Wednesday, February 24, 2010

March Color Belt Testing

Color Best Testing is coming up! Testing Week is March 22-26th. We’ll be spending the next few weeks getting you and your student ready for testing—the following will help you to know what you need in order to be prepared for an awesome Belt Test.

Please make sure that your student is making it to class. Each student needs to have 16 hours in class to be eligible to test (remind them to pull their cards too!). Signature Sheets are now available—these need to be signed by the student, their parent, and their school teacher. Take the time right now to talk about the commitments required for testing. This includes behavior at home! Make sure that your student really is fulfilling their commitments before you sign their testing sheet. Also, if you or your student needs to know what the topic is for their report, please check with your student’s instructor. Signature sheets and reports are due March 12th, the Friday before PreTest Week.

Students will also need to have all of their Stripes to be eligible to test. Stripes are passed off during regular classes; if your student is missing Stripes, you may consider sending them to Boot Camp the Monday of testing week, or scheduling a private lesson with their instructor.

The CBT schedule is below, please make sure you know the day and time your student will be testing so you can plan in advance.

Monday March 22: BOOTCAMP! 4-7pm. For students needing to make up hours or Stripes in order to test! Only $25 for all three hours.

Tuesday March 23: Tiny Tiger Testing 5:00-5:30pm (arrive a few minutes early!) $20

Tuesday March 23: Basic Color Belt Testing (White—Yellow) 5:30-7pm (Arrive By 5pm). $25

Wednesday March 24: Advanced Color Belt Testing (Blue—Red/Black) 5:30-7pm (Arrive By 5pm). $25

Thursday March 25: Intermediate Color Belt Testing (Yellow/Green—Green/Blue) 5:30-7pm (Arrive By 5pm). $25

Friday March 26: Make up Color Belt Testing for anyone who couldn't test during the week at 4:15-5:15 (Arrive by 4pm). $25

Friday March 26: Rank Advancement Ceremony 5:30-6:30 (ALL TESTEES & ALL RANKS!!!) Outstanding Testers will be recognized and all rank advancements will be awarded. Parents, Family, and Friends are encouraged to come watch and take pictures at both the CBT and the Rank Advancement Ceremony.

We’re looking forward to a great test! As you set goals and work toward them, you are creating yourself as an individual. Belt Testing is a wonderful accomplishment, and as you set your sights toward Black Belt, you will learn that you can achieve anything! We are excited to take that journey with you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Please sign up for February classes!

Our new schedule begins February 1. Please look over the schedule and RSVP with the classes your student will be attending. You can sign up for classes in the studio hallway or you can email to admin{at}kicktoday{dot}com. Let us know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Association Fees due by Jan. 31 to receive a free T-shirt!

Dear BST Families,

We have received a few questions regarding the Association Fees we've been announcing to the students, and I'd like to tell you about this great opportunity we've all been given.

Last July, we sent out a letter to announce that we as a school joined with Master Ernie Reyes' West Coast World Martial Arts Association. We've been a part of associations before, but I feel a particular connection with Master Reyes and his associate Master Tony Thompson. We are truly blessed to have this association. We are one of only two schools in Utah to be part of WCWMA, with over 75 other schools across the states. Being a part of this association means we are part of a larger group of martial artists working with a common purpose to grow and create outstanding martial artists.

Joining WCWMA brings enhancements to your student's curriculum. You may have noticed the growth and improvement to our curriculum over the past months, and these wonderful changes are due in part to our new association. This curriculum will help your student become a better martial artist. Our students are also invited to attend trainings, seminars, and belt testings out in California. The students who are able to go will bring more knowledge and skills back to Beyond Sports, to help us all grow. All of our BST instructors will receive trainings with Master Reyes and his leadership team. This is an incredible boon for our school, and absolutely crucial for your student to reach their potential. If we are alone, we stagnate. But as part of this association, we will always be on the cutting edge of martial arts, growing and learning constantly.

We have made a commitment as a school to honor this association. The fees are very reasonable, even compared to other associations we have joined in the past. Each active student will pay $20 per year. In addition, if paid by January 31st, your student will receive a free association T-shirt, which can be worn in class along with all BST shirts. These fees are required for all Beyond Sports students. I know that you will feel the benefits of this association as it continues to strengthen and enhance each student and our development as a whole.

Master Taralyn Sorenson

Beyond Sports Taekwondo

Monday, January 11, 2010


The last several months have seen a roller coaster ride with our communications. Thanks for bearing with us! We're about to relaunch our website, and we know you'll be impressed by the improvements. We've recently opened a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, and those are taking off, along with the reboot of this blog.

As we move forward, we hope that you'll come to this blog often. It will have more than just the regular studio announcements. At Beyond Sports, Taekwondo is only the beginning. As we combine mind, body and spirit we can become great. We will feature articles about fitness, nutrition, and health. We'll have discussions on personal goals and focus. And we'll post studio announcements as well. =) Come and join the conversation!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Taekwondo Links

I thought it might be fun to share a few Taekwondo links in this post; the ones the Administration likes could go into a sidebar blogroll, maybe?

So here we have:

The website of the taekwondo magazine by the same name. It has links to the latest in world taekwondo news, and ads for gear and training camps.

Fascinating site that publishes articles on the history of martial arts, including an article about early 1900's jiujitsu suffragettes.

A great site with videos of all the forms. I know we have them on our site too, but it's fun to see different people doing them. And, as a novice, I had no idea there were so many different series of forms.

A personal blog with a great blogroll if you're interested in more taekwondo links.

Happy surfing! And as always, happy kicking!

*note: while I skimmed these links a bit, I did not closely evaluate each one for content, therefore I do apologize if any of them contains objectionable material.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Dumplings

Wow, when I start cooking (instead of nuking) again, I am going to make this:

[picture to be inserted when my tech-savvy husband can help me; this one is trickier]
Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Dumplings
This spicy soup from Shawn McClain, chef at Green Zebra in Chicago, is rich in immunity-enhancing vitamin A. Easy prep only adds to the appeal! Take this dish for a taste run, then check out more vegetarian recipes.
Serves 4
1 pound sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups sliced bok choy
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup edamame, shelled
12 wonton wrappers
3 tablespoons white miso, plus more to taste
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Heat oven to 375°. Prick holes in potatoes. Bake on a baking sheet until soft, turning once, about 1 hour. Cool, then peel and mash. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and shallot, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pepper flakes. Stir garlic mixture, salt and pepper into potatoes. Place bok choy, sprouts and edamame in a pot with 2 cups water and set aside. Lay 1 wonton wrapper in palm of hand. Drop a heaping tbsp of potato mixture in the center and make a fist to gather edges. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Set dumplings on top of vegetables in pot. Bring to a boil. Cook, covered, until wrappers are translucent, 3 to 6 minutes. Divide veggies and dumplings among 4 bowls. Add 4 cups water to pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add miso, stirring until it dissolves. Divide among bowls; top with scallions.

he skinny
286 calories per serving
6 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
47.8 g carbs
8.3 g fiber
11.5 g protein

Cooking tips from Master Sorenson:

***You can switch out the canola oil for coconut oil or olive if you prefer.
*** If you want lower carbs and calories you can take out the sweet potato wontons all together or you can keep in the sweet potatoes without the wonton wrappers.
***You can buy edamame at Costco in the freezer section.
***You can buy Bok Choy at any grocery store. It is a member of the celery family. It is very low in calories yet tastes good and is nutritious. Side note if you don’t like soggy greens. I cut off the greens of the bok choy and throw in last minute so they are slightly wilted, but not soggy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Favorite Place

This afternoon I was organizing papers (papers, papers, papers... my counter runneth over) and I found some writing from my son about his favorite places. He was supposed to use sensory detail to describe his favorite places... and along with home and vacation spots, he picked the Beyond Sports Taekwondo studio as a favorite place.

That makes me happy. I know he has come a long way since he first started as a Tiny Tiger. Master Sorenson would ask the kids what they were good at, what made them great, and he didn't want to answer. After a few months of class, though, he began to speak up about his accomplishments, and the many things that make him a great kid. He navigates his elementary school world with confidence, and I think a lot of that confidence comes because of taekwondo.

Now I watch him come home from class excited to have passed off one of his tapes. He showed us all his new form last week, delighted to have finally learned it. I love the way taekwondo reinforces his accomplishments--he gets to wear a belt that proclaims how hard he's worked--and also challenges him to do more.

The studio is indeed a great place. Now with the expanded room (and the excellent babysitting area for the womens class!!) it's even better, of course. I'm glad it ranks in my son's list of favorite places; it's on my list, too.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yummy Salmon

Very easy, kid-friendly, from


1 lb. fresh salmon fillets
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. chili powder

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the salmon and saute until nearly done. Meanwhile, mix the honey, garlic and chili powder. Just before the fish is done, pour honey mixture over it. It will bubble up in the olive oil and form a glaze you can spoon back over the fish. Serve at once. Serve with a slice of lime.

My kids love this, it's very fast (buy the Costco frozen fillets and thaw them under hot running water), and it's a great way to introduce them to salmon. I serve it with quinoa.

Highly recommended!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Be grateful, and go kick!

First, a big thank you for the sweet get well card from the womens' class (plus Nick)! I so appreciate your support and your friendship. Thank you.

All you active, kicking martial artists reading this have an advantage over me: you can kick with your right foot, since it's not wrapped in an ace bandage and covered in a black boot. I can't put weight on my leg for a good six weeks, so I won't be kicking anytime soon.

Holy cow, I miss it. I really, really do. And I've been realizing some irony: in class, I have always thought of myself as the most awkward, the clumsiest one. Everything seems to take forever for my mind and body to grasp (just ask anyone who tried to teach me a double knife hand strike). But I kept trying, and eventually I got it.

However awkward a martial artist I was, I did not fully appreciate my body. That leg encased in black used to be able to kick! It used to pivot. My foot used to form itself into all the different toe shapes the cute Tiny Tigers practice (I can hear Master Sorenson's voice in my head: "Sidekick toes! Front snap kick toes! Roundhouse toes!). Now my foot can barely write the alphabet (the exercise prescribed by my orthopedic surgeon).

I think when I return to tae kwon do, I will be even more awkward than before, and more timid. I am freaked out thinking about kicking something with my fragile right leg just now. I have no idea how long it will take for my feet to angle like they're supposed to for a sidekick.

But I'll be back. No idea when, but I plan on returning. And when I'm there, I will be so, so grateful just to be sweating and kicking with all of you again.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Parent Signature Sheets!

Hi everyone,

These are the new parent signature sheets, which are required for testing. The changes are mostly superficial. The new forms also come with a new testing card, so if you print these off online, you will get to see the new cards when you get your belt.

We also are posting the new schedule. If you have not seen our two studio schedule yet, be aware of all the class options that are available. Remember: please come to only two classes a week unless you have talked to an instructor or Nick at the front desk. With students taking more than their two a week, we are finding our classes exceeding what the planned staffing needs are.

Are first testing of the year is a few weeks away, but pencil in your calenders the following dates:
March 27, 4-7pm, Black Belt Testing
March 28, 8:30-12:15, Color Belt Testing
April 3, 6:00pm Make up Color Belt Testing (costs extra)
June 27, 8:30-12:15, Color Belt Testing
September 26, 8:30-12:15, Color Belt Testing
November: Black Belt Testing TBA
December: Color Belt Testing TBA

Mom, dad, come do some Taekwondo! Don't forget our family rates; pay for two students tuition, and the next two students tuition are free! Extra incentive for mom: during our women self defense classes, we have a very affordable daycare service available.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Belt Jump Camp and the One Room Schoolhouse

I've been doped up on painkillers all week, the result of a broken leg. So if this post is more loopy than usual, you can blame the foggy state of my brain. Thank you so much for the lovely flowers and the clever card.

I must say, though, that I am soooo grateful I did Belt Jump Camp before I broke my leg. Who knew that practicing plank every day would enable me to hop around on crutches with relative ease? I think my recovery is much easier because I invested a lot of time working out during the week before my accident.

All week long at Belt Jump Camp, I was reminded of the old-fashioned one room schoolhouse. You know, where everyone, at all levels, is taught by the same instructor. Belt jump camp consisted of three adults, ranks yellow green, green blue, and red; four children, ranks white belt, green blue, blue red, and black recommended; and our fearless Instructor Brown.

And we all learned together, and we all taught each other. I attended camp with my son, who explained to me that I needed to twist further to execute my spinning crescent kick. I watched him turn and decided that he must be joking; no way could I twist that far. But then Nick showed me the same drill Scott did, twisting all the way around to play pat-a-cake. Aha. Turns out Scott was right. Colin taught Scott his form, I helped Nick with his. Cory gave me pointers on my back kick (before I broke my leg, it was getting someplace. Sigh) Scott helped Joseph with his blocks. Cameron helped Cory with his form.

I don't mean to downplay Instructor Brown's role at all; it wasn't just us teaching each other, it was her teaching and leadership that made this environment possible. I've never experienced anything like it--in every other learning environment I've encountered (except perhaps my family) we've been divided by age or experience or grade level. It was refreshing and delightful to have everyone working together, supporting each other as we worked towards a common goal.

There's something to be said for classes that teach all beginners, or all intermediate, or all advanced students. A focused class allows the teacher to develop and explore the curriculum in greater depth.

But there's also a lot to be said for the community created by the tae kwon do one room schoolhouse.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Get well Emily!

Hi everyone!

This is Nick, typing from the office of Beyond Sports. I wish I wasn't typing in this situation, to be perfectly honest, I think Emily is the person for the job when it comes to great blogging...

Anyways, Our blogger, Emily, slipped on some ice last Thursday; she broke her leg in a couple of different places. Needless to say, she probably won't be kicking for a little while. The doctors say she will be in a cast for at least 3 months. We wish her a quick recovery, and hope for as little pain for her as possible. Most of us know what it like to have a serious injury like that, and we can all agree it isn't fun at all.

So Emily, get well soon! If I have to keep blogging in your absence, people are gonna find another Martial Arts and Healthy food blog to run to :-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Tofu Miracle

I made this lovely tofu recipe yesterday. My kids are suspicious of tofu. Also they were sick, and on a clear liquid diet. But today, when I reheated it, two of them ate. Tofu.

I present to you the recipe (from


* 1 (16 ounce) package extra firm tofu
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons maple syrup
* 2 tablespoons ketchup
* 1 tablespoon vinegar
* 1 dash hot sauce
* 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly spray a non-stick baking sheet with oil.
2. Slice tofu into 1/2-inch slices, and gently press excess water out of tofu. Cut sliced tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.
3. In a bowl, stir together the soy sauce, maple syrup, ketchup, vinegar, and hot sauce. Stir in sesame seeds, garlic powder, black pepper, and liquid smoke. Gently stir tofu cubes into sauce. Cover, and marinate at least 5 minutes.
4. Place the tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn tofu, and bake until the tofu turns golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

I'd check out the link if I were you; there are some helpful cooking tips in the comments. Also, I added fresh ginger to mine. Fresh ginger. Yum.

Only problem is, now I have to double the recipe so there's enough for me and the kids.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You'll Never Kick Alone

This morning, after our ward Christmas breakfast, but before my toddler threw up his orange juice, I discovered that my white taekwondo shirt was missing. I only wear it once every three months, for testing. And I put it right back. Or so I thought. It was not hanging up in the closet. It was also not on the closet floor (I know because I pulled out everything from out of the closet and onto my bed).

My son and I searched. No shirt. Son refused to test unless I tested too (he doesn't want to outrank me. Isn't that sweet?). Finally I decided I would take him there, help him warm up, and then test during makeup testing, hoping I would find the missing uniform in the meantime (it has evaporated! vanished!).

We arrived, a couple of minutes late, and I saw my good friend Shelley watching the end of the previous hour. And she graciously returned home and brought me her uniform, letting me wear it (and sweat in it too. She is a trooper.).

My son and I made it through testing; since we are the same rank, I never get to watch him perform. I just have to take his word for it that he didn't forget those outside in middle blocks on the last line of our form. Oddly, the shirt crisis made me more relaxed than I've ever felt before at a testing. I had already biffed that morning, big time, so even when I realized that I was messing up my kicking combination wrong, I did not get flustered. I just fixed it. Wearing Shelley's shirt. If it weren't for that shirt I would have been on the sidelines.

Tae kwon do is an individual sport--we practice and progess as individuals. But there's a large network of people that make our performance and progression possible. In my case, I am indebted to...

*Master Sorenson and Instructor Brown, for their patient teaching (that form. It took me forever to learn that crazy form.);
*the supportive members of my class--we all cheer for each other;
*my husband, who encourages me and earns the money to pay for classes (and, um, a new uniform);
*my son, who thinks I am cool because I learn taekwondo with him;
*and, of course, to Shelley.

Testing is a good time to acknowledge everyone who has helped make achieving this new rank possible. When I look into the faces of everyone at testing, from the spectators to the instructors to my son, I know how much they want me to succeed, and I appreciate that support. Thank you.

(and now I have a good excuse to get a new uniform.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oat Groats: Healthy Food in Need of a PR Makeove

In an effort to improve my diet, I bought some oat groats the other day, cooked them overnight in my crockpot, and had a hot and delicious breakfast ready for me the next day.

Ready for me. Not, however, ready for my kids. They are used to oatmeal, the regular rolled oats kind.

"What is this stuff?" my daughter asked.

"Oat groats," I said. "Like oatmeal, only healthier."


My toddler, who had been happily eating, put down his spoon, because he follows his siblings in all things food. If they don't eat it, he won't either.

It did not escape my family's notice that "groats" sounds a lot like "gross." I was the only one who really ate my groats that morning.

Which is a shame, because they're very healthy. Karen's Kitchen has a great explanation of all the different types of oats (groats, steel cut, thick, regular, and quick) and their nutritional value. But the reality is, oat groats, despite the fact that they are super-easy to make and uber-nutritious, aren't going to get very far in the world of feeding picky eaters without a good PR makeover.

Here are some ideas (I'm no PR expert, but if the Oat Groats Growers ever want to use these ideas, I will allow them to free of charge, for the greater good. I'm generous like that.):

1-Oat Groats need a new name!! Something that does not sound like "gross" if you pronounce it sloppily. Here are some ideas:
"Oat Pudding Mix." That's a good one. A bit misleading, but really, when you cook them up they make this pudding-like substance. And it's no more misleading than "Oat Groats" in terms of expectations created by the name.
"Original Oats" Okay, I think that's even better. Because they really are oats as original as we can eat them.
"Floaty Oats" Because it rhymes, like "oats" and "groats."

2-In the absence of a new name, or in addition to one, Oat Groats need a zippy slogan. Also a mascot. I'm thinking a horse--since horses eat oats, this would be perfect. We could have a commercial with a cartoon horse eating them, and then the horse could show his teeth and say "Original Oats: take it from the horse's mouth, there's nothing better."

3- Better packaging! What's up with the plastic bag and bulk bin stuff? Hell-o! Oat groats growers, that's no way to promote your product, people! If you want people to eat what you grow, you've got to at least get a cardboard box, with maybe that horse on the side.

Okay, so maybe none of these things are realistic. I'm thinking the market for oat groats as breakfast cereal is very, very small. My guess is that the oat groats growers are more concerned about how many horses eat their product than how many people (I assume. Don't horses eat oats? Anyway.) But that's a pity. Because Original Floaty Pudding Mix Oat Groats are good eats.

--Emily M.