Last night at Taekwondo I had a go at board breaking. Breaking real boards would quickly become expensive so we used re-breakable boards. The boards are coloured, with white representing a pine board with thickness 1 inch and red being the equivalent of two white boards. The two halves of the board slot together and they are suprisingly hard to break apart once joined.
As it was my first time I tried breaking a single white board with an elbow strike. I managed to break it first time (despite my dodgy technique) and was reasonably pleased with myself. I tried the same technique with my left arm and had no problems. Then I tried to break it with the base of my palm but failed 🙁
Although I initially found the idea quite scary I now see why the exercise is useful. As my instructor pointed out… I could go on hitting pads for years and not know my technique was off – breaking boards showed me where I need to improve. I need to put more body weight and movement into the strike as I am currently relying on my arm to do all the work.
If you fail to break the board it can be a little painful and punches are not recommend as your knuckles can break if you do things incorrectly. The boards only come out once or twice a year so maybe next time I will be confident enough to try some kicks 🙂