Once a student has reached Blue Belt, they are required to perform board breaking at their grading. Board Breaking is used to show how well a student understands a technique. It is not a demonstration of strength, in fact, if you rely on this alone there is a good chance you will not be able to break boards. Board breaking requires proper technique, control and focus as well as using your strength to be performed easily. Board breaking can be quite a mental hurdle for some students to overcome, but when they do, their confidence levels rise as well as their desire to try different techniques.
The boards we use to break for all students, regardless of age, are 25mm pine boards. Junior students are required to break a single board, but senior students are required to break 2 boards. We practice in class using re-breakable boards, which are a plastic training aid for the student to practice on multiple times.
For the students preparing for their Black Belt or Dan Promotions, board breaking is not the only thing they will be required to break. Black Belt gradings require Tile Breaking, while Dan promotions require Brick Breaking. By the time a student reaches this level, this is an achievable challenge and something that they have worked many years to accomplish.