Although board breaking is only periodically practiced in the classes, students are required to break boards on Red and Black Belt tests. If the Martial Art student has been training properly, there should be no problem in breaking the boards with the required strikes. Conversely, if the student has not been training with the proper intent and techniques, they will surely fail. There are, however, some things to know...
When breaking boards, always focus through your target: that is, don’t freeze on impact and end on the board: strike through the board utilizing speed, focus, and power (and KeI!)
HOLDING A BOARD FOR BREAKING
In addition, the boards must be positioned correctly.
• Boards are held while in a front stance, with both arms locked out in front.
• The reverse punch hand should be on top of the board (not on the side).
• When holding a board, maintain a low center of gravity by bending the front knee.
• Hold the board no higher than chest level. (Exception: speed breaks used for snap punches, spinning kicks, thrown and dangled boards).
• Always break boards with the grain kept in a horizontal position (so the grain is supported and doesn’t splinter in the holder’s hand).
• If breaking more than one board, be sure all boards have the same horizontal alignment!
• When breaking a board, strikes should be executed in a straight line so the board will break easily; otherwise, the board will absorb more of the strike.
• Be sure to strike with the correct hand and foot positions to protect yourself from injury.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PREPARATION TO BREAK A BOARD
1) Warm-up to increase agility.
2) Breathe deeply several times; clear your mind to focus.
3) Visualize the technique.
4) Use guided imagery:
For example, imagine gunpowder within you; the match igniting the powder is analogous to the explosive power of the Ke-I When you throw a technique, there should be an explosion of energy.
Board breaking should only be practiced under the supervision of a Black Belt instructor!
In Martial Arts, the most commonly used boards are one (1) inch pine.
For adults: the boards are cut into 12 inch squares.
For children: the boards are cut 12 inches by 9 inches (remembering that the
longer side is vertical with horizontal grain).