Breaking toughens and strengthens the striking surfaces of the body, If you are a novice in breaking, you must first condition your hands for breaking. One traditional method is to strike lightly the edge of the boards used for breaking. Many are under the misconception that the main purpose of the forging post is to produce large callused knuckles but the calluses are actually a by-product of its use. Battering your hands is neither necessary nor desired. Mas Oyama, the great Kyokushinkai master, was a master of breaking. His knuckles had huge calluses covering them from years of breaking. In his latter years, he said he regretted what he had done to his hands.
In 1985, the British Journal of Sports Medicine conducted a survey in which the hands and wrists of 22 Karate instructors were examined under x-ray and by a physician. All of the instructors had at least 5 years experience. The study concluded that: "Long term and routine practice of Karate does not appear to predispose to early onset of osteoarthritis or tendonitis in the hands of those studied."
Medicine and Science in Sports (Vol., 1-2;95, 1970 ) published the results of a study in which the right hand of Masutatsu Oyama was x-rayed in both 1955 and 1970. Oyama had been training on the forging post since 1931, and over 30 years of forging post training had not produced any malformation of the bones on his hand. There was no evidence of any old fractures or calcification and in either set of x-rays, his hands appeared normal.
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