Ch'ang Hon Taekwon-Do

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Breaking is an extremely valuable training tool for improving the effectiveness of a student’s techniques.  Breaking practice focuses on the development of; correct technical movement, exact tool application, power improvement, coordination of body movement and timing, speed, and balance.  Breaking may be practiced with breaking material (e.g., using boards or tiles - either supported, lightly supported, unsupported, or suspended), on heavy bags, on held targets, or combined with the execution of patterns.  This training is combined with the other individual components of Taekwon-Do practice - Patterns, Kicking, Ho-Sin-Sul, Step-Sparring, and Sparring.  Constant practice in all of these areas will result in students becoming proficient and effective in Taekwon-Do as an art.  It will also result in a dramatically improved capability for effective self-defense in serious situations encountered on the street.  However, for the purposes of breaking practice discussed here, only the application of these techniques to objects such as boards or tiles (targets) will be considered, rather than against opponents.

 

Individual Taekwon-Do techniques can be applied in different ways to affect a variety of results.  In one type of situation the student may need to put all of the energy developed with a technique into moving a target, rather than damaging it.  Or, a situation may require the target to be completely shattered without the support structure being moved at all.  The perfection of a specific technique will include the ability to perform both of these functions individually, as well as functions containing different ratios of both.   Using breaking as a training tool, the student can develop each of these capabilities separately. 

 

By changing the type of breaking technique, specific skills can be isolated and refined.  The ability to completely destroy a target without affecting the support structure is carried out with speed and focus.  Unsupported or balanced targets (mostly technique breaks) require extremely high speed and deep penetration.  Lightly supported targets (technique breaks and some advanced power breaks) require sharply focused pulses of power at high speed.   Supported targets (power breaks) require a well-developed level of power and are usually executed with deeper penetration.   

 

Chang Hon Kwan Taekwon-Do requires breaking for rank promotion.  The number and type of breaks continue to progress at each rank level.  Just as in the area of Patterns and Step-Sparring, the student is expected to retain and improve the breaking capability expected at previous rank levels.  Breaking requirements start out simple and few, and increase with rank.  Lower ranked students will be required to execute from 1-2 breaks, senior students from 3-5 breaks, and black belt candidates 5-15 depending on the rank they are testing for.  These breaks will consist of “power hand”, “technique hand”, “power foot”, and “technique foot”.  All breaks will be made on 1”x12” pine boards for colored belts.  The breaks for Black Belt candidates will be made on 1”x12” pine boards and concrete roofing tiles.  The width of the 1”x12” pine boards will vary from 4” to 10”.  The width of the board will be determined by the size of the student and the difficulty of the technique (4” for very small students to 10” for teens and adults).  More advanced students should also expect to encounter breaking techniques such as aerial techniques with feet and hands, as well as unsupported, balanced, or lightly supported breaks, a more difficult version of previously learned “Power” techniques.

 

Supported Breaks – Breaking material is held in place throughout the technique.  It is solidly supported on concrete blocks, with a breaking machine or by one or more students.  This type of support is primarily used for power breaks.

 

Lightly Supported Breaks – Breaking material is held in place throughout the technique.  It is solidly supported by a student standing in either a parallel stance, a close stance, or a one-leg stance.  These stances have no foundation so the body will move if the breaking material is hit with a pushing action (usually resulting in a missed break).  This type of support requires more advanced execution of the technique.

 

Suspended Breaks – Breaking material is held in place throughout the technique by either being balanced or lightly held.  Balancing will be when the breaking material is set, unaided on a flat surface.   Lightly held will be when the breaking material is held from the top or bottom to keep it in position but with no support - so that a light tap would knock it out of the holders hand.

 

Unsupported Breaks – Breaking material is floating in the air when broken, (e.g. dropped or tossed into the air by the individual testing or another student.

 

Required breaking techniques will consist of the punches, blocks, thrusts, strikes and kicks learned for the student’s last rank promotion, as well as all previous rank level promotions.  They will be executed from the specific stances in patterns or kicking instruction from which they were learned.  Breaks selected by the test board will come from those suggested by the student prior to testing (chosen by the student from techniques learned for the student’s last rank promotion) and all previous breaking requirements.

 

The colored belt student should expect to have at least an 80% success rate at breaking for those techniques learned for their last rank promotion, using their strong side attacking or blocking tools.

 

The colored belt student should expect to have at least a 90% success rate at breaking with techniques learned from three levels below their current rank while using attacking or blocking tools on their strongest side.  Additionally, they should expect to have at least an 80% success rate at breaking with those techniques learned from three levels below their current rank using attacking or blocking tools on either their right or left side.

 

The colored belt student should expect to have at least a 100% success rate at breaking with those techniques learned for five levels below their current rank while using attacking or blocking tools on their strongest side.   Additionally, they should expect to have at least a 90% success rate at breaking with those techniques learned for five levels below their current rank using attacking or blocking tools on either their right or left side.

 

The colored belt student should expect to have at least a 100% success rate at breaking with those techniques learned from seven levels below their current rank using attacking or blocking tools on either their right or left side.

 

Black Belt students should expect to have a similar level of success rate for each of their required techniques, but with accelerated expectations commensurate with attaining the various levels of Black Belt.