Extreme breaking is for entertainment; it has little beneficial value. Power breakers train for breaking and wowing the audience; that is their forte. However, basic breaking does have its benefits. Breaking gives students self-confidence, when it is successful, and encourages them to improve, when it is unsuccessful. It teaches students to use perfect technique since imperfection, such as punching with a limp wrist, can be painful. Breaking gives students direct feedback as to their power and perfection of technique.
Students testing for rank in our organization must break. I have seen many students satisfactorily complete all the other requirements but not complete all the required breaks, and thus fail the test and have to try again at the next testing. One woman, testing for 1st degree black belt, tested seven times before completing all her breaks. When she finally passed the test, the crowd when wild. At subsequent tests, she had no problem with the breaking.
Breaking is easy; it is more a mental exercise than a physical one. If the brain can get the body to perform as required, the target will break. Hit the target dead center, especially when using plastic re-breakable boards. Do not make practice attempts, just set up everything properly, and perform the break. Relax, do not try to punch or kick more powerfully; when you do, it causes your timing and body position to change, and the speed of the technique will be decreased. As you move, fully chamber the technique and execute it quickly, firing all muscles in sequence toward the target. Use perfect form with full extension, rotate the hips for power, and push from the floor upward and into the technique. Impact the target with perfect hand or foot shape and position, while using a powerful kiai from your lower abdomen. Focus everything into a point in space that is just behind the target, not on the surface. Do not concentrate on the target; pretend it is not there. Just perform a perfect technique to a point in space and the then snap the technique back instantly and re-chamber it before returning to your fighting stance.
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