Is Board Breaking Really All That Great?
It is no secret amongst my pals and colleagues that I’ve studied the martial arts for the previous 25 years. When individuals study that you just observe martial arts they typically ask the identical questions and the identical feedback begin. Usually they ask issues like what celeb would win in a battle in opposition to one other celeb, do I believe that might I beat up Bruce Lee (certain, however you need to do the digging), are my palms registered with the police division, have I ever had to make use of my martial arts expertise for actual earlier than, and what number of boards can I break.
Board breaking is a staple in lots of martial arts and so far as the typical untrained individual is aware of it’s a main half. I did numerous board breaking in my teenage years once I studied Taekwondo, however once I left the artwork I’ve to confess that I used to be fairly glad to not have to do this anymore. I by no means understood the purpose again then, different that it being spectacular for spectators to observe and being one other option to get into our pockets.
It wasn’t till years later when one other teacher defined the speculation of breaking boards equating to breaking bones. I did purchase it again then and now that I do know concerning the human physique I purchase it even much less. Board breaking is a superb talent for constructing focus and confidence (if accomplished beneath the fitting teacher) however boards and bones are fairly totally different.
Right here I’ll talk about the disconnect between board breaking and hitting the human physique, and contact on the mathematical formulation for figuring out how exhausting we strike. These two points could appear unrelated to many individuals however they each make the identical errors.
The board breaking neighborhood tells us that board breaking is crucial to studying martial arts and that it is an ideal software for instructing you easy methods to strike. In addition they say that because it takes about 8 lbs of stress to interrupt a typical pine board and many of the bones within the physique will also be damaged with solely 8 lbs of stress that board breaking is a “should” if you wish to trigger “actual injury” to the physique. The notorious Ashida Kim said that because it takes 8 lbs of stress to interrupt most bones that you just solely want to have the ability to strike with 8 lbs of stress.
Then you’ve gotten the assorted formulation individuals give you for figuring out how a lot drive you’re punching and kicking with. They add in varied numbers and say that somebody with “X” quantity of weight who can strike with “Y” quantity of pace could cause “M” quantity of injury to the physique after they hit it. When you do a search on the web you’ll find every kind of pages with these formulation on it.
What each of those teams fail to contemplate is that there’s NO actual correlation between hitting a board and hitting the human physique. You see, a board is brittle and once you hit it, it resists and by resisting it breaks. The human physique of the opposite hand is extra like hitting a water balloon. The tender tissues of the physique yield to the drive and bend and transfer quite than break.
Newtonian Physics states that for each motion there may be an equal and reverse response. So as an instance that somebody is holding a board for me to interrupt. What’s the very first thing that I do? I verify the board holder’s stance as a result of if they are not holding it proper the board will not break. Why? If his stance is not robust sufficient, is not bodily and geometrically sound, once I hit the board he’ll yield and the board will transfer away from my punch and it will not break. My drive hits the board and the board holder will get knocked backwards and the drive dissipates. If he holds the board accurately the drive is not dissipated by his backward motion and the board, which is brittle and resists, breaks.
There are fairly a couple of classes to be taken away from this situation. Think about that the board holder has to face in a sure option to stand up to the drive of the blow. Now once you hit an individual for actual how usually will they be standing in a way to withstand your drive? In all probability by no means. Chances are high they are going to be standing naturally or they are going to be up on their toes. In different phrases, in case you stroll as much as somebody and hit them you’ll knock them backwards just because they will not be standing accurately to withstand the drive.
If I punch that board and break water point, after which the board holder places the items down and walks in direction of me and I punch him within the ribs in the very same method that I punched the board, he’ll transfer backwards and the drive will largely dissipate with no break occurring. If I switch “X” quantity of drive with my punch he’ll trigger a big portion to dissipate by transferring backwards which is able to take drive away from the ribs. Then if my steadiness is off and I transfer backwards too much more drive will dissipate as an alternative of going into the ribs.
Subsequent we’ve to contemplate the truth that the physique responds to trauma by transferring the effected space away from the damaging stimulus. In the identical means that my hand shortly jerks backwards once I contact a scorching pan, my physique will jerk my ribs backwards if they’re hit. The best way my physique does that is by rotating the injured space away from the damaging stimulus, a fist, and transferring backwards. You’ll be able to see this by going as much as somebody and forcefully poking them within the ribs together with your thumb. What is going to they do? They are going to bend foreword on the ribs, the purpose of trauma, rotate that facet of the physique backwards, and they’ll cowl that space with their palms whereas taking a small step again. The more durable you poke them the extra profound the response. It also needs to be famous that the step again is attributable to the drive of the poke, whereas the bending away out of your poke is an involuntary response meant to maneuver the ribs away from the poke and never attributable to the drive of the affect.
We additionally need to consider the truth that the physique is tender and pliable. Not solely does the drive of the punch knock the “unhealthy man” backwards and never solely does his physique execute a sequence on involuntary reactions meant to jerk the injured space away from my fist, all of which causes the drive to dissipate, however his physique really compresses. The human physique can really compress about 3 inches earlier than it has to interrupt. So the ribs will really bend away from my fist and sink into the organs. Very like the reed that weathers the storm by bending and being supple whereas the mighty oak is damaged as a result of it resisted the wind.
In case you have ever really hit somebody within the physique you’ve gotten in all probability felt your hand sink into them with out something breaking. The physique could be very tender and can compress about 3 inches earlier than having to interrupt.
So if I hit somebody within the ribs and the drive of my blow knocks him backwards, he performs an involuntary motion to jerk the ribs away from my fist by rotating, bending, and stepping, after which the rib really compresses quite than breaks, then how is hitting a board something like hitting the human physique? Why do individuals put such religion in these scientific formulation that, whereas they’re considerably on observe and scientifically sound, ignore the human aspect? Would you describe the affect of a automotive driving right into a brick wall with the identical equation that you’d use to explain it driving right into a rubber bladder crammed with water? No. The wall resists, just like the board, and the bladder yields, just like the human physique.