Breaking is a martial arts technique that is used in competition, demonstration and testing. Breaking is an action where a martial artist uses a striking surface to break one or more objects using the skills honed in their art form.
about BREAKING Technique
The striking surface is usually a hand or a foot, but may also be a fingertip, toe, head, elbow, knuckle, or knee. The most common object is a piece of wood, though it is also common to break bricks or cinder blocks.
Breaking can often be seen in karate, taekwondo and pencak silat. Spetsnaz are also known for board and brick breaking, but not all styles of martial arts use place equal emphasis on it or use it. In styles where striking and kicking is less important and there is an emphasis on grappling or weaponry, breaking is less prominent. Traditional Japanese martial art schools place little, if any, emphasis on board-breaking, although the art of breaking objects was known as tameshiwari, while the similar practice of Tameshigiri or ‘test cutting’ is used in sword arts.
Competitive breaking can be based on artistic impression, number of items broken in a given amount of time, number of items broken with a single strike, or time to break a number of items. There are several certified breaking categories in various journals of world records such as the Guinness Book. In a demonstration, a martial artist exhibits his or her skill by executing an impromptu or choreographed sequence of breaks for an audience. Martial arts schools sometimes demonstrate challenging breaks in order to gain publicity and inspire enrollment or attendance.
During promotion testing, many styles of martial arts require that students demonstrate their skills by executing breaks; the difficulty of a required break depends on the rank for which the student is testing. Failure to execute a required break is often sufficient grounds for failure of a promotion test.
Wooden boards are the most common breaking item in most martial arts, Individual boards used may range from nominal sizes as small as 6″x12″x1″ to as large as 12″x12″x1″ (a board with a nominal width of 1″ has an actual width of 3/4″). The typical adult testing board is approximately 10″x12″x1″.
The grain of the board must be cut so as to be parallel with the striking hand.
Children may use narrower and thinner boards, with 4 and 5 year olds sometimes breaking boards as small as 4″x12″x1/2″, and there are also plastic boards made of different composites which can vary the difficulty level involved in breaking.