Breaking, is the discipline of destroying inanimate materials such as wooden boards, bats, ice or bricks.
In class we use special break boards which increase in stength as you progress. The boards can be broken with both the hand and the foot.
In Taekwondo breaking competitions, the idea is to demonstrate power, speed and technique. The preferred object is commonly wooden boards of varying thicknesses, advanced students break several boards stacked one on top of the other. In Taekwondo, the hardness of the object to be broken is usually subjugated to the difficulty of the technique to be employed. Thus various body parts are used, such as the ridge of the hand, the knuckles or even the fingertips. Headbutts, knee strikes, elbow strikes and various parts of the foot are also used to break boards. A single board or stack of boards may be broken or, alternatively, a series of boards may be broken in a pre-set sequence utilising a variety of strikes. Advanced competitors may even break several boards in a single jump with multiple kicks before landing.
Some extreme examples of breaking by a Tae Kwon-Do master from YouTube!