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Board Breaking Techniques are commonly used in Martial Arts Competitions as well as in Karate demonstrations and testing. This is usually done with their hands or their feet. However they have also been known to do this using their finger tips, toes or head. Wood is the most common object they try to break, although some competitions will use Cinder Blocks or Bricks. Not all Martial Arts styles teach you to break boards.
If you want to learn Board Breaking Techniques you’ll want to study either Tae Kwon Do, Karate or Pencak Silat. Pencak Silat is the Martial Arts Style studied in Indonesia. Contrary to popular believe, the old Japanese Martial Arts Schools do not place much emphasis on breaking boards. In Japan the term Tameshiwari refers to the Self Defense Discipline of breaking various objects. Tameshigiri is a similar discipline which meansmeans test cutting and deals with Swords.
In Martial Arts Competitions, you will be judged by certain factors which include.
1.) Your Style and Finesse
2.) How many items such as bricks you can break in a certain period of time
3.) How many items you can break in one strike
The Guinness Book of World Records keeps a record of several certified breaking categories. These competitions are usually performed in front of a motivated audience. In many cases, top students or Sensei’s, which usually are the head of a Martial Arts Dojo, will attend a competition so they can perform an impressive Board Breaking Technique. They do this in a lot of cases to get extra publicity and to increase membership to their dojo.
As a general rule people are impressed by this, and if they see a local Karate Instructor in their area break 4 bricks at a Broad Breaking Competition, this will motivate them to enroll as a student. Also a lot of various Martial Arts Styles these days are requiring students to execute certain breaks to achieve a certain Belt Rank, such as a Green Belt, Brown Belt or Black Belt. The harder the break, the better rank they will qualify for. If they can’t make a certain break they will essentially fail the test.
Recently the Accelerometer has been used for measuring the force of strikes. Before boards of certain length and width dimensions were the only way to do this. The standard adult testing board is typically 10″x12″x1″. 4 and 5 year olds have been known to break boards at 4″x12″x1/2″. Masutatsu Oyama was famous at breaking boards. His claim to fame was breaking the horns off a bull.
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