Before I start to talk about today’s topic, I just wanted to say that 2010 is starting off nicely here at Cobourg Tae Kwon Do. We are getting many new members. Our kitchenette and two change rooms are freshly painted. There is a new television and DVD player in our waiting room. The waiting room should be painted by the end of the weekend. One of the projects we are working on is going good. And Team Wolverine practices are going good.
Okay, now for today’s topic. Why do we practice the art of breaking in most hard styles of martial arts, particularly in Taekwondo? Well there is many reasons why we practice breaking. Listed below are a few of them.
1- We practice breaking to measure the accuracy of our strikes. Can we hit any object of any size at various heights and angles at will? Accuracy is very important in martial arts as well as in life in general.
2- We practice the art of breaking to test our power. Starting with softer material like pine wood and building up to concrete, rock, marble, and baseball bats. The harder the material, the more power required to break it. You can stack up piles of boards, marble slabs, and concrete slabs to measure how powerful your strike is by seeing how many of whatever you strike breaks in a given stack.
3- We break stuff to test the efficiently of a strike. Is your chosen strike effective in a fight or self defense situation. Do remember that martial arts was first designed for self defense and warfare. If an technique is not effective on your opponent, why use it?
4- We practice the art of breaking to teach ourselves how to focus without interruption. When you are breaking, it is only you and the chosen material that you are breaking. Any outside distraction or fear can lead to injury. One must be fully focused and committed to the moment.
5- Practicing breaking can help reduce or release undue stress and anger. Having the ability to let go of what is frustrating you by hitting an object and release the pressures of everyday life can be very relaxing. This does not mean you hit something out of anger. It simply means you will release that energy associated with the feeling of anger and stress and allow more positive energy in.
6- We practice the art of breaking to know what it feels like to actually hit something hard. It is not good to be practicing self defense and not know what it feels like to hit something hard that could possibly hurt you. Lots of people fail at defending themselves because they were never in an environment that allowed them to feel what it is like to be in a situation that could possibly cause harm to themselves or others.
7- Practicing breaking also allows the individual practitioner to learn how to deal with pain. Good breaking rarely ever hurts if done right but when it is not, it will hurt. Do you have the ability to deal with the pain and carry on or will you give up?
8- And some practice breaking for something to do. It is unusual to most people standard of normal things to do. But it is interesting and fun to do. Hard to explain. Either you like breaking or you won’t.
9- You can also practice breaking for competition. There is many different divisions and events for breaking. There is power breaking, creative breaking, speed breaking, high jump breaking, flying kick breaking, and many others. I will explain some of the different division in the next blog.
Master Jonathan Field