> Are the boards in Taekwondo made to break easily?

Are the boards in Taekwondo made to break easily?

Posted at: 2015-05-07 
I've seen people from all sorts of ages breaking the boards with ease. Honestly, is it pretty easy?

It's not a trick. It's science. Wood consists of fibers. If you take a regular board and look at it you will see fibers going through the length of the board. Now the trick is in how you turn the board. If you rotate the board so that the fibers go from east to west and you punch the board you will have to break the fibers in two. This is very difficult. This actually requires a lot of strength. You turn it this way and it's near impossible to do it.

However if you rotate the board so that the fibers go from north to south and punch straight forward into the board then you will split the board right between the fibers. The board will will break right down the middle without any problems. Your grandmother could do it. I'm not joking here. She really could do it.

So it's all in how the board is rotated. It's nothing more then a trick and it's bs. I hate board breaking with a burning passion. Boards don't fight back. There are some things I dislike with some martial arts. Forms for instance, light contact sparing and so on. But I can understand why some people like forms. And I can understand why some people defend them. But I will never accept board breaking.

If a school or demo team buys the wood pre-cut, then yes, the wood is usually oven dried or has rested for a year or more. You can buy martial arts breaking wood online - anywhere for $2 to $4 per board. The thinner the board (they get as thin as 1/4") the more expensive they are.

Yes, breaking wood isn't hard. But people fail because they are afraid of getting hurt. Imagine that.

I like to break and occasionally break competitively. It is a form of meditating.

But I must comment about the Bruce Lee quote. First, Bruce Lee (the actor) didn't say "Boards don't hit back". A character he played, called Lee, did say it. And anyway, the character was wrong, any physics teacher can explain why.

It depends on the board. Some are dried out to break easier. Some are actually hard though.

In my opinion, board breaking is not something that needs to be practiced often. I have hardly done it and trained for years. I'm not saying it's 100% useless, but a martial artist could certainly be fine without it. I can only think of some possible lessons:

-Demonstrating how much power is needed to break certain bones. In this case the board would have to resemble the density of the bone.

-Possibly some lessons on precision and following through.

But other than that, it's not too important. Being able to unleash power on a wooden board doesn't teach much for self defense. I'm open to any possible suggestions, but as far as I see it it's not really important.

Just thought I'd add my view on the subject as others were doing the same.

"Boards don't hit back."

-Bruce Lee

Some boards are easier break than others.

A board that is already split with a joint down the middle is easier to break. You can strike a jointed board in the middle with substantial force and it will split. Chipboards will break easy because of the weak binding of the fibres. A solid natural wood board is harder to break the binding of the fibres is strong. A weak point on natural wood boards might be off-centre, but the test is to aim centre. If the board is fixed to some type of post, there is less movement on impact of the board than having the board help by hand.

Boards for breaking period can vary from being designed to be broken easily to just being planks of wood which are actually much stronger. It's also a matter of material. Oak vs hardwood, for example.

Let's be real here: the reality is is that breaking boards is a reality check at best. It doesn't really determine skill since breaking them takes force in the right area, just like in strikes. But what's the difference between a 4th dan black belt breaking boards and a strongman in those strongman competitions breaking them using brute strength? Ultimately, it's a tool to give the student a reality check.

The only trick in it is...physics which really isn't much of a trick. Strike the object in the area where there's less support.

Depends. Some are made to break easily, others not so much. I have seen a mixture of both. Some were so easy it was a joke, others were straight up 2 by 4s.

My father introduced me to some master when I was really little. Guy brought out a 2x4 and told me to chop in half. Me, thinking I was the pink power ranger or something, gave it my best whack and was delighted as it broke under me.

Now that I'm older it is apparent that the man snapped it half with is hands. That is unbelievable power.

It depends on the board, the strike, and how it is being held. Starting off, yes. But the instructor will make it harder and harder as you go along (if you are at a good school that is). You learn to balance power, control, and accuracy through board breaks.

If you are starting off, you do easier strikes with thinner boards and the board being held tight by the instructor. You then move on, though.

You must remember that the tighter you hold it, the easier it is to break. Also, a spinning hook kick does not equal a front kick, nor does a ridge hand equal a punch.

its real ive ha people tell me that its made of saw dust and that the instructor breaks it with his hands as you kick it thats bs ive had boards not break ive had to retry it and ive done it to regular boards at my house its not a traick, do do have to hit it in the right spot but theres no weak spot

I'll let you in on a secret:

The boards have been baked overnight in an oven.

Yea, they're like the table props used in movies that breaks on contact.

I've seen people from all sorts of ages breaking the boards with ease. Honestly, is it pretty easy?

yes. they're made of yellow pine