Events for 2013

Now that 2013 is here, let us know what events you will be attending and which events we should cover in 2013! You can vote for multiple answers.

Reply with a Facebook comment if you have another event you would like added to the poll.

What event(s) are you planning to attend in 2013?

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Colorado TKD …Scrimmage Galore

If you are in it for the sparring, then Colorado is the place to be. Tae Kwon Do sparring is one of the safest combat sports in the world: With the combination of safety gear and professional supervision, this very exciting sport is suitable for many age groups. The benefits are far-reaching, from increased athletic ability to learning the values comradery and fair-play. But, for the student of Tae Kwon Do searching for a competitive edge beyond the limited number of athletes they can spar within her/his dojang, may I suggest attending scrimmages.

As the definition suggests, scrimmages will give you that needed sparring time that will, in many aspects, resemble actual competition without it reflecting upon your record. Normally, a scrimmage is set up so that each athlete gets as much ring time as she/he wants. The rounds are typical as are the divisions, although there is more room for individual growth and variance at a scrimmage. Also, much of the pressure of combat lies in the resulting improvement of skill and not the actual bout. It really is a place for massive growth.

 In addition to the physical aspects of Tae Kwon Do sparring, scrimmages are a great way to expand your TKD family. As a true master will always say, “Tae Kwon Do is about family, not about me.” So, plan on meeting new people- from your own dojang and from others. Exchange ideas and plan future engagements. Relax, converse, and take it all in.

Where do I scrimmage? Who do I contact? Well, if you’re reading this, you are probably already associated with a martial arts school. Ask your instructor for information on future scrimmages. After that, it really depends on how far you are willing to travel and if you can free up a few hours on a Saturday. If you are not associated with a martial arts school, search the web. There are countless quality-minded schools in your area.

Make sure to bring all of your required gear to the scrimmage. If you are attending an E-hogu scrimmage, don’t forget your E-sock, and show up a little early to get situated. Also, don’t forget to get a lot of rest and nutrition beforehand and thank the hosting school afterwards.

So then, you are a Tae Kwon Do warrior or want to be one. You love to spar and want to prove yourself in battle. Well, you had better prepare yourself. Contact a scrimmage-hosting school today and obtain that needed ring time. A couple of schools that host scrimmages on a continual basis, in the Denver metro area, are: Korean Academy of Tae Kwon Do and Master Yosvany Tae Kwon Do. If you are hosting TKD scrimmages and you want to get the word out, contact Colorado State TKD Association. If you want your future event highlighted in this publication, please contact Steven Marak and happy scrimmaging.

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Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League Fall Championships

Beautiful medals given out by CU

Henderson, CO – The Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League hosted its fall championships on November 11th, 2012. The event was organized by CU Boulder Taekwondo, with David Lee as the director. The tournament featured competition for all levels of college students, from first time beginners to some of the top competitors in the nation and world. There were people who had never put on sparring gear before, and people who will compete in a few weeks at the US Team Trials and a few months at the 2013 World Championships. Paloma Gonzalez, president of the Auraria Campus Taekwondo program stated: “This league is so fun, it gives us the opportunity to compete without the pressure and stress of other tournaments.” Master Marcus Santos of Arapahoe Community College Agreed. “It Was a fun and friendly tournament. Thank you for all organizers.”

The competition was fierce in the black belt divisions. In women’s forms, there was some confusion and divisions were split, resulting in Heather Gibson (ACT), Kinsey Muso (ACC), and Nicole Anderson (CU) all taking first. The Men’s black belt forms was extremely competitive with almost 15 competitors. Dale Zamora (ACT) earned 15 points, followed by Roy Mejia (ACT) and Cameron Carter (CU).

Action in the Men’s Featherweight sparring with other competitors looking on

In Men’s A Team (Varsity) sparring, the featherweight division was very competitive, with the finals coming down to a match between former US Team Trials competitor Roy Mejia (ACT) and Iraqi National Team Member Ahmed Alsubaihawi (ACT). Despite only recently coming back from injury, Mejia sparred well but lost to Alsubaihawi. The Men’s Welterweight division was also competitive, and Emad Ismael (ACT) had to win four matches to claim the title. Ismael was following up on his US National Collegiate Championships gold medal, which he claimed in the color belt division. He nearly had to settle for silver as Nick Merten from CU Boulder hit him with a head shot, however, it was one second after time expired. The heavyweight division was split into two to give more experience to teammates Cameron Weber (CSU) and Aaron Turner (ACC), two of the top competitors in the country. They sparred Harrison Archer (ACT) and Sam Douglass (ACT), in order to give more experience to to the beginning competitors.

From Left to Right- Aaron Turner (US National Champion, heavyweight) Ahmed A (Iraq National Team) and Cameron Weber (US National Silver Medalist, Middleweight)

In the Women’s A Team Sparring, the flyweight finals match was between Kinsey Muso (ACC) and Paloma Gonzalez (ACT) came down to the wire, with Muso taking control with only seconds left. She was coming off her bronze medal in the US Collegiate Taekwondo Championships. Paloma Gonzalez was sparring a demo match after she won the women’s featherweight division, defeating Nicole Anderson (CU). The A Team Welterweight division featured two former AAU National Team members facing off against each other. It was a hard fought battle, but Heather Gibson (ACT) earned the victory against Sammy Saltamachia (AFA).

All in all it was a great day and great competition. The league is now to the point where it should be able to attract teams from other states, as there is great competition across different genders, weights, and skill levels. The next event will be hosted by Metro State in the Spring (likely May) of 2013. Rachel Challman from CU spoke to the value of the event for beginners when she said  “As a white belt, it was a great first sparring and forms experience :)” Cameron (CU) also summed up the entire event “It was a fun competition for experience. Excellent sportsmanship among everyone”

The final team standings were as follows:

1. Auraria Campus Taekwondo (ACT) 290
2. University of Colorado Boulder (CU) 120
3. Arapahoe Community College (ACC) 41
4. Colorado State University (CSU) 20
5. University of Northern Colorado (UNC) 13
6. Air Force Academy (AFA) 11

These points will be added to the points earned in the Spring Championships to determine the Cup winners for the 2012-2013 Season. To see the full results [xls] , click here.

The leading MVP Candidates for women were Kinsey Muso and Heather Gibson, each with 30 points for their teams. For the men Emad Ismael had 25 points and Roy Mejia 22 points.

The CU Boulder team had a ton of fun hosting.


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Mile High Open Championships

Aurora, CO – Champion Taekwondo Academy held the first Mile High Open tournament at Aurora Frontier Middle School on October 13th, 2012. The tournament featured competition in forms, breaking, weapons, sparring, blaster pad, and many creative/musical/group forms divisions. There were approximately 155 competitors from three states who attended the event.

The event used Daedo Electronic Scoring for the Olympic Style Sparring divisions, and there were many exciting matches. One of the highlights of the event was the opening ceremonies, where Master Andre Olivera talked about what it took to run his first tournament in the US. He compared it with an international championship that he had run decades before in Brasil. The masters who attended introduced themselves and gave some words of advice for the students and competitors.

Students bow during the opening ceremonies

The tournament also gave out awards for schools that supported the event by bringing the most competitors. First place went to A Team Taekwondo, second place went to the Korean Academy of Taekwondo, and third place went to Champion Taekwondo Academy, which had traveled all the way from New Mexico. There was also a trophy for the best collegiate team, which went to CU Boulder Taekwondo.

The event featured beautiful team awards

The sparring competition was fierce, with many talented black belts. The referees voted and gave the best sparring award to Brianna Ballard for females and Andrzey Belicki (Delgado’s TKD) for males.

Action during the finals of the men’s black belt featherweight sparring









All in all it was a great event that was well run by the CTA staff and volunteers. Several competitors and parents remarked at how smoothly the event was running. With a tournament like that, expect it to be even larger next year!

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Colorado Elementary School Taekwondo League Fall Championships Results

Aurora, CO – The Colorado Elementary School Taekwondo League hosted its fall championships on November 10th, 2012. The championships featured twelve teams vying for top honors across five events. Teams were coming off the first Elementary School Championships in May. Because many schools go to 8th grade, the league includes middle school teams as well.

You wouldn’t want to meet them at the end of a dark alley! CJ Calingo almost singlehandedly lead newcomer Omar D. Blair to a 6th place overall finish.

The day started off with Traditional forms. The forms competition was top notch with many 2012 state champions and Anthony Hicks, the current US National Champion in his division. The close finish was a preview of what was to come, with four teams all ending within three points of each other. However, Crescent View Academy ended up edging out the others and went ahead with 13 points.

Next was the demo team competition. This time the team from Global Village Academy turned in a strong performance that edged out rival Aurora Quest. GVA’s demo featured Taylor Altman’s patented Scorpion kick as well as Anthony demolishing a board with a flash kick (kick in the middle of a back flip).

GVA slightly extended its lead through board breaking, with other schools close behind. In grappling, Crescent View Academy and High Point Academy tied for first with 10 points each, with HPA lead by the Axelrod brothers. Instructor Kyle Landon of HPA had high praise for his students, who won their first event. “The HPA students love to grapple, and they have been working really hard and showing a lot of improvement.

Cinnamon from Options shows off her grappling gold medal.













In the sparring competition, Master Kamil’s CVA was once again a powerhouse but top honors belonged to GVA Thornton and Instructor Ahmed Alsubaihawi, a member of the 2013 Iraq National Taekwondo Team. The GVA Thornton students earned 16 points for their efforts. The sparring competition featured many great students, including 2012 USAT and AAU National Champion Grace Kosloski.

When all the dust had settled, Global Village Academy Aurora emerged on top, by the margin of a single gold medal. CVA was second, and Aurora Quest finished third. The tournament scheduling didn’t favor Quest, as they were without the services of 2011-2012 MVP Riley Ward and the Burson family was able to attend only two events. Still, the reigning league champions remain within shot of the title heading into the spring. The students will compete again at the 2013 Twin Dragons Tournament, and the points from that tournament will be added to the points from this one, to determine the overall league ranking for the 2012-2013 season.

All in all the students had a good time and learned a lot. Hannah Toulouse (GVA) said  “It was really fun and I was excited that I broke a board with my fist.Isabella Walsh (GVA) added: “It was so awesome. I hope even more people come next time.” Master Kamil Latipov (CVA) said “I am proud of how hard all the students worked and everyone from CVA showed a lot of improvement!

Sarah Claussen, a parent from Aurora Options really summed up the mood. “What impressed me most was what took place on the podium. Many of the students took the opportunity to thank their opponents for challenging them, pointing out their strengths and overall toughness.”

Master Bill Pottle, current head of the Korean Academy of Taekwondo, reflected back on the championships. “Through the hard work of many instructors, I really feel like we are building something special. We have a place where people can come together from many different backgrounds and unite in their quest to better themselves through martial arts. Between this and the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League, we are changing the nature of Taekwondo competition to make it more in line with students’ academic schools.

Anyone interested in finding out more information or participating can visit the official elementary school league page.

Final Results:

  1. GVA Aurora (44)
  2. Crescent View Academy (41)
  3. Aurora Quest K8 (36)
  4. High Point Academy (29)
  5. GVA Thornton (26)
  6. Omar D. Blair (6)
  7. Walt Clark Middle School (5)
  8. STEM Academy (3)
  9. Mike’s School (3)
  10. Antelope Ridge (3)
  11. Aurora Options (3)
  12. Dakota Valley (1)

Can GVA Aurora hold on to their 3 point league to win their first ever league championship?

The current MVP Candidates include: Sam and JT Axelrod (HPA), Hannah Toulouse (GVA) Jibreal Jones (CVA), Taylor Altman (GVA), Isabella Walsh (GVA) Josiah Dunkn (QST) and more.



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Product Review – Strikemeter and other impact detecting technologies.

We are starting a new type of post here at – product reviews. The first product we review is the Strikemeter, reviewed by Master Bill Pottle of the Korean Academy of Taekwondo

The Strikemeter isn’t the first item designed in order to measure how hard a martial artist strikes, but it’s arguably the best. At our school, we have a ‘School Records Board’ where we record the best any student has ever done in categories such as “Most Kicks in 10 seconds” or “Longest Flying Side Kick.” We started this about 7 years ago, and naturally we wanted to know the hardest kick and hardest punch. We purchased a system from an English company named Imp-tec. You can see examples of their products. To be fair, ours was an earlier generation that had the sensor/readout connected to the pad by a wire. The impact would be affected by the holder, so we constructed a wooden vertical platform with sand bags in the base to hold it steady. However, the problem was that the sensor was taking our hardest shots, and soon broke. We sent it back and they fixed it for just shipping, but then we soon broke it again. It appeared that this wasn’t the answer.

A few years later electonic hogus came on the scene. At $500 each they were pricey, but we bought some in order to prepare our competition team. We purchased some from LaJust and they seemed to work fine for their purpose. Being wearable and wireless was cool, and we could beam the results to our dojang’s projection system. However, they faced another problem with regards to our school records board. They were only made to measure a narrow range, and thus many of our students could ‘max out’ the readings. (which also depended on the hogu size) The currently used system is Daedo Truscore, but they face the same problem with respect to maxing out the system.

So enter the Strikemeter. It has been designed in a way that manages to avoid both of the above problems. First of all it is self contained, and you aren’t striking the instrument itself. It simply attaches to the bag via velcro and sits there until you strike. There is an internal accelerometer that measures how the acceleration that occurs after a strike. The units are dimensionless and for our purposes, not particularly important. We just want relative measures that are consistent.

The other thing to notice is that the Strikemeter has a great range. It records weak strikes from children, as well as very strong strikes from 300+ lb black belts. Harder strikes get higher numbers, but it’s hard to say if a strike of 2000 is exactly twice as hard as a strike of 1000. They say that a strike of 400 is about equal to breaking one board, while 1000 is about 3, so there has to be some non-linear relationship.

Some people will be bothered that it doesn’t read out in pounds of force (as the $100,000 crash test dummies used in National Geographic’s Fight Science do) but force itself isn’t really the best measure of a kick. To see more, visit the physics of martial arts 101 presentation. It is important to note, however, that your results won’t correlate with anyone else’s, unless they use the same bag. We even changed a wavemaster top for a BOB and got different results. Measuring the acceleration from the kick is a good step, but it depends on the amount of stuff in the base and to a small extent where on the pad you strike. However, this isn’t a problem for us, as we just require all school records be set on the same bag.

If you max it out too easily or if it doesn’t detect weak strikes for your kids’ class, you can always vary the amount of weight in the base (water/sand/concrete/etc) in order to affect the range.

Using the product couldn’t be easier. There is only one switch. Turn it on and the display reads either CAL (Calibrating) GO (kick!) or the number of the last strike.

We used it in class and found that kids and adults alike love kicking it. We haven’t used it long enough to report on durability, but with the design I seriously doubt that there will be any issues. The unit is powered by one 9V battery (included).

You can purchase a StrikeMeter for $199 (including shipping) at

At this price this device represents a sensible investment for the majority of schools out there. It will easily pay for itself in terms of the excitement it will generate in your intro and regular classes. We will plan to contest a ‘hardest strike’ division at the 2013 Twin Dragons Tournament. The only thing that we would like to see is extra velcro included. For owners of multiple schools, you could take one unit between locations. You wouldn’t need to use it in class every day. We can buy it ourselves, but it represents a pain.

ColoradoMaNews did not receive any consideration for this review.

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21st Annual Colorado State Open Martial Arts Championship 2012 by Tiger Kim’s Academy

300 Participants Compete in the 21st Annual Colorado State Open Martial Arts Championship
Tiger Kim’s Academy, one of Denver’s oldest and most respected schools for martial arts training, recently hosted the 21st Annual Colorado State Open Martial Arts Championship on Sept. 22, 2012, at 1480 Steele St. in Denver. More than 300 participants competed from ages three to over 60 years old. Participants competed in Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Karate, Kenpo, Kung Fu and other martial arts styles in the categories of Olympic Sparring, Point Sparring, Weapons Sparring, Weapons Forms, Traditional Forms and Breaking. A state-of-the-art Daedo Electronic Scoring System was used for all sparring events in 4 rings, and swords were awarded to top winners in sparring and medals were awarded in all other events.
Tiger Kim’s Academy has been a leader in martial arts in Denver for over 36 years since the school’s founding in 1976. Run by a father-son team, Tiger Kim’s Academy has trained more than 10,000 students, including over 1,000 Black Belts, during its years of operation. Students study Korean martial arts styles of Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do and Hapkido under the instruction of experienced and certified Black Belts. Tiger Kim’s Academy teaches self-defense; strength and fitness training; self-discipline, responsibility and respect; as well as Korean language and cultural customs. Students range in age from three years to seniors, as well as many families study together.
After receiving Black Belt #123, Grand Master Jung Kil Kim, “Tiger Kim”, 9th Dan, opened his martial arts studio in Denver, but not before being invited to Hong Kong in 1969 to instruct the legendary Bruce Lee in the art of breaking. Master Sung Hwan “Tiger” Kim, son of Grandmaster Kim, holds the rank of 7th Dan in both Tang Soo Do and Taekwondo.
Tiger Kim’s Academy contributes to the community in numerous ways, by providing after-school enrichment training in the Denver Public Schools, as well as martial arts demonstrations at many community events each year. The school sponsors many free community events for anyone wanting to learn self-defense, including classes for women and the GLBT community with donations benefiting various charities. In addition, they host frequent State tournaments for students to compete and demonstrate their skills. For more information go to

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2012 Scrimmage in Parker

The 2012 Scrimmage in Parker held at Victory Taekwondo Center on Sept. 22nd was a huge success!!! Teams from MOD Taekwondo Elite (Utah), Korean Academy of Taekwondo (KAT), US Taekwondo Center (USTC) and host Victory Taekwondo Center (VTC) had a great time testing their skills, gaining new friends and most of all the experience of multiple sparring sessions, board breaking and forms competition made the event a huge success.

Master Sammy Pejo, Master Paul Kimmich, and Master Kim Fenton and her son (head of the table) did a phenomenal job on being volunteer center referees (hats off to them). The VTC and MOD instructors who also volunteered as corner referees together with respective parents from each school made the event complete.

One of the officials said that this event is one of the most organized events that she had been into and would definitely help out next year. But the most surprising thing happened on that day was Ryan Tomas’ (Pinoy Big Brothers –Philippines) special demonstration. The Filipino parents and students of MOD Taekwondo Elite were so thrilled to see him. A huge thanks to Master Pottle and Mr. Tomas.

The event wrapped up on time and everyone left with a big smile on their face. A lot of them wanted to come back and look forward to another exciting event.

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Free Child Safety Seminar November 17th

It’s a terrible thing that child abduction has been in the news so much lately. Recent cases have had parents asking “What can we do?” The Korean Academy of Taekwondo in Aurora, CO will be hosting a free child safety seminar on November 17th, 2012. The seminar will be at their headquarters location at 16850 E. Mississippi Ave, Aurora, CO 80017. There will be two parts to the seminar. From 6-7 a police officer will be going over the best ways for children to recognize and avoid dangerous situations. Then, from 7-8 the instructors will teach children escapes from basic holds and grabs. The instructors will practice grabbing the students and trying to drag them across the room while the children will practice escaping and running away.

The event is free and open to the public.


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Krav Maga for the TKD practitioner

As much at we can, Colorado MA News, tries to visit martial art facilities and events within the region to interview school owners, instructors, and their students. It helps in connecting the Colorado martial arts family on a more intimate level and keeps everyone informed, if they feel the inclination. Today’s journey takes me to MartialArts 4 Colorado, located in the heart of Thornton,CO. This facility has integrated reality-based self defense into their child/family Tae Kwon Do program. Owner/operator, Steven Marak, spent many years learning self defense as a necessity. Combined with his training in both Tae Kwon Do and Krav Maga, Mr. Marak has created a Krav Maga method for the Tae Kwon Do practitioner. He calls it, Krav Maga Do. I spoke with him about the subject. Here are a few statements from him and from a few of his students.


“…I just want children to be able to protect themselves. They need to realize that the body goes through certain physiological changes when under stress. I want them to address those issues when training and not while it’s happening. Too many children become a victim. If I can help just one child get home safe, then I will have done my job.” He went on about the dangers that children face everyday and how families might be relying on technology a little too much to keep their kid’s safe. As I was speaking with him, a few young students walked in. I asked them what they thought about the Krav Maga Do program. “I like hitting the pads,” one child exclaimed, while running onto the mat. Another one yelled out from across the mat, “It’s really, really fun!” “We perform countless strikes during our Kid’s Krav week. Repetition is muscle memory. I want it to be second nature for them.” As he went on about self defense, I sensed urgency in his voice- as if he felt responsible for their safety. “I know what it is like to fight for survival. It is a scary thing. You have to learn to recognize it early. If confronted- most people will freeze up, initially. This creates doubt and uncertainty. It is at this time to act fast. Sparring on the mat and performing poomsae is important for training. But I want to, somewhat, simulate the stress levels involved in a panicked response and the fight or flight response- of course, within a child friendly environment.” Then he added, “And then there is the subject of weapons and ‘taking it to the ground’. That also needs to be addressed.” He went on by saying, “The biggest percentage of Tae Kwon Do students quit before black belt. It is those students that must learn Krav Maga Do. In my opinion, anyway.”

Finally I asked him, “Why did you place a ‘Do’ on the end of ‘Krav Maga’? He laughed really loud and then looked directly into my eyes and said, “I am protecting, because it is in my nature to do so.” Protecting what, I asked. “Protecting the integrity of the Krav Maga name, its method, and what it represents. I am in no position to try and change that, nor do I feel the need. But Krav Maga can be brutal in the eyes of the parent and we are a family based Tae Kwon Do school. So, I have toned it down to be more suitable for the Colorado family not war-torn Israel.” He went on by saying, “there are also a few vital techniques that differ from Tae Kwon Do versus Krav Maga. I created Krav Maga Do to embrace the differences, not to choose between the two. It was necessary.” As his next class began to line-up, he got up and said to me, “I have lost many things important to me in my lifetime. I will not lose a student in the hands of violence.” He then bowed to me while offering his hand, and then turned to the mat and yelled out, “Get us started Ms. Danielle!” “Yes sir!” She replied.

I walked towards the exit, faced the class, and bowed with great respect. I left the martialArts 4 Colorado facility sensing that he cares for his students and that he and his Krav Maga Do have a deep personal drive that propels him and his students forward along with Tae Kwon Do.

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