Never quit

H46 pushing upward

When I was invited to write an article for this magazine in my capacity as a psychologist, I Ging Kenner and Taekwondo practitioner, I was a little at a loss what to write about. But before I bother for a long time in such a case, I question the old Chinese book of the changes. The I Ching advised me to take the Hexagram 46 as its theme: THE EMPORING, with the conversion lines 1, 3, and 6.

In fact, it is extremely easy to establish a connection between the martial arts and the Empordringen, because after all, Empordringen is exactly what we do when we work our way up from the unsuspecting white belt to the first master level and perhaps even further. This empowerment and growing up makes work, it costs a lot of sweat (and sometimes tears), but since this work is not determined by others, but wanted by us, she feels sensible and good. Nothing can be skipped in this "career", and those who are serious do not try to find any shortcuts. Because if there are any, then they are always a question of externals, the content can not be corrupted! (Imagine a bloody beginner wrapping his black belt around - in a photo he might like to score, but he can not fool himself, and if he really dares to go to practice, only failures await him, Embarrassment and bruises - In the end it always hurts to make yourself taller than you are ...)

The honest work of the Empordringens just does not allow a triumphant march. Its essence is humility and tenacity. The I Ching chooses the image of a tree sapling, which after its invisible sprouting in the darkness of the earth takes its way upwards, unerring, always oriented to the light, no matter what gets in its way: "Never quit". For the initially delicate plant this means a lot of effort and persistence. On the other hand, it also gets a lot of support - water, nutrients, sun ... - nature wants it to grow, only it has to prove that it wants and can do that, that it is resistant and vital!

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This is also the challenge for every boarder in martial arts. He starts at the bottom and has to learn from scratch to move according to the rules of his art. And, of course, it is important to create the physical prerequisites to be able to use the technique successfully - suppleness, musculature, physical condition, balance ... In addition to the body, the head is also required: memory, coordination, concentration ... Even that is not enough: because every martial arts student must also be able to cope with the clubmates, with the authority and personality of the master, with the rules and rituals of the profession. And last but not least: He has to deal with himself, with his peculiarities, possibilities and limits - this is even the biggest and most important task that arises!

If the student takes the determined tree scion as a model, then he will grow to his full size, regardless of how talented he feels at first. Alone with the lion heart of such a tree puppy (sorry for the weird picture!) One has the most important ingredient for a successful Empordringen, an ingredient that keeps the uninitiated but secret! The learned also to the Dragon Warrior Kung Fu Panda, whom you do not immediately see his genius knows God! Incidentally, the story of the lovable Po is a wonderful example of the Empordringen: Just remember how he tows his many kilos up the endless staircase to the Dragon Temple ... But he wants it! And then an embarrassment, defeat and dissipation after another. But he wants it! And he bites himself! Where this indomitable will exists, growth happens by itself.

Now, the oft-cited "indomitable will" is massively misunderstood by many a martial artist: we see people who have been beaten down by their ambitions, people who pass the warning signals of their bodies, people who pull out their elbows to make room for them Great ego to create, people who are hard, dogged and cramped ... But that is certainly not in the sense of our art, which it rather holds with Lao Tzu. The way of the mountain knows about the power of giving in at the right time. Again and again, the Chinese wisdom literature keeps us in mind of the image of bamboo, which has elasticity, bending where there is something stronger than it, but then rebuilding itself to its fullest size undamaged.

If we want to effectively empathize, then we always need both, yin and yang, strength and indulgence, each in its own time and place! To distinguish this, in turn, requires a high degree of maturity. So our martial arts is not a sport, it's a do (of Dao, Tao), a way. In this way, we will change, but not just in any way or as our ego imagines it, but as the acorn ripens to the oak: All the information for the final goal is present in their genome from the very beginning!

Likewise, our tree of life grows to what it carries in it from the beginning. And like all life, its growth starts from below, at the roots. They make sure nothing bothers him so easily. Although it is mostly the sprawling treetop that arouses our admiration, the tree's strength dwells in its hidden roots. The essential points are set apart from our eyes - through our attitude towards ourselves and the world: what do we think about ourselves? What is worth the effort and for what reason? What are our priorities? ...

As disciples of martial arts, we daily have the big word of "Do" in our mouth, without even noticing it: Taekwon-Do, Hapki-Do, Aiki-Do, Ju-Do ... For many practitioners, unfortunately, it's Taekwon, Hapki , Aiko and Ju, and indeed, that has something silly and a little disrespectful ...

For what does it mean to do a do? Like the delicate oak sprout, we too have to break a hard shell - the crust of our ego. The Do is the path to ourselves from which our ego persistently wants to distract us. And if we go our way in the budo arts, then we will encounter our ego right there, in false ambition, false pride, false modesty ... It is in the nature of the ego that it is never satisfied. And because it wants to see us bigger than we are, it is ready to humble itself to unbelievable trivialities ...

Each stage of our empordment - as white belt, yellow belt, green belt, blue belt, red belt, black belt - has its own value. Does it make sense to measure a first grader on a high school graduate? Anyone who compares this way only creates competition that is extremely detrimental to the healthy growth process. After all, every little oak sapling is unique, has a specific genetic material and has specific conditions. The same in martial arts: one is big and strong, the other is small and delicate, one flexible, the other awkward, one jumps like a gummi, another has a lot of grip ... Everyone has to find their own way, only for this one man applies! Checking does not help!

For this long journey, apart from our own motivation, we also need outside support: Therefore, we have to learn to ask for help, we have to be able to say something and be open to try something that we at first misjudge. Again, yin and yang: external support, objective from the inside. If you have only external reasons to exercise, the Empordringen will be early. A true motivation that comes from the heart, however, looks like sunlight, it pulls us up almost. If I love my martial arts, then I'm getting better at it. Then, at my own pace, I will grow to my full size, which is also a very individual one: the first one is Dan, the other is still screwing himself up in very different Dan heights, and another is satisfied with it To leave red belt. One finds his vocation in his martial arts, the other sees his luck in learning other martial arts, and the third is happy when he finds time twice a week to pursue his beloved hobby. Every one of its kind, the ways there are many!

A true way, a true do always leads to myself, to my truth. We can only be big if we grow into our own form - not into someone else's shoes! For this I have to get involved and make an effort, but not rape. It's about healthy purposefulness, not streetwise! It's about the way, the do, not the destination. The goal only shows us the direction - just like the Polarstern, which helped people to orient themselves for millennia, without them having to rise to the stars!