Breaking Boards

Breaking Boards

The first time I broke a board I believe I was a green belt in Tae Kwon Do. I was at a seminar, in which taught how to break boards for those students who were up for testing for their brown belts. I learned that when breaking boards, I had to focus on the middle of it with either my hand or foot, depending on which method is used when breaking it.

The board is held by two people, with their hands clasping its corners tight in a certain way, so when the board breaks, it doesn’t go flying. The trick is, however, not to strike the people in the process while breaking the board. It’s not that difficult when breaking it with your fist, but with your feet, it’s kind of hard not to. You have to be really focused on the grain of the board and the middle of the board when using the feet to break it, or you do wind up kicking your fellow students hands.

There is no deduction for it in the testing, at least that I am not yet aware of. When you are testing for a brown belt, it is required to break a 1″ pine board. The higher in rank you get, the thicker the board and the more boards you are required to break by a certain method – be it a punch or kick, or both.

In the seminar I was in, I broke all 3 boards – 1 with a hammer fist (the easiest way), 1 with a snap front kick (the 2nd easiest way), and the 3rd with a side kick (this way is kind of tricky because you can kick the board holders’ hands). It was an AMAZING feeling and a great accomplishment because I did not think I could do it. Yet I did. And I was only a green belt and not required to breaking boards at the time. (Ranks in Tae Kwon Do start at white, then yellow, orange, senior orange, green, senior green, purple, senior purple, blue, senior blue, brown, senior brown, red, and senior red before the black belt series begins).

About a year later or so, during one of my many summer school sessions at Hollins University, I was put to the test and challenged by a fellow classmate to break a board, because he didn’t think I could do it. It was filmed by several teachers and other students, as well as photos being taken in the process and was considered “the highlight of the summer session.” I can’t show the film, because there are other students’ works in this film, which are copyrightable. But I do have these.


This is a 1″ pine board, in which is the required size for brown belt testing. I call this phase SUCCESSFUL in breaking boards!





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Stay positive, keep smiling, and carry on! 






Colleen Burns


SKYPE: colleen.burns62

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