All in the family

Colorado Taekwondo Institute provides opportunities for all

For Jason Walker, the instructor of the newly renamed Colorado Taekwondo Institute, Craig Campus, "all in the family" has several meanings.

The formerly named Craig Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts Institute was renamed to better convey that it is in the family of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute and its several campuses.

In addition, Walker often refers to his 45 students as a family.

Finally, in the last competition the institute's members attended, four of the top six finishers had the last name of Walker.

"It takes a lot of discipline and drive to want to do Taekwondo," Walker said. "So it brings us together as we all work on the art."

The CTI is open Monday through Thursday and has classes for the beginners, intermediate and older students. The current range of ages is four years old to 35. In a description of the purpose for the instruction, the students of CTI learn about the history and traditions of Taekwondo while developing their self-esteem and improving their fitness level.

The school competes in a competition every three to four months. In each competition, there are generally three disciplines, sparring, poomse (pattern movement), and breaking. According to Walker, the competitions are in a controlled environment and a student is judged on flexibility, form and technique. The top placers for the Craig campus in their last competition on March 1 were: Eli Voyich, green belt, third in poomse; Torin Jackson, orange belt, third in poomse, first in sparring; Chanda Walker, brown belt, third in poomse, third in sparring; Brittany Walker, brown belt, second in poomse and third in sparring, Hannah Walker, orange belt, first in poomse, first in sparring; Jason Walker, second in poomse.

Walker, the instructor, is pre-testing for his black belt, which not only requires hours of physical tests, but an eight-hour written test as well.

The people in charge of overseeing him and the institute come from the main CTI campus in Lakewood. They either come up from Denver or the students go there for testing to move up a belt.

Four days a week with multiple sessions can be a challenge for Walker but, in the end, he said it is worth it.

"When my students show up every day and love the class no matter how repetitive it is, it makes me enjoy what I do," he said. "You know they don't come for something new every time because we do everything over and over and over. They come because they want to get it right."

This weekend is the next competition for the students of the institute. Walker and 19 others will travel to Denver for the Colorado Taekwondo Institute Superbowl XXIX.

For more information on the CTI, Craig Campus, call 824-2484.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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