shultz, Eleanor Smagala, Lauren Smith
Aiden Soule, Allan Stanton, Zoe Tormey, Da Minh Tran
Judson Ver Beek, Rhett Wallace, Hayden Welch

4th place
Jackson Babcock, Elan Bailey, Jeffrey Bowen, Colton Christensen
Sidney Clark, Julian Crawford, Deb Denny, Colin Duncan
Jonah Elstad, Colton Falk, Drake Ferguson, Elizabeth Hawkins
Miette Jandreau, Chase Johnson, Zane Kaulbach, Brandon Kirt
Xiaoxue Ada Koberlein, Zoey Krupp, Maxwell LaPlant, Rylan Lemons
Dean Loux, Owen Luarca, Audra Maes, Joshua Miller
Lucas Mischo Quint, Courtney Moen, Kaelyn Molina, Theryn Ochsner
Leto Ochsner, Lucy Paisley, Marley Powers, Sammy Powers
Kai Pratte, Ethan Price, Matthew Roberts, Kayla Roberts
Henry Rumph, Aubrie Schafer, Lance Schwartz, Brody Shaver
Thoams Sleight, Joshua Stencel, Lily Strickland, Atom Taylor
Lee Tomjack, Shaydon Tuttle, Jack Weichert, Nicholas Weichert
Dylan Wellensiek, Kaddie Williams, Beth Wolfe, Samuel Wolfe
Weston Wolfe, Rylan Wolfe, Jonathan Wright

Tiger Poomse
1st place
Amalina Tarr, Chase Gentry, Rebekkah Copel, Grace Bubenik
Joseph Eastment, Kaydance Veith, Maaryn Rolfing, Juan Monia
Donovan Ferguson, Evan Erickson, Lettie Chavez, Ray Clair
Caroline Nusbaum, Eddie Garner, Caleb Rios, Oliva Kent
Asatrid Christensesn, Noelle Brown, Daxton Frandsen, Rowan Beaver
Jameson Rhoden, Slyvia Kowalski, Ibenez Pankey, Henry Ratigan
Grant Boehm, Lilly Lloyd, Colin Kowalski

1st place
Emily Artman, Reagan Beaver, Gillian Boswell, Meredith Botnick
Karen Carreon, Sidney Clark, McKenzie Cress, Lauren Dahlberg
Deb Denny, Shekina DeTienne, Jonah Elstad, Eileen Lindner
Julian Marine, Joshua Miller, Katie Minden, Caiden Murphy
Rick Orton, Henry Rumph, Abbey Salamera, Isabella Sandoval
Aidan Sturm, Lydia Tan, Lee Tomjack, Layla Tran
Shaydon Tuttle, Michael Veith, Dylan Wellensiek

1st place
Emily Artman, Paxton Barnett, Abby Booten, Meredith Bonick
Jeffrey Bowen, Mattox Bubenik, Chris Cardella, Craig Cardella
Karen Carreon, Jonathan Castro, Alexis Chavez, Mariah Corova
Quynn Cotner, Benjamin Crowley, Evan Erickson, Kyle Feagans
Justin Gann, Oliver Garner, Noah Gomez, Phiheas Hallock
Calvin Haubner, Keira Haubner, Jacob Hoenmans, Miles Humphress
Sean Huntley, Isaac Jensen, Caden Johnson, Logan Keckler
Brandon Kirt, Josie Landis, Nate Larson, Deb Larson
Bella Lasater, Jennifer McKernan, Joshua Miller, Roman Montoya
Tegan Moore, Hope Morgan, Caiden Murphy, Merrick Oleszek
Mitchell Oleszek, Marley Powers, Caleb Romero, India Ross
Mason Rutz, Michael Sandusky, Lorianna Shultz, Eleanor Smagala
Ed Stanton, Maddie Swartz, Amalina Tarr, Layla Tran
Judson Ver Beek, Tate Wallace, Hayden Welch, Dylan Wellensiek
Lydia Willis, Rylan Wolfe, Felicity Pingkian, Ethan Adams
Maxwell Shelly

2nd place
Ava Alvardo, Elan Bailey, Owen Bernath, Gillian Boswell
Peyton Brauch, Candice Chandler, Evan Charlton, Averie Chavez
Lennix Chavez, Bryce Cole, Dalton Cole, Zachary Cotner
Julian Crawford, Amy Daly, Colin Duncan, Jonah Elstad
Drake Ferguson, Gwen Gutierrez, Thomas Hurst, Cody Jacobson
Miette Jandreau, Nathaniel Keckler, Amy Krupp, Zoey Krupp
Eileen Lindner, Christian Lloyd, Ryan Marine, Seth McCallin
Tiffany McDow, Evan McEwan, Natasha McKernan, Michael Eric Meadows
Katie Minden, Ariana Ormsbee, Lucy Paisley, Marshall Peck
Nathaniel Pierce, Diego Quezada, Eli Quinones, Connor Rhoden
Owen Robertson, Dylan Rodgers, Abbey Salamera, Isabella Sandoval
Mark Scott, Brody Shaver, Keira Sherman, Colton Shirley
Aidan Sould, Jason Stencel, Joshua Stencel, Patrick Stolle
Lydia Tan, Michael Veith, Tina Vo, Kai Wallace
Bradley Wangberg, Mia Wolfe, Beth Wolfe, Ryan Wyngarden
Colston Yoder, Lily Lloyd

3rd place
Annie Abbink, Taneli Alahuhta, Mathias Bauer, Reagan Beaver
McKenna Boehm, Briar Boehm, Charlie Booten, Lindsey Boswell
Lucas Brown, Vivi Brown, Emma Burden, Adrianna Carreon
Eva Carreon, Rebekkah Copel, Lars Den Hartog, Sheina DeTienne
Eli Eastment, Eric Evans, Alex Hancey, Hank Haubner
Jameson Healy, Philip Hoenmans, Sabrina Jensen, Zane Kaulbach
Evelyn LaMorgese, Maxwell LaPlant, Sabrina Liu, Julian Marine
Warren McDonald, Elsie McDonald, Frank Merritts, Thomas Misiak-Kacsh
Brody Mitchell, Tyler Murphy, Theryn Ochsner, Leto Ochsner
Khristin Paisley, Toby Palminteri, Kai Pratte, Meryn Probasco
Matthew Roberts, Kayla Romero, Oliver Schultz, William Schwartz
Lance Schwartz, Evan Shacklett, Allan Stanton, Ellie Stanton
Aidan Sturm, Alex Tan, Atom Taylor, Garrett Thomson
Rhett Wallace, Maxwell Weaver, Weston Wolfe, Mason Zerbib
Brooke Johnson, Eddie Garner

4th place
Andrei Amihalachio, Jackson Babcock, Avery Barden, Thomas Burden
Colton Christensen, Sidney Clark, Tyler Cobb, William Crowley
Lauren Dahlberg, Payton Dahm, Deb Denny, Zoe Economou
Konner Evans, Nate Florence, Ella Foster, Maley Griffin
Kaleb Guffey, T.J. Gutierrez, Jennifer Hancey, Elizabeth Hawkins
Don Johnson, Chase Johnson, Rowan Lasater, Rylan Lemons
Dean Loux, Audra Maes, Jacob Mayberry, Courtney Moen
Liam Mulligan, Pau Paisley, Colin Palminteri, Ethan Price
Jordan Rutz, Alex Schwartz, Grant Shirley, Sarah Smith
Lauren Smith, Jason Stencel, Jr., Austin Swartz, Katelynn Ward
Jude Weaver, Evan Weber, Eva Welch, Jonathan Wright
Brandon Brech, Kaydence Veith

First Point Wins!
1st place
Meredith Botnick, Mattox Bubenik, Chris Cardella, Jonathan Castro
Evan Erickson, Justin Bann, Oliver Garner, Phineas Hallock
Calvin Haubner, Keira Haubner, Brandon Kirt, Deb Larson
Roman Montoya, Caiden Murphy, Merrick Oleszek, Mitchell Oleszek
Marley Powers, Mason Rutz, Eleanor Smagala, Ed Stanton
Amalina Tarr, Dylan Wellensiek, Lydia Willis, Felicity Pingkian
Maxwell Shelly, Ava Alvarado, Candice Chandler, Averie Chavez
Bryce Cole, Amy Daly, Colin Duncan, Cody Jacobson
Miette Jandreau, Amy Krupp, Ryan Marine, Tiffany McDow
Michael Eric Meadows, Katie Minden, Lucy Paisley, Doegp Quezada
Dylan Rodgers, Isabella Sandoval, Aidan Soule, Ryan Wyngarden
Vivi Brown, Eric Evans, Evelyn LaMorgese, Toby Palminteri
Oliver Schultz, Alex Tan, Nate Florence, Rowan Lasater
Austin Swartz, Dane Frazier, Zach Greaves, Everett Lasater
Payton Reynolds, Kathleen Sautel, Brecken Schubert, Gregory Smagala
Da Minh Tran, Jack Weichert

2nd place
Jeffrey Bowen, Craig Cardella, Alexis Chavez, Mariah Cordova
Sean Huntley, Caden Johnson, Josie Landis, Bella Lasater
Joshua Miller, Hope Morgan, Caleb Romero, India Ross
Lorianna Shutz, Gillian Boswell, Evan Charlton, Zachary Cotner
Julian Crawford, Jonah Elstad, Drake Ferguson, Gwen Gutierrez
Nathaniel Keckler, Eileen Lindner, Ariana Ormsbee, Marshall Peck
Nathaniel Pierce, Owen Robertson, Colton Shirley, Joshua Stencel
Michael Veith, Kai Wallace, Beth Wolfe, Lindsey Boswell
Lucas Brown, Rebekkah Copel, Eli Eastment, Alex Hancey
Sabrina Jensen, Maxwell LaPlant, Warren McDonald, Tyler Murphy
Theryn Ochsner, Khristin Paisley, Kayla Romero, Allan Stanton
Aidan Sturm, Rhett Wallace, Mason Zerbib, Brooke Johnson
Eddie Garner, Payton Dahm, Don Johnson, Dean Loux
Jordan Rutz, Eva Welch, Brandon Brech, Kaydence Veith
Grant Erickson, Christian Jezek, Zachary Palmer, Dylan Soule

Staff Poomse
1st place
Kathleen Sautel, Merrick Oleszek, Emily Artman, Eric Evans
Hope Morgan, Bridget Sautel

2nd place
Michael Sandusky, Ryan Wyngarden, Collin Kreutz, Jennifer McKernan
Shekina DeTienne, Ethan Price

3rd place
Kyle Feagans, Gwen Gutierrez, T.J. Gutierrez, Cody Jacobson
Tyler Murphy

Grand Champions:  Eileen Lindner, Kathleen Sautel, Merrick Oleszek and Emily Artman

Sunday, April 14, 2019


By Kayla Roberts, green belt, CTI BBC Member

Most of us have heard about the obesity epidemic in America and other western countries such as Canada and Britain. It's hard to miss health related headlines linking the rise of overweight and obesity with increased rates of heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other respiratory illness, cancers, and many more horrible afflictions. We see tons of information about the effectiveness of diets and exercise and the disastrous effects of increased sugar, fat, and caffeine consumption.

Grandmaster Bong Yul Shin practicing with Moo Sul Kwan black belts at the MSK Summer ExpoThe average American lifestyle is generally unhealthy and getting worse. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American ate 20% more calories in 2000 than they did in 1983 with these calories mainly coming from increased consumption of meats and added fats. At the same time, America experienced the fast food boom that ultimately resulted in fast food taking up 11% of our diets. This is before you add in the more recent effect of increased soda and energy drink consumption.

Health organizations and doctors will recommend a healthy diet and exercise to combat overweight and obesity. For exercise, one of the best high calorie, high fat burning exercises is Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo. In a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, researchers found that a 160 pound person will burn an average 730 calories per hour in a Taekwondo class. That's at least 200 more calories burned than the average hour-long run. It’s also a full body workout meaning you’ll burn fat in every part of your body, including problem areas, not just the stomach.

Taekwondo can help people maintain their diets. Classes don't just focus on physical exercise, they also teach self-discipline and self-confidence. These three areas build on each other to teach students the skills they need to make healthy changes and build good habits. Habit building is where most people fail when trying to lose weight and to keep that weight off. This why fad diets will fail every time. Fad diet programs target very fast weight loss but never allow for a well-rounded, nutritional lifestyle that will result in weight maintenance. Learning self-discipline is critical to keeping weight at a healthy level and MSK Taekwondo does a far better job at teaching the skills needed to meet long term, healthy goals.

The community in a Colorado Taekwondo Institute class is incredibly supportive which makes this whole journey that much easier. Between the amazing community and new, lasting skills, maintaining a healthy weight will be far more attainable for most than with the classic magazine diet and gym membership. Students will also have the bonus of learning valuable self-defense skills not available through other courses.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


By Kyle Feagans, 2nd dan
Martial arts black belt practicing blocks on a log over water

Definition of Modesty:

The quality of not being too prod o confident about yourself or your abilities – by Merriam Webster

Definition of Arrogance:

An attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions – by Merriam Webster

How can modesty help one in their daily life?  While there is nothing wrong in being proud, excited, passionate and confident about your accomplishments or your goals, it is important to exercise modesty in one’s successes.  Exercising modesty in success shows true understanding that those achievements were not solely attained on your own merits…that the support of friends and family was needed too.   CTI Martial Artists understand that this through success in learning basic and advanced punching, blocking, striking and kicking techniques.  The enhancement of this knowledge is realized through the progression of and achievement of each belt on their way to black belt and beyond.

Modesty is a key ingredient in developing relationships with friends, family and co-workers.  It is exciting and fascinating to hear about the successes of others when there is a sense of modesty involved.  Most of us already know and understand that it takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice and effort on our end to achieve our goals and these same disciplines were exercised by those who helped us.  Modesty can be a challenging characteristic.

In today's society, accomplishments are indicators of one’s character and they show a desire to gain knowledge and advance in understanding.  It is good to talk about, to communicate our accomplishments with others, and if done in the right way, could be the cause of inspiration for someone to persevere through that very same obstacle in the way of their own goal!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

2019 All-City Champs This Month!

Black belt competitors getting ready for the 2019 All-City Champs tournament

Everyone mark your calendars for April 26th & 27th, as the Colorado Taekwondo Institute will be hosting the 2019 All-City Championships tournament at Alameda International High School. This tournament is open to all AMASEA students.

Events include:

  • Poomse (all ages and belts)
  • Free-Sparring (ages 5 & up, all belts)
  • First Point Wins! Sparring (ages 5 & up, all belts)
  • Breaking (age 9 & up, orange belts and above)
  • Staff Poomse (all black belts)

You can pre-register for the tournament online and you can learn more about the tournament on the All-City Champs page.

Sunday, March 17, 2019


By Tom Hurst, yellow belt
Martial arts students learning fitness from Great Grandmaster Bong Yul Shin

Benefits of five different aerobic exercises:

  1. Endurance.  Developed by long interval exercise, such as running, involving the use of major muscle groups and requiring copious amounts of oxygen.
  2. Efficient gas exchange.  Expanding the lungs and developing the alveoli to pass oxygen into the blood stream and pulling CO2 from the blood stream during long interval exercise such as running.
  3. Muscle strength and flexibility.  Developed by strenuous exercise at a medium level holding the heart rate at a medium level for an extended time period.  An example is primary techniques such as punches and blocks but not at the same level of activity as Jumping jacks or running.
  4. Muscle efficiency. Developing the ability to clear waste products from the muscle such as lactic acid, both to the long muscle and to the cardiac muscle as well as building red blood cells. Poomse is an example of both types of exercise and utilizes both aspects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise depending on the length of the poomse.
  5. Reduce body fat.  Aerobic activity burns fuel, first glycogen then when the ready stores are depleted the body converts fat to glycogen and ketones.  The ketones are excreted, hydration, hydration, hydration, and the glycogen is burned for energy.  Long periods of extended effort well below maximum effort, such as marathon running.

Benefits of five different anaerobic exercises:

  1. Muscle recovery.  Interval training is most commonly associated with this exercise.
  2. Muscle bulk.  Weight lifting is generally associated with anaerobic exercise.  Some bulk is desired for strength but excessive bulk decreases mobility and flexibility.
  3. Muscle strength can be increased when aerobic exercise is interspersed with anaerobic exercises.  Quickly moving from jumping jacks to push-ups or basic moves to sit-ups are a couple of examples.
  4. Flexibility. Stretches are a form of anaerobic exercises, remember to burn off the lactic acid by moving the lactic acid laden blood up to the lungs and blow it off as CO2.
  5. Develops more efficient transfer of blood products and oxygen by the growth of more red blood cells. Interval training and short period, high intensity exercise.

A benefit of both types of exercise is the increased blood flow through the brain carrying more oxygen and more nutrients to the brain leading to enhance concentration and focus. This can lead to an overall feeling of wellness, self-esteem and self-image.  This is a huge benefit for the developing child and cannot be underestimated in its value to the older adult.

Sunday, March 3, 2019


By Brain O'Reilly, purple belt, CTI BBC Member

Four martial arts girls using teamwork to break boards

On any given team, is any one person more important? Why?
This is a question of team roles not people. Teams consist of individuals with unique skill sets, strengths and weaknesses.  The role that an individual plays can vary based on the mission and long-term goal(s) of the team or the short-term task at hand. Often the roles are predetermined; based on job description, hierarchy, experience, specialty, etc.  Often those predetermined roles fit well with an individual’s current level of expertise, seniority and skill-set.  Yet roles within a team are rarely static. As people gain more experience and responsibility they move up in the team and as others fail to maintain their current role they move down or out of the organization.  Teams need leaders, and leaders need followers; it is symbiotic.  A lone leader is not a team and a team without a leader is lost and often disbands.  One can argue that an effective team leader is the most important role on a team.  Leadership team roles are replicated in nature because they effectively ensure the survival of the team.  For example; wolf packs have an alpha male and as he loses the ability to protect, provide and lead, a new leader rises from the pack to replace him.  The wolf pack also has an Alpha Female, protecting and nurturing the upcoming Alpha’s and the rest of the pack. Individuals/people are replaceable, but roles are rarely replaceable.  It’s easier for a good leader to find a team and take it to the next level than it is for a mediocre team to find a good leader.  All members are important, but the immediate strength of the team is built around its leadership and then the quality and growth of upcoming members. The X-Factor that complements strong leadership and strong membership is the empowerment of members with unique skills sets to experiment and expand opportunities to the pack which then takes the team to a new and higher level of productivity and competition.

How can people achieve more whey they work together?
There is a compounding effect to team work. A team’s resources and portfolio of wealth are built around its active participants. The rich get richer because they have more resources to work with and they invest those resources with greater effectiveness.  Productive members learn from the success and diversity of others, tapping into those resources and expanding their own skill sets and contributions to the team.Each positive individual contribution is multiplied by other members and then reinvested as the team attracts more investors and new opportunities.Like any wise investment, the greater the resources the greater the return and the greater the ability to reinvest.  High productivity and success offers the luxury of experimentation and investment in new disciplines which then leads to a new and higher level of growth.  The active individual shareholder of a team who adds to the value of the team also adds to the health of his/her own individual portfolio of resources.  A healthy individual and team can perform at a higher level of output and then continue to grow beyond its “less-healthy” competitors.The healthy ideal for growth and productivity relies on each contributing share or each contributing team member; expanding individually and for the benefit of the team.  “...A team of the people, for the people, by the people.” –Abe Lincoln