Here’s today’s blog on the different types of divisions in competitive breaking. I probably won’t mention them all but here are some of the basic divisions.
You have Power Breaking Wood. This is when you stack up a pile of pine wood boards of 12″X10″X1″ on concrete stands and you do a downward strike to break the stack. We use carpenter pencil spacers between the boards to give them some room to flex. This type of division can be broken down further into power hand wood, power elbow wood, and power foot wood.
We also have Power Concrete Breaking. It is the same as power wood only you use concrete slabs of 16″X8″X2″.
Another division is Power Wood Kicking. This division you kick a stack of pine boards being held by a metal board holder and there is no spaces between the boards. So if you have 7 boards in the holder, that is a solid 7 inches of wood you have to break. Any type of kick is permitted as long as you take no more than one step on the approach.
Also there is Power Kicking Concrete. This is similar to Power Wood Kicking but not really. You use concrete slabs that are freestanding on a concrete platform and there is a little space between each slab. Other than that, the same rules apply.
You also have creative board breaking. This division is where you setup different breaking stations using only wood to break. You are marked on various aspects like creativity, difficulty, variety of techniques, and etc,. Good creative breaking has a combination of speed breaks, split breaks, power breaks, jumping, and etc,. Different tournament have different rules as to what is allowed. We generally do 3 stations which are allowed to have 3 breaks in each station. This is per USBA/WBA rules.
There is also creative open breaking which is similar to creative wood except you are allowed to break almost any type of material you wish except no fire or glass. Good creative breaking has all the above mention plus a variety of breaking material such as wood, baseball bats, various types of concrete, stone, metal, ice, bed of nails, fruit, coconuts, and many other things. Once again the rules can vary on how many stations and what is allowed per station. USBA/WBA and ISKA are the leaders in this.
Next you have speed breaking. There is different types of speed breaking. One wood division has you breaking as many pine boards as you can in 10 seconds striking with the hand. The boards are not spaced and you have 5 stations that can be continuously refilled during the 10 seconds on support stands. Another speed division is where you have 8 seconds to break as many boards as possible with live human holders. A third type of speed breaking is when you set up as many stations as you wish and try to break as many boards or concrete in the time allowed. Boards or concrete are spaced with pencil spacers.
Now we have high jump board breaking. This is where the competitors jump and break boards while kicking in the air. Who ever makes the highest break with a kick over their head wins. The world record is almost 10 feet off the ground. This division is fair as they measure the distance from the top of your head to the board. So height has no advantage.
Another division I am aware of but have not seen is the flying side kick board breaking event. This is where you see who can travel through the air the longest distance and break a board with a kick.
There is many other divisions out there that I probably do not know of but the above is a good list of the most popular divisions from the USBA/WBSA and the ISKA. The above are not the actual rules of the divisions but gives you a small taste of what it is about. Check out eh USBA/WBA website (http://www.usbawba.com/) and the ISKA(www.usopen-karate.com) website for the actual rules.
You can see that there is something for everyone in the breaking world. Some have speed, some have power, some are creative. Whatever it is, give competitive breaking a try.
Master Jonathan Field