In the martial arts, especially at Jung SuWon, part of the challenges we face involve breaking wooden boards and slabs of concrete. This requires focus, determination and a good attitude. In my 20 years of training under Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim, I’ve broken numerous boards and concrete slabs. For myself, I’ve learned that if I approach each breaking with an open attitude, and a good dose of humbleness, I have a much better chance of breaking it. If I approach it with an attitude of “Oh, I’ve done this before, no problem,” then arrogance sets in and I struggle and end up pounding on the item to be broken for a long, long time. It isn’t until I am able to regain my humbleness and appreciation that I am able to break it.
Awareness factors into the equation because challenges will usually be presented when we aren’t expecting them. When my body, mind and spirit are all present and focused on the same thing, I have good awareness.
When my body, mind and spirit aren’t all together, that is when my awareness fails.
Case in point: Last night, I was walking where I’ve walked a million times before, but, because I was in a hurry and mainly focused on getting to my destination so that I could set down the heavy load I was carrying, I ended up hitting my little toe on a concrete wall. I couldn’t stop what I was doing. I had to keep moving until I could set the load down. I was also in a situation where I needed to be standing for a few more hours, so there wasn’t a lot that I could do, other than laugh it off, hope it wasn’t broken and take a few Advil.
Fortunately, it was only a bad bruise. Today, the purple colors from last night are turning into a lovely shade of brown.
I didn’t feel so bad though, as I knew I had broken a lot of concrete with my feet up until now. So, the score still shows me winning in my own game of “concrete sparring”.