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.