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Archimoto
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 548

Styles: JKD / Muay Thai / TKD

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:33 pm    Post subject: The virtues of board breaking Reply with quote

Being a long time Jeet Kune Do practitioner, and a recent student of Tae Kwon Do, I recall rolling my eyes at the idea of breaking boards. The joke always was: "boards don't hit back!"
But I'm writing to share a recent epiphany that I've had with board breaking and to share that my evolution as a TKD practitioner and more importantly as a Martial Artist has developed, among other things, a strong appreciation for board breaking and it's value as a training tool.
During my first board breaking session I recall lining up for my round house kick, delivering my kick in spectacular fashion, the board splintering into smithereens, aaaaaaaand immediately thereafter a pain in my pinky toe where I swear if I closed my eyes I could hear it screaming for dear life.
To make a long story less long, after years of sparring and even fighting Muay Thai in the ring, I am blown away by the level of refinement to form and technique that is made possible by board breaking.
Curious if anyone else has had a similar experience, or if you have thoughts in general on board breaking.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14806
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boards DO hit back!! Strike said material incorrectly, well, in this case, the board will "hit back" quite noticibly.

Tameshiwara, as it's know in Japanese/Okinawan styles of the MA, tests ones mettle, but first it tests correct techniques without reservation, and THEN it tests ones mettle.

Focus! Without it, you'll give, but the material won't! Aim WAY behind said material; therefore, don't hit "it", hit THROUGH it; penetrate!!

Conditioning is important! Stiking inanimate objects that feel no pain, will require some time before hand with a makiwara or the like so that pain will be greatly reduced or eliminated.

No matter what, those that are proponents of breaking, can't see their MA live without it. However, those who aren't proponents of breaking don't understand why MAists would waste their time in a fruitless thing. To me, it's not a waste of time.

Enjoy it, and take your time to condition your striking area's.



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Archimoto
Purple Belt
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Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 548

Styles: JKD / Muay Thai / TKD

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider me a board breaking convert !!!
Thanks for the advice !!!
Will follow it closely
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6214
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Boards DO hit back!! Strike said material incorrectly, well, in this case, the board will "hit back" quite noticibly.

Tameshiwara, as it's know in Japanese/Okinawan styles of the MA, tests ones mettle, but first it tests correct techniques without reservation, and THEN it tests ones mettle.

Focus! Without it, you'll give, but the material won't! Aim WAY behind said material; therefore, don't hit "it", hit THROUGH it; penetrate!!

Conditioning is important! Stiking inanimate objects that feel no pain, will require some time before hand with a makiwara or the like so that pain will be greatly reduced or eliminated.

No matter what, those that are proponents of breaking, can't see their MA live without it. However, those who aren't proponents of breaking don't understand why MAists would waste their time in a fruitless thing. To me, it's not a waste of time.

Enjoy it, and take your time to condition your striking area's.



Great post Bob. I wholely agree.

Breaking is an important part of my TKD training. It's the ultimate goal of "one hit one kill" or "victory in one blow". To break, the technique has to be perfect. You need to fully understand the correct angle, distance, how the technique works, how to form the right tool, how to generate force and then on top of that how to get over the mental barriers. It's easier said than done and if you can't do all these things you'll just bounce off and injure yourself.

For me, it's also a reassurance thing. If I can break at least one board consistently with a certain technique then I can mentally put a tick against it and say that yes I do understand all of the components that go into it. If I know how many newtons are required to break a board, I can also quantitatively assess the power in each of my techniques.

Boards not hitting back is not true at all. Newton's 3rd Law tells us that. Whatever force we exert on the breaking material, we receive an equal and opposite force straight back up our arm or leg. It's either your arm or the board which will come off badly... you'll want to hope it's the latter.

These two articles are great reads on the mechanics behind breaking.

http://www.badmartialarts.com/myths/breaking_stuff.php
http://www.tkdtutor.com/articles/topics/breaking/491-mechanics-of-breaking
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Archimoto
Purple Belt
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Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 548

Styles: JKD / Muay Thai / TKD

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the links!
Fascinating!
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mazzybear
KF Sempai
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Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 669
Location: Scotland.
Styles: Wado Kai

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our karate club doesn't do board breaking, but I have to say I would love to try it. But I can safely say until I recieve proper training and conditioning for it, I won't be giving it a go, I value my hands and feet

Here's a link to a TKD demonstration held at my local town Gala last year, it made the news for all the wrong reasons. Poor guy must have been mortified (and a little bit sore) after all this effort. I'm told he is actually very proficient in board breaking, just not this day. They bought the wrong boards (supposedly)

http://youtu.be/JRe671-ZUXA



M.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mazzybear wrote:
Our club doesn't do board breaking, but I have to say I would love to try it. But I can safely say until I recieve proper training and conditioning for it, I won't be giving it a go, I value my hands and feet

Here's a link to a demonstration held at my local town Gala last year, it made the news for all the wrong reasons. Poor guy must have been mortified (and a little bit sore) after all this effort. I'm told he is actually very proficient in board breaking, just not this day.

http://youtu.be/JRe671-ZUXA



M.

Well...

He's not penetrating the board; he's only striking the board.

Grabbing another board, as though the board he's trying to break is the problem, and saying that the board "is new", isn't the problem. Imho, it's his entire approach to the task at hand.

Striking the board faster than it can react is important, but he's not taking that into consideration; the board will bend before it breaks, if done correctly.

Hitting his assistant(s) should NEVER happen and even moreso, hitting a bystander with pieces of said material should NEVER happen. Therefore, he didn't take the precautions before hand to protect those in attendance.

His assistants aren't standing directly behind the material, and in that, they're not bracing for the technique at hand. Standing beside the material only provides much more give to the material. The assistants should stand behind the material at hand, and brace themselves and making sure that there holding said materials correctly.

I'm sure that the grain of the boards are correct. If not, that will not help his mission either. Imagine trying to break plywood, well, it's almost impossible because striking against the grain of even one board is akin to trying to break plywood. Plywood has many layers of wood materials that criss-cross one another until the desired thickness is achieved.

He's NOT focused!!

In this demo, he's only proven what I posted earlier...boards DO HIT BACK!!

Now, try speed breaking said boards and one will find a bunch of new problems to contend with, but first, understand and obey the laws of breaking before ever trying speed breaking.



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1765

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is so true that boards hit back. That is the very principle in the design of a makiwara. It is possible to break a board with raw power but the value is in using correct body mechanics and focus. With a mechanically correct technique it is relatively easier to break boards than doing it with just muscle. A trained eye can tell the difference and that is why I had to re do a my break twice for my 3 kyu test

Even though I broke the boards each time. I noticed a difference my self when I did it correctly. When I failed I felt a sting and mild pain in my fist when I struck the board. When I did the strike correctly I went through the board easily and felt almost nothing.
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sensei8
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
It is so true that boards hit back. That is the very principle in the design of a makiwara. It is possible to break a board with raw power but the value is in using correct body mechanics and focus. With a mechanically correct technique it is relatively easier to break boards than doing it with just muscle. A trained eye can tell the difference and that is why I had to re do a my break twice for my 3 kyu test

Even though I broke the boards each time. I noticed a difference my self when I did it correctly. When I failed I felt a sting and mild pain in my fist when I struck the board. When I did the strike correctly I went through the board easily and felt almost nothing.

Solid post!!



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Hawkmoon
Pre-Black Belt
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Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 891
Location: MK in the UK
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah! my all time favorite saying in the world ever...."boards don't hit back!"

.....its like a five year old trying to think of the biggest number they can think of and and proudly announces to everyone...
"Eleven'tee-hundred and one!"

Put simply Boards (AKA: your opponent) hit back all the time!

The math is simple, you train hard to be the best you can be and hit hard.....so does the other guy!

oh! I so love that little saying makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Putting my love for the comment to one side.....

Conditioning.
I do pushups on the front/first two knuckles I have done so form very early on in my MA career, it took a few weeks but its well worth the commitment and focus!

Its not a slow process you measure in years, but it will take some time one that you build up to, and by that I mean do pushups palm of the hand sort get upto 40-50 then add 10 on knuckles, get used to it, and then increase to 20 and so on.
Give yourself a week at 10, then go 20 etc
In a month your at 40 ....... well done keep it up!

So why a push up and why that way?

The knuckle develops a callus (for the want of a better word) and all the muscles used by you to hold that specific position become highly developed and that punch shape becomes natural and very strong!

I'e done breaks, as others in here have I've not done many but wow its a great rush, the knowledge your hand is not made of glass, the 'thing' you always new was hard, was solid, now broken and your hand did it!
Awesome!

My first break was 5 'roof tiles', it was done open hand (shuto), sensai explained it was easiest break to do first!

My second was empi (elbow) 13 roof tiles, that one hurt, I got the angle wrong, and hit with the elbow point not that flat area on your elbow (have a look run your hand around your elbow)

Third break was two boards, seiken, easy so I moved to my forth break 3 broads!
...then I was told to stop, and let others have a go!

My last break was a a single board, I held it in one hand and punched it !
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