Breakable Boards: A Beginner’s Guide

0 Posted by - March 29, 2024 - Training

Breakable boards are an effective, fun, and versatile type of target training equipment. Training with them can improve your strength, power, and speed as a martial artist. Doing demonstrations with them can impress audiences, increase awareness of your martial art, and encourage new students to try it out. And successfully breaking a board can make you feel great about yourself, improving your confidence in martial arts training and life in general. 

Let’s take a closer look at how breakable boards were developed, why they work so well, and how to choose the right breakable boards for your martial arts training needs. 

What are breakable boards? 

Breakable boards are a type of board that’s specifically designed and crafted for striking-based training in martial arts. They can come in variety of materials, but are most commonly made from types of wood that are less likely to splinter and injure the striker. Wooden boards are also cut so that the grain will run parallel to the striker’s hand to ensure a cleaner break.

Breakable boards come in a variety to widths and sizes to accommodate different ages, sizes, and levels of ability. Some martial artists will also use other breakable targets in their training and demonstrations like bricks and blocks. (Most responsible martial artists will avoid anything made with glass, because shattered glass shards are messy and dangerous.) 

What are rebreakable boards?

To save money and cut down on waste, many martial artists also use rebreakable boards in their training. These boards are usually made from wood or plastic and feature a tongue and groove design that will break upon impact like regular breakable boards, but can also be put together again and reused. 

Which martial arts use breakable boards? 

Breakable boards are most frequently found in Karate and Taekwondo training, demonstrations, and competition. Some forms of Silat and some types of Russian combat will also use breakable boards in their training. 

How do you use breakable boards?

Although the exact techniques and uses will depend on the martial art and the martial artists involved in the training, breakable boards are used for striking purposes. Most martial artists will use breakable boards for strikes involve their hands or feet. But if you’ve trained properly and have the right skill level, you can also try to break the boards with other parts of your body, including your elbows, knees, or even your head. 

In training, martial artists use breakable boards to develop strength, power, precision, and confidence in their striking techniques. Instructors might also use breakable boards as part of their belt grading or promotion testing process. Outside of training, martial artists and stunt performers sometimes use breakable boards for demonstration purposes and artistic expression. 

Where can you use breakable boards?

Ideally, breakable boards should only be used with proper technique and proper supervision. For most people, this will probably mean that you should only practice with breakable boards at our gym or dojo. With the right training and experience — and the right space that won’t hurt you or your surroundings — you can also use breakable boards as part of your at-home training routine. 

How To Pick The Right Breakable Board For Your Training Needs

When you’re shopping for a breakable board, there are four main points to consider:

Training Goals: Who is the board for and what will they be doing with it? For children and beginners, for example, lighter weight wooden boards will be able to give the fledgling martial artists a challenge that’s appropriate for their experience level while still giving them the satisfaction of a good break. If you’re practicing for a belt test, it’s a good idea to research what type of breakable boards you’ll be tested with. Finding a board of the same material and design can help you make sure that your mind and body are as prepared as possible for the big moment. 

Breakable vs Rebreakable Boards: If your training goals don’t specifically require one or the other, you will also have to decide which type of breakable board will work best for you. Breakable boards are an excellent choice for demonstrations and testing, because they come with that extra wow factor for viewers. And being able to permanently break a wooden board with your hard earned skills is very satisfying. But rebreakable boards are often a more practical, affordable, and sustainable option for anyone who is practicing or teaching board breaking on a regular basis. 

Width: For safety, it’s important to pick a width that matches your skill level. Check out AWMA’s Breaking Boards Buying Guide for more information on specific measurements and the difference between wood and plastic boards. 

Shape: Breakable and rebreakable boards come in two different shapes: flat surfaces and curved surfaces. The flat surface board design is more traditional option and most instructors will use this type of board when they’re testing students, which makes them a solid choice for anyone who is specifically training for a promotion. Curved boards can be less intimidating for beginners and more comfortable for the board holders, though, which makes them beneficial for more regular training. 

The Goods:

ProForce® Rebreakable Board: Just slide together and start breaking. High impact molded plastic allows boards to be broken over and over again. Rubber pad covers both sides and provides a sure grip for the holder. Measures 9″ x 12″. Each sold separately. Available in Yellow (1/4″), Blue (5/16″), Red (3/8″) and Black (5/8”). $44.99-$49.99 USD

ProForce® Curved Plastic Rebreakable Board: Just slide together and start breaking. High impact molded plastic allows boards to be broken over and over again. Each sold separately. Overall size is 10″ wide x 8-3/8″ high x 1/4″ thick. $34.99 USD.

Wooden Breakable Board – 1″ Thick: Show off your breaking technique with these white pine breakable boards. Available in a variety of sizes and thickness for different skill levels. $6.99-$8.99 USD

Wooden Breakable Board – 1/2″ Thick: Also available in a variety of sizes and thickness for different skill levels.$6.99-$8.99 USD