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!