I was repairing an old wall with my son the other day, and he asked me about the martial artists breaking bricks with seemingly minimal effort. While many people might see this as more of a stunt than a real skill, it seems like it requires tremendous power to achieve. So can humans break bricks with their hands?
Humans really can break bricks with their hands, but it requires speed and competence which most people lack. A person can do it, but it’s a challenging task to achieve, and can take years of training before they can have any success.
This article will discuss why breaking a brick with your hand is possible. I’ll also detail how martial artists do it and why.
Is It Possible To Break a Brick With Your Hand?
It is possible to break a brick with your hand, but only a handful of accomplished martial artists can do it. The required breaking technique is complicated, and the person must first build up a tolerance to such a significant impact.
How you hold your hand during such a trick is paramount to your success. The power of physics behind it dictates that placing your hand in a set, streamlined position and applying enough force at a high enough speed is the only way you can achieve it (source: Physics LiveJournal).
Since the trick is about the impact speed, you’d need to build enough strength in your hand to do it without injuring yourself. In this sense, it’s a bit like learning to play the harp – you need to condition your hand to withstand the pressure of such an impact.
In this sense, many people who have accomplished the move have spent years crafting skills and conditioning their hands to bear the weight of the strike without injury. One of the critical things to remember is that confidence is vital.
If you aren’t confident enough, you are less likely to achieve the correct speed that will enable you to break the brick (source: LifeHacker).
Still, confidence isn’t enough to break a brick with your hand. You need to have the physical endurance necessary to prevent yourself from smashing all the bones in your hand from the sheer force of the move — so don’t try this at home unless you’ve had some training!
How Do Martial Artist Experts Break Bricks?
Martial artist experts break bricks by learning endurance over time. Often, this can mean spending years grafting and learning the techniques to master the move fully. Additionally, martial artists only use specific brick types to train.
Martial artists often require several years of training to become physically strong enough to break a brick.
Additionally, martial arts proficiency depends on mental and emotional discipline just as much as it rests on physical skill. To break a brick, a martial artist needs physical and psychological training to even think about learning to break bricks (source: National Library of Medicine).
Aiming at the correct place is also essential for a martial artist to break an actual brick. You can’t just smash a brick in any old spot and expect something extraordinary to happen. Instead, it needs to be directly in the center of the brick to hit at the weakest point possible.
If a martial artist is attempting to break a brick, they must spend time building up the strength and tolerance of their hand. That might mean going through a period of painful endurance to increase the thickness of the skin on the end of their hand (source: Discover Magazine).
In this sense, this is why emotional endurance is just as important as physical strength in any martial art. If you don’t have the mental capacity to break through a period of painful strength training, you will not succeed in the craft.
Therefore, if a martial artist wants to break a brick with their hand, first and foremost, they must be mentally prepared for the challenge.
Finally, one of the most critical aspects of brick breaking with your hand is using your body weight effectively. Using the accumulated strength of your entire body’s weight will allow you to throw more pressure onto the brick, thus taking some of the onus off your hand (source: Dojo Life HQ).
Distributing the force through your body allows the martial artist to complete the move without injuring themself – a trick that requires certain mental agility and potentially many years’ worth of training.
You may wonder why martial artists would put themselves through all of this. To be honest, it’s all about doing the impossible. Martial arts techniques emphasize pushing the human body to its limits and attaining enough mental stability to overcome natural barriers.
Whatever you do, don’t try to smash a brick in half by yourself if you haven’t had training. Martial artists are skilled professionals. Only their training allows them to break bricks.
If you want a safe, fun alternative that still looks impressive, try a thin piece of balsa wood mounted across two bricks. Kids can have great fun breaking this with their hand, and it looks cool, too!