Without spacers, you are basically breaking one board equal to the thickness of all the boards; although it is still easier to break many boards than it is to break one board of the same thickness, due to ability of the many boards to flex and slide against each other. To break boards without spacers, your hand or foot only has to move a relatively short distance through the boards; the flexing will travel all the way through the boards no matter the thickness. To break a single board that is several inches thick, one must strike the board with enough force to flex it a few inches, and then the strike can stop; the flexing force will move thought board and finish the break. The amount of force initially required is very great, but it only needs to be sustained for a few inches. When you reach the limit of the amount of force you may generate, or the amount of force exceeds that which the hand or foot can withstand upon impact, the break will fail. In the world of martial art training, self-defense, professional fighting, or street fighting this is the type of force you want to use; a short, instantaneous, powerful punch that transfers force throughout the target. A long, sustained weak punch does little damage and usually only pushes the target.
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