Why do we practice the art of breaking in most hard styles of martial arts, particularly in Taekwondo? Well there is many reasons why we practice breaking. Here is a few of them:
1. Accuracy - to measure the accuracy of our strikes. Can we hit any object of any size at various heights and angles at will? Accuracy is very important in martial arts as well as in life in general.
2. Power - to test our power. Starting with materials like 1 plank of wood/board to multiple of planks and building up to concrete. The harder the material, the more power required to break it. You can stack up piles of boards and concrete slabs to measure how powerful your strike is by seeing how many breaks in a given stack.
3. Efficiency - to test the efficiency of a strike. Is your chosen strike effective in a fight or self defense situation. Do remember that martial arts was first designed for self defense and warfare. If a technique is not effective on your opponent, why use it?
4. Focus - to teach ourselves how to focus without interruption. When you are breaking, it is only you and the chosen material that you are breaking. Any outside distraction or fear can lead to injury. One must be fully focused and committed to the moment.
5. Reduce Undue Stress - help to reduce or release undue stress and anger. Having the ability to let go of what is frustrating you by hitting an object and release the pressures of everyday life can be very relaxing. This does not mean you hit something out of anger. It simply means you will release that energy associated with the feeling of anger and stress and allow more positive energy in.
6. Feel the Hit - to know what it feels like to actually hit something hard. It is not good to be practicing self defense and not know what it feels like to hit something hard that could possibly hurt you. Lots of people fail at defending themselves because they were never in an environment that allowed them to feel what it is like to be in a situation that could possibly cause harm to themselves or others.
7. Deal with Pain - allows the individual practitioner to learn how to deal with pain. Good breaking rarely ever hurts if done right but when it is not, it will hurt. Do you have the ability to deal with the pain and carry on or will you give up?
8. Do Beyond the Usual - it is unusual to most people standard of normal things to do. But it is interesting and fun to do. Hard to explain. Either you like breaking or you won’t.
9. Diversity of Breaking - you can also practice breaking for competition. There is many different divisions and events for breaking. There is power breaking, creative breaking, speed breaking, high jump breaking, flying kick breaking, and many others.