JULY 2005

Summer Classes:  Our junior (second) class is smaller now due to the amount of students that have moved or that are on vacation.  We expect our class size to increase when school starts this fall.  Please make sure you are being careful this summer, drinking plenty of water, protecting your skin from the sun and staying healthy.  We want you back in the fall if you are missing class now.  For those that continue to train during the summer we always accept new students.  Talk with your friends, siblings or parents and encourage them to enroll!  Larger classes are always more fun since they provide more step sparring, free sparing and self defense partners.  Do your part in spreading Taekwon-Do by being a recruiter to the class. 

Breaking Tournament:  The breaking tournament was held June 25th, 2005 and we had a great competition.  The winners were:  Mr. Johnson, peewee power kicking; Mr. Schultze, peewee power hand technique; Mr. Jason Komyathy, junior power kicking; Mr. Purrington, junior power hand technique; Mr. Randolph, adult power kicking and power hand technique; Ms. Bowing lightweight black belt power kicking; Mr. Bennett lightweight black belt power hand technique and Mr. Hock heavyweight power kicking and hand technique.  All breaks were preformed on the plastic boards.

“A Weekend with Region 6” Camp:  The camp is scheduled for August 5th, 6th and 7th (Friday night through Sunday).  We are taking 27 people to the camp this year!  We will meet in the Youth Center parking lot on Friday around 12 (noon) and drive to the camp.  This camp is held on the campus of the Missouri Military Academy.  We will be passing out information that reflects who students will be riding with and how much they still owe, payable when we arrive at the camp.  We would like to remind all students to read the camp information again, pack correctly for the camp and bring gas money, money for two meals (we will probably stop on the way down and back).  Don’t forget your swimming gear. 

Testing Change:  Since USTF national tournaments are using the plastic boards for competition we are changing immediately to using the plastic boards instead of the wood boards.  This decision was reached for several reasons.  To list a few; there are large variations in the consistency of wood boards, students are not required to strike the center of the wood board, cost of the wood boards, hassle with cutting the boards, the clean up and disposal of the boards.  Too many times we have watched one student who may be able to break one board then fail on the next.  The plastic boards will even the challenge to breaking.  We are currently investing in enough plastic boards to run our testings.  Each board lists its wooden equal on the back of the plastic board; an example is that the green board is equal to one wooden board. You will still be required to break the same requirements; an example would be if a student is required to break three boards they would have the plastic equal of three boards.  Please be patient as we make this change and you will see that it produces students that have better breaking skills.  We will still use the concrete tiles for black belt testing.

Testing:  Our next promotion testing will be Saturday, August 27th.  We will be evaluating students during the next two weeks and then publishing a list of those that will be testing.  If you have any questions please contact Mr. Bushor.

Is board breaking important?

(Mr. Ricky J. Todd, 6th degree)

 Why do we seem to be so obsessed with breaking boards?  What is the purpose?  What does it prove?  There is a classic line in an old Bruce Lee movie about boards not hitting back.  I have heard this line used by some students who didn’t want to break.  A student or instructor can become obsessed with breaking boards or tiles.  If you break three boards you may immediately think, “Can I try four?”  This is really not the proper attitude we want to encourage.  It is not about the maximum number you can break, but how you break them.  Do you display proper technique and balance?  That is what we are looking for during breaking.

Breaking boards is simply a way to test your power.  We use it to see if a student can focus their power into a small concentrated area.  If you can punch a board with the forefist with correct technique using your reaction force, concentration, breath control, equilibrium, speed and mass the board should break.  Striking heavy bags or kick shields are not enough to test your power.  Anyone can kick a shield and make a nice sound, but can they strike with the ball of the foot in a quarter sized area on command with enough force to break a board? 

Why is this important?  Because if you want to create maximum damage you must be able to concentrate your power into a small area on your attacker.  For example if you punch the sternum you may aggravate your attacker but by punching lower and striking the solar plexus you will have maximum results.

The purpose is really to test your skills of using the theory of power and giving you confidence that your technique will work if you ever need to use it in self defense.  Martial Arts that don’t use breaking or state that it is a waste of time really don’t understand the purpose.  What confidence do you gain by just punching the air?  Without resistance you don’t really know what if feels like to punch a hard object.  Think of your ribs or your jaw, they are not soft objects, if you don’t train by striking something hard you will be shocked by the jolt you receive if you every have to strike someone.  You don’t want your first attempt at breaking to be during a real self-defense situation. 

Again it proves that you are performing correct technique.  If not, the object will not break.  Have you ever wondered why when you don’t break that it hurts more?  This is simple to understand.  Whenever you strike something there is a certain amount of force created.  This force has to go somewhere.  If you strike the object correctly as instructed the object absorbs the force created and it breaks.  If not, the force is absorbed by the striking object, usually your hand or foot and hopefully doesn’t break.  Usually it will result in a sore hand or foot. 

All breaking should be preformed while an experienced instructor is watching, this will prevent injuries.  We can see when a students is about to do a break incorrectly and risk injury.  You will be asked to perform breaking in Taekwon-Do that may seem impossible.  Remember that your instructors have tried all the breaks that you are being requested to perform and would not let you attempt the break if we thought it were dangerous.  Relax and have fun with breaking, use it as a way to challenge yourself to be better in Taekwon-Do. 






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