DO MARTIAL ARTISTS BREAK THINGS?
Those people that have attended martial arts
demonstrations know that board breaking and numerous other destructive practices
are always a prominent part of the action. Is there some reason for this, beyond
impressing the spectators?
The answer, of course, is yes.
On the physical level, breaking is a means of
testing one's techniques. A good break requires good balance, speed, accuracy,
power and control. One can train endlessly but without actually applying
techniques against a real object it is difficult to know whether they would be
effective. If the technique works against a stack of boards or bricks, however,
one is reasonably assured that sufficient power has been attained.
In most breaks, however, power is not the limiting
factor. In fact, almost anyone is physically capable of splintering several
pieces of lumber in a single blow. The reason most people could not actually do
it is one of attitude and concentration. Breaking requires mobilization and
coordination of both the limbs and the mind. To learn and to know that one will
be successful is the purpose of breaking exercises.
Attainment of this level of
coordination and confidence is no simple matter but it is within anyone's reach.
Once it is attained, however, there are few limits to its application. To be
sure, there are always more difficult challenges but the principle remains the
Ultimately, one should be able to apply this skill to all facets of life.
In doing so, one transcends the sport‑like or physical aspect of training
and begins to understand what martial arts really are and why it means so much
more than breaking bones.