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How to Break Boards in Taekwondo

One of the most unique aspects of Taekwondo is the art and science of breaking. While some martial arts have moved away from board breaking, Taekwondo still incorporates demonstrations of board breaking into its belt testing programs and public exhibitions. But, the art of board breaking is not as simple as simply walking up to the board and smashing it. The process is a little complex and should be limited to intermediate students that have a number of the basic techniques under their belt.

First and foremost, NO ONE should attempt to self-teach themselves breaking as this can lead to an injury. Novices with breaking should always practice their skills under a qualified instructor and under proper supervision. Yes, there are a number of break books and videos on the subject and they make excellent supplementary education items. However, they should not be your primary source for learning this complex subject.

Focus clearly on the board and seek to hit the center of the board. Hitting to close to the edge of the board is incorrect simply because the laws of physics come into play and the holder of the board will absorb some of the impact. As such, the board won't shatter. Again, stick with hitting the center of the target as this will lead to the desired result.

In order to successfully break a board (or boards), it is critical to hit through the target. This is one of the most important aspects of board breaking. In a true combative situation, you could not inflict damage on an opponent it your kick or punch hits the surface area of the intended target and stops. The attack must go beyond the striking surface in order to deliver a knockout. This skill is developed through breaking as you must punch or kick through the board in order for it board to shatter.

And, of course, you will need to practice in order to develop proficiency. Setting aside a little time per week in order to develop your skills will lead to expertise over time. This is true of breaking and all other aspects of Taekwondo.