Please help me! Breaking board failure :-(

Claire

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Hi, I am a blue belt and haven't had much experience with board breaking except side, turning and back kick at gradings. It's always been a black board and I have managed them all (although once or twice it was with the second attempt)

My husband bought me a couple of Kwon boards (black and blue) to practice at home as we very rarely get the opportunity at training. I was delighted until I realised how difficult they were to break! I tried the blue first of all with side kick and I struggled. I then attempted turning kick and had a complete mental block! My leg would just not let my foot kick through the board as you obviously need to, instead my foot would just skiff the board, a touch and no more! Very frustrating! Then the other day we actually got the boards out at training and the same thing happened. My instructor handed over the kiddies board and embarassingly it kept happening even with a very flimsy board which I know I can so easily break!

Why have I got this mental blockage when I've broken black boards before? Why can't I commit to the kick when I know it's the right thing to do? How do I get over this?

I had a fracture at the bottom of my fibula bone in the autumn (gotten while sparring) and I do have a fear of breaking toes against the board and I think that's my biggest obstacle. Also I train with a lot of big chaps and I am a very thin female so I often feel the pressure to do well and try and be worthy of my belt in front of these guys who so easily break without a second thought.

I'm confident with all other aspects of TKD and don't want this to be my failure. Please help! Any advice, opinions or words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

dortiz

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Turning kick? Like a sidekick?
For kicks I would say focus more on the heal. Try this, take the board and have someone hold in a couple inches off the ground and stomp down on it. Again with your heel. Imagine squishing a bug but again the heel. Feel how when your heel drives down how your hip is pushing. Ball of your foot is pushed by your calf muscle...not what we want here. We want your solid strong heel to smash down or our later pushed by your hip. Even turning focus on the heel driving through pushed by your hip.
Thats the secret...do it slow and it will still drive through the board. The ball of foot or soft parts give and dont create striking force. later you will develope speed and accuracy, timing etc which will let you play with strikes. Right now take the foot stomp and lift it up and apply it to this technique. The board will break and your heel wont.

Dave O.
 

Stonecold

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You seem to have a mental block. You have to regain your condidence. Try wearing shoes a home when you break the boards. Work your way down to thiner & thiner soles, start with trainers & end with kung-fu slippers. I hope this will help. Good luck.
 
OP
Claire

Claire

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Turning kick? Like a sidekick?

Sorry I think you guys may call it a roundhouse kick. The contact area for board breaking is with the ball of your foot (instep ordinarily) with toes pulled back and standing at a 45 degree angle from the board.

Thanks for your reply, I will definitely use your advice
 

dortiz

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Ok, but here is the funny thing. Drive your heel out as you kick and it will pull your toes out. That part of your foot is freakin hard. Its like hitting with a hammer. Just get your toes out of the way and you will be shocked how easily you go through the target.
On the roundhouse the best advice I can tell you is aim/turn the opposite foot so the heel is pointing at the board and then focus on your hip turning through..bring you butt over that center line. Your hip will throw that kick with more than enough power.

Dave O.

p.s. it hurts way less to break it on the first try ; )
 

granfire

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new boards?

They don't break easily.

prop them up on a couple of bricks and stop them, at least 25-30 times, then try again with a real technique!

these things are a B*tch, no 2 ways about it, more so when new.
If you do break black on a regular basis, you hit hard enough.

they have a weird cling to them at first and are a lot stiffer than needed...but that way they last a while and don't wear out as quick.

(you can always grease it up with vaseline, had a parent do that to his kid's board (blamed it on Mom, too...) to a degree the board fell appart when you just looked at it! :D pretty useles... but hey, we told him... never got fixed.
 

searcher

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I don't want to sound cleche', but you need to clear your mind. If you keep thinking about it, it is going to get worse. Don't think about it, just break the d*mn board.
 

Marginal

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With turning kicks, I was bouncing off for a while when I was a a green belt because I wasn't turning my hip over. All leg = no power.
 

Spartan 117

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I suggest you to clear your mind and focus. Concentrate on hitting the board right on the middle, and don't think or get distracted by anything else. Your state of mind plays an important role in breaking, so forget about whatever you're thinkin' at the moment, and focus on proper technique and on hittin' the middle of the board.

Trust yourself, you can do it!.
 

Aefibird

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Stick to one technique for now (either turning or side kick, personally I'd suggest side kick) and make sure that your technique is totally spot on. If you're not turning your hips properly then you'll not generate power from them and you won't break the board. Practice the technique with a partner watching and also with someone holding a kick pad.

Also, break and re-break (by stomping on them) the boards you have at home. Re-breakable boards are a pain in the rear end when they're new and they need 'working' a little to 'soften' up the join.

Also, I'd suggest that you wear martial arts shoes. They're thin enough for you to get the correct foot shape, but will give you that extra bit of protection so that you don't feel you're gonna injure yourself.

Finally, (try to!) stop worrying! Easier said than done, I know, but the more you think about it the more wound up about it you're gonna get and then you'll be less likely to succeed. If possible, give breaking a miss for a few weeks and work on your technique and then come back to it refreshed and ready to try again.

Good luck. :)
 

mozzandherb

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I had a fracture at the bottom of my fibula bone in the autumn (gotten while sparring) and I do have a fear of breaking toes against the board and I think that's my biggest obstacle.
I think you have your answer right here, you know what you need to do, you have to try and overcome your biggest obstacle which is not the board
 

jim777

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Lots of good advice here :) I would just add (again) that you need to relax a bit. You can do it, you know that, it's just a board, so chill out a bit. Breath deep and all that and don't stress the break. If you put up a mental wall between yourself and the board, you have to break through a board and a wall as well! That's a lot tougher than just a board ;)
 

firerex

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alright drive ur heel, point your toes backwards and target about 3 inches past the board and let it rip, mkae sure you have a full pivot on your back foot and make sure you have a full chamber with that kicking leg
 

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