Kenpo Karate Board Breaking with the Head…Yikes!


How One Man Almost Broke His Head with a Board in Kenpo Karate

I was studying Kenpo Karate back in 1967. I lived for Kumite (karate freestyle), and I thought that breaking was a subsection of martial arts reserved for the truly great.

I was excited, then, when I heard that a special board breaking seminar was going to be put on at my school.

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On the appointed day we lined up and bowed in. There were about twenty of us, and we stared at the huge pile of boards that were waiting for our hardened fists and excited souls.

The head instructor, a slight fellow name of Rod, came to the head of the class and began telling us the things we needed to know. We learned the theory of how to tighten the fist, how to strike through the board, and how to have total and utter confidence!

One of the fellows, Jeff, raised his hand.

“Sir? Rod? Can you break a board with your head?”

Rod smiled, “Yes, but you need to practice hard, make sure you understand all the things you need to before you try such a thing.”

Shortly afterwards we adjourned to another room to continue the seminar.

Jeff, however, was not with us.

Rod was going over how you have to hold the board, how you have to protect your fingers and brace the arms, when, suddenly, there was a sharp and loud THONK! from the other room.

Nobody said anything, we just held our breath and waited, and, suddenly, Jeff appeared at the doorway.

He was standing slanted. He walked off kilter across the room and knelt at the end of the line. Even his zazen was off kilter.

He was giving his total attention to Rod, however, so the seminar went on.

We broke a lot of boards that day, made a lot of kindling for winter, and at the end, everybody bowing to Rod and talking excitedly, Jeff made his way to the front of the class.

“Sir? Rod? Can you break a board with your head?”

He had no idea that he had ever asked that question before.

Are you a Kenpo martial artist? Check out The Man Who Killed Kenpo.

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