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.