Breaking (kyuko) is used as a way for martial art students to measures the precision and power of their hand strikes and kicks. Most rank testing requires patterns, self-defense, sparring, and breaking. Because offensive techniques may be fatal, students are not able to use full power when practicing against an opponent. By breaking solid objects, such as boards and bricks, they may measure their accuracy, concentration of power, and strength of will. Breaking is not taught to beginners, only to color belts and black belts.
If asked about breaking, most people think about spectacular martial art demonstrations. However, this is only a superficial understanding of breaking. The purpose of breaking is to build confidence in students by letting them test their power and see immediate results. Breaking requires executing techniques with precision and power.
Demonstrating breaking in front of a crowd may boost the ego but the real benefit of breaking comes from the confidence it gives the breaker. To build this confidence, the breaking does not need spectators.
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