Breaking your first board is a lot of fun.
You’ll earn huge bragging rights amongst your friends. Although, they probably won’t believe you at first.
The simple act of breaking a board with a bare foot or bare fist has many deeper implications.
New students typically fall into one of two polar opposites. They’re either ready and eager to break their first board, or they’re terrified of it, believe they can’t do it, and can’t even believe they’re about to try.
From that alone, I can glean some insight into a student. If they’re ready to break a board, I know they have confidence, desire, or some combination of both. If they’re not, they lack confidence in themselves and their abilities. It is also likely that they don’t push their limits much, sticking mostly to things they already know they can do.
Oddly enough, I prefer the latter group. Watching someone try to break a board who is already pretty confident that they can do it is really great. But watching someone who has zero confidence put their fist through that board for the first time, and seeing the look on their face!?
“It was so much better than I thought.”
They always say that first. But I warn them not to get too cocky. The first board is easier than you think. But #2 and #3 get exponentially harder.
That is not to downplay the importance of getting the first one under your belt. Breaking your first board changes something in you. Immediately, you feel empowered.
What else can you do that you thought you couldn’t?
For some, that board represents a larger thing you are struggling with. By breaking through it physically, you are having a breakthrough psychologically as well. It opens up worlds of possibilities in your life that you may not have explored otherwise.
For the people who are afraid to break a board, sometimes it takes me holding their hand and breaking the board with them the first time. Then, I tell them to try it on their own.
They just needed a little help. They might need a little help in other aspects of their life too.
Perhaps that’s the reason they have come to Tae Kwon-Do in the first place. Maybe they’re being abused at home, at school, or at work. Maybe they have experienced some other type of trauma in their life. They need a little help to get over that initial hump to realize that they can heal and come back from it.
Abusers like to trap people and make them feel worthless, like they can’t do anything on their own. Breaking that first board is a symbol of them finally breaking free.
So, if I have to hold their hand or hug them through their first board, then I am happy to. It is my job to show people what they are capable of. Then, to show them they’re capable of more and more. So one board becomes two boards. Then, it’s three boards. Then, it’s jumping over someone to break a board.
That board then becomes the springboard into their future.
But it all starts with your first one.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!