Should Kenpoka be Breaking Boards?

punisher73

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While I too subscribe to the "Boards don't hit back" theory, I have to disagree that it's the same as heavy bag or focus mitt training. The objective of board breaking is as the term says ... to break a board. To the contrary, the objective is not to punch a hole through a heavy bag. There's no false sense of victory seeing the sand or foam from a heavy bag spill onto the floor. But--and this is just one guy's opinion--there is a false sense of victory in breaking boards, especially boards that break on-demand. That's perfectly fine for children. But I'm not so sure that anyone over the age of 13 ought to rely on board breaking in their training.

Again, no offense. Just one guy's opinion.

No offense taken. I agree with much of what you have said. You qualified "why" you don't rely on board breaking and had a sound argument. You didn't just say "boards don't hit back" and stop it at that to dismiss it. You showed the limits of the training (which I agree with).

Reading previous posts, you will see that I am against children punching boards anyways since their hands are not fully formed. I also agree that it is an improper use of the board breaking if they are baked or made to break easy for show. That again defeats the purpose. Board breaking, is a tool that can be used and has a time or place in it. We wouldn't tell someone because they can dance around a heavy bag that they can beat anybody. The heavy bag has a specific purpose and as long as that is defined and stuck to, it is a good training aid. Just like board breaking CAN be, but again it is usually exagerated to what it's purpose is.
 

KELLYG

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I am a TKD'er. We usually break boards during belt testing and use the breakable boards, occasionally, during class. The techniques that are done a techniques that are taught from belt level to belt level. Most of them are just foot techniques until you reach a higher gup level. After that then there are hand techniques and foot techniques. At black the breaking scenario is determined by the tester.

I know, I know boards do not hit back. What they do do for you is stress the importance of good technique and there is a confidence builder in there as well. It can be a strong visual for parents, to see how they have progressed in their training. Smaller students use smaller boards, adults can use as many stacked together as they wish. You can also break concrete a paver if you want to.

I always liked breaking. I was it signified the end of testing:).
 

Twin Fist

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if you cant break boards? your technique is crap

now, do you NEED to do breaks? no

BUT

there isnt really anything else that proves to your mind that your stuff works and hitting something hard wont kill ya
 

tinker1

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TKD guy here. 2nd dan Kenpo also.. but my main focus is TKD.

Personally I think breaking boards is pretty much nonsense. Good for demonstrations, good for self esteem especially with youngsters.

The boards themselves can be problematic. They can be wet, close grained, or just hard to break... then you can get soft dry ones the break pretty much with mildly harsh language. The holders are another variable.. if they aren't held rigidly they can be really hard to break. Try this.. lay a board down on a soft mattress, then try and break it.

Breaking bricks can actually be easier than breaking boards.

More often than not, students don't go through proper hand conditioning before they are asked to break. This can lead to injury.

In training you can get at least as much value (more probably) from working on a forging post, hitting a heavy bag, or a body shield. All those modalities will teach proper bone alignment and increase bone density - the later is a good thing for us older folks (particularly women).
 

MarkC

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I never broke many boards over the past 31 years of training. A few years back I was training with a small group in another style and one night they were breaking. I sort of think as a test to get an idea of my focus or something,they asked me to break first. So I reverse punched the board and broke it, The next one I used a heel palm, then a ridgehand, then an elbow, etc. Hadn't hit boards since about 1987 or so, but still no big deal. I don't enjoy it, but it's not very difficult. I'm also not sure it's really a test of much. You can take someone with no training and have them doing it fairly quickly if they want to.
 

Wo Fat

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if you cant break boards? your technique is crap

now, do you NEED to do breaks? no

BUT

there isnt really anything else that proves to your mind that your stuff works and hitting something hard wont kill ya

The proof is in defending yourself against an attacker (or opponent) who's bigger, stronger and throws more than a step-in punch at you.

If you can manage to get your roundhouse or axe kick somewhere near his head, and he doesn't drop like sack of laundry ...

then it's time to train for something other than board-breaking.
 

Doc

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Mr. Parker didn't believe in it at all. I only saw him do it once for a video in 84. He came in and his knuckles were bruised. I asked, "What happened?" He said, "Doing some dumb s**t for a video shoot." He did double outward back fists to 4, 1 inch pine boards, 2 on each side. He felt you could prepare yourself in a reasonable manner without pounding something harder than you hand. The Chinese method of sand comes to mind, if you must, with a dash of ditda.
 

Manny

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I'癒ve nbever seen board breaking in my pass for kenpo karate but I think breaking boards is a good thing. I am a TKDoing with some kenpo training in my tkd dojang we only do baord breaking once before kups test and during the kup test, the only ones who can perform board breaking are red belt and above. The small kids break very thin boards and the young and adult break one inch thick boards that can be staked if wanted.

Board breaking is a good tool because only with proper techinike and timing one person can break board (s), and this gives some kind of confidence with the kids they think that if they can break a thick board then their tech and power is good enough.

Board breakin is something we did one or twice every kup examination, we don't do it on a weekly or montly basis, board breacking is just a tool.

Manny
 

punisher73

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Ok, I have a confession to make. I have never trained to break boards, but know how it is done etc.

This past weekend we had a bunch of the neighbor kids over to our house to celebrate their last day of school. We were making smores and I was in charge of the fire. While adding stuff to the fire, I saw that we had a 2x12 that was about 12 inches in length from some left over projects we had. Thinking about this thread, I held the board in one hand and then "chopped" it in half. My wife freaked when she saw me do it, so I got alot of points on the CDI factor (Chicks dig it).

Nice knowing I could do it, but not something I would keep doing.
 

Manny

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Breaking boards, bricks ane even stones and bottles is nice to watch but I must say that in some cases is worthless. I hurt one of my principal nuckles of my right hand, this is my dominant hand and I use to break two one inch thick pine boards, now everitime I do this my knucles swell.

I don't advise try to be to macho man in the class and try to break hard objects with hands or even feet, our hands are presicion made tools.

As somebody wrote here before, it's better to punch/kick the heavy bag to gain power in our techs and to hardened our hands.

Yeas breacking hard objetc is nice but is not mandatory.

I would rather see the kids breaking not to thick pine boards and see their smile afther that that see how a boy miserably fails to break a thick board because he feel is so tough to do it or because his sensei wanted him to do it and even suffer an injure that needs time to heal.

Manny
 

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