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Martial arts students learning leadership qualities at a Taekwondo tournament

Colorado Taekwondo Institute - Producing Leaders Since 1983

By Mark Scott, 2nd dan, CTI LeAD Team, 04/24/20, 11:45AM MDT

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A good leader is inspirational, accountable, decisive, honest, and empathetic.

Inspirational – To be a leader, you must inspire others to follow your example.  You must provide a worthy example to persuade others to follow.  When you expect your followers to do something, you must be willing to do the same thing. 

Accountable – The leader must be willing to take the blame for the team’s failures, and share the credit for the success of the team.

Decisive – Making decisions when they need to be made and sticking by those decisions help inspire others to follow the chosen path.

Honest – Having honesty and integrity are two of the most important qualities of a leader.  Making ethical decisions and sticking to core beliefs will always lead a team to success.

Empathetic – Understanding the worries and problems of the followers is one of the keys to becoming a true leader.  

Work – At work I became a leader by doing the best work and working harder than is expected of me.  By doing work above the normal expectations, others see the need to follow the same pattern and become better.  I give all areas of the job equal effort, even the parts that I might now enjoy.  By showing I do everything that I expect the other team members to do, I earn their respect.  I also ensure that I understand each of the struggles of the other team members which builds trust as we try to solve the problems together.

Sports – In sports, the leader sets the example by having more focus and working harder.  I can be a leader in sports by practicing hard, keeping in good shape, and focusing on my part.

Community – A leader in the community is an active participant in the community.  For me to be a leader, I should participate in community events. I should obey the rules or norms of the community. 

CTI students should be leaders in the community because of the structured teaching and values learned through the training in CTI.  The Aims of Moo Sul Kwan teach us many valuable skills we need to be a leader.  The student objectives championed by the CTI curriculum help sculpt the us into productive members of society.  The tenets of Taekwondo are behaviors we learn to exhibit that all leaders should show.

The Aims of Moo Sul Kwan teach students to become self-directed learners.  Leaders must always keep learning and adjusting to changes to keep on the right path.  A good leader must also learn how to set goals which is another one of the Aims.  Setting an appropriate goal as a leader inspires followers and pushes them to achieve more.  Another Aim for us as students is to learn how to teach others.  This is another important quality for a leader.  A leader must be able to demonstrate and teach properly for the followers to succeed.

The student objectives guide us to becoming healthy, productive members of society.  The objectives are not only for learning self-defense and keeping ourselves in shape, but also teach us to be confident, outgoing, and respectful members of society.  Through all of the training and events, we learn to interact and relate to other people in an appropriate manger, showing respect.

The Tenets of Taekwondo are behaviors which we learn as part of our training.  The behaviors spill over into our outside lives as well.  Being courteous to everyone becomes the standard response.  Having integrity in our dealings just feels right for a CTI student.  We also learn to have perseverance in all of our work and activities.  As a CTI student, you can’t achieve any belt without sticking to a goal.  The self-control is perhaps the most important for a leader.  We are always being tested for self-control, as things in life always change, and the unexpected always happens.  Lastly, indomitable spirit keeps the leader strong and the followers encouraged.

All of the training and teaching from CTI create strong, moral, and capable leaders out of the students.  The CTI program design trains not only the body but also the mind to sculpt us into well-grounded, respectful and thoughtful students and citizens.  Who better to become leaders outside of MSK Taekwondo, than the CTI student who gets tested both physically and mentally in every class and event.


Colorado Taekwondo Institute


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