Breakthrough # 43
"YES, WE CAN! "
There is a hexagram in the I Ching - # 43, THE BREAKTHROUGH - that arouses immediate associations for us practitioners of hard martial arts, since it is part of our regular exam rituals that we prove our skills by breaking boards in an imaginative and challenging way. In larger tournaments, this turns into real "chopping wood". At least that's how we disrespectfully called the seemingly endless sequence of break tests that accompanied international contests. What was shown was impressive, often even spectacular, but in the abundance these board orgies, at least to me, got boring. This is precisely because there were professionals at work who apparently cut one board at a time without batting an eyelid and without a noticeable rise in their blood pressure.
Hexagram 43 is now actually dealing with a kind of break test, and yet it is about something completely different - which we get a lot closer to when we see an exam in child training. I remember a cute dark-haired girl, maybe seven or eight years old, who exemplifies the idea of # 43: The little girl stands wide-eyed, despondent in front of the board, which is held by a man who is quite tall from her perspective. She looks doubtfully at the board, stretches out with her leg and stops again - and, of course, does not have the necessary force to smash it. The master knows the situation and gives clear instructions: do not brake. Put on your toes. Aim! ... It strikes once, twice, three times ... and threatens to lose heart. This little girl is facing a real challenge, she has to overcome a hurdle that is above all an inner one. Such an exam is not child's play, it would not be an exam if we could stay chilled. An examination wants to be taken seriously by us, it requires that we focus and be one hundred percent there.
When muscle-bound men do break tests, I usually get a lot less respect than with such a tender girl. Many simply break the board with force - whether the technology is good or not, the board has no chance. If they are supposed to do the same as this little girl, the examiner has to raise the bar a bit. With two, three, four boards it is over with ease, it becomes serious for everyone.
Let's look at the barcode from # 43: There we see five strong, upward-pushing yang lines, which are only one yin line in the way on their way to BREAKTHROUGH, actually a ridiculous resistance, but at the very top, in one crucial key position! Because line 6 is about our inner attitude, our belief systems. And here there is an attitude that pretends to be a friend, although she is a wolf in sheep's clothing! Furthermore, # 43 is composed of the two trigrams sky and lake: Below is the archetypal father (sky), above it his youngest daughter (lake): The strong dad carries his daughter to victory! He stands behind her, strengthens her back, encourages her to face whatever demons it may be (and sometimes they take the shape of a board!).
The little girl who has to pass her break test faces the same task as the little girl in the pictorial world of the hexagram. She just has "shit", she doesn't dare, she's a child, how can she do it? In her it whispers: "You cannot! That goes wrong anyway! The others maybe can, but ME ??? ”
The Yin line in the top position describes exactly these demoralizing self-doubts, circles of thought, prejudices about ourselves, which take place in the upper room and undermine our virtually absolute power. An inner saboteur has seized power and defies the power of the five Yang lines, the power of heaven. Sometimes he actually wins, sometimes his false whispers manage to dissipate and misdirect the force so that it does not reach the goal, maybe even turns against us: Then you keep on failing, hurting, cramping and someday so exhausted physically and morally that you have to stop. Then you broke yourself, not the board. And the discouraging voices have created their own reality ... And because we are not only faced with such challenges not only in our martial arts, the hexagram text provides us with a kind of coaching guide that describes how we can succeed in breaking through and overcoming false self-limitations to grow us out:
You have to be determined at the king's court
to make the matter known.
According to the truth, it must be announced.
Danger! You have to neighboring your own city right.
It is a call to stand by what you are doing and to take full responsibility for it: “Yes, I want that, I REALLY want it! I'm not just trying, I'm doing it now! I don't care what anyone says and whether you trust me, I don't care what I look like, I don't care that it didn't work last time! All that is SCHEISSEGAL to me! ”Often it is actually such expressions of force that show that this is no longer the time for questions of form! A good trainer (like a good father) manages to help the examinee overcome his self-doubts by giving thunderous commands that dispel any doubts that HE believes that the little girl has what it takes to "break" the board . The how of his instructions - clear, concise, lacking redundancy, the loud voice an embodiment of the determination that is currently needed - is an appeal to intellectual discipline that every child understands intuitively. It sums up the energy, it helps us to be 100% focused, it tells us: be there now! Forget the nonsense in your head! There is the board, there is fear - chase it to hell! You can do it! ... What comes out of his mouth sounds more like "Junbi !!!", "Kyeokpa !!!" and "KIHAP !!!"
All of these exclamation marks wrench us from the half-sleep of our unconscious self-talk. And the moment we stop dividing and dividing ourselves, where we stop talking to ourselves, watching ourselves, comparing, judging, the moment we commit to the what we want in this moment is an incredible force. It is the force that enables a mother to lift a car to free her trapped child ...! - How can such a poor board resist?
In all of this, # 43 does not describe a heroic feat. His focus is not on victory, but on the inner struggle with his own fear that precedes the later victory. It is about courage and backbone, and courage is only brave if it has to fight fear. No courage without fear. And in this situation there is enough that can frighten us, it is important to show our colors and to prove it. Now the cat comes out of the bag: can we or not? Will we hurt ourselves, will we be fatally embarrassed? ...
Here it is a matter of crossing a threshold beyond which we are not familiar. We do not know what will happen if we actually release our WHOLE strength, if we do not constantly rein, censor, control. All of these inhibitions want to protect us and protect us from pain, but unfortunately they all too often become internal prison guards who strictly lock our strength away and denigrate it as destructive. We, of course, are struggling with this, especially for smaller and larger "girls", for whom everything rough and aggressive has been washed out of their brains and removed. - But let's not be mistaken, there is such an inner little girl in every adult man and experienced board shredder ...