what physics lies behind breaking wooden boards or bricks by a karate punch?

Asked by gnikhilvarma | 31st May, 2009, 06:21: PM

Expert Answer:

In karate, there are a number of punching and kicking stances, but most of them rely on this same basic idea. The point of impact is reduced to some small, usually bony area of your hand or foot, and the force of your attack is focused on this point. Karatekas strengthen their hands and feet so they can throw these punches and kicks without seriously hurting themselves. It is crucial to practice excellent technique; if a karateka continually punches incorrectly, he or she may eventually develop severe arthritis.

Karatekas maximize the force of the impact by putting their whole body into the punch or kick. If you watch karatekas fight, you'll see that they often pivot their torso and shift their weight from one leg to the other when they throw a punch. In this way, the energy of their moving body goes into each hit along with the energy of the arm muscles. Karatekas also practice hitting with great speed, as this increases the force of each blow.

Thus a karateka is able to break wooden boards and breaks by use of these techniques.

Answered by  | 31st May, 2009, 07:34: PM

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