The Manual - How to chop through a brick

1 Starting position Position the brick the way you would lay it, so the angled side is downwards and the flat side is up. Kneel down on one knee. In this position, you can rise up on the other leg to generate extra power and by being lower, you can use the stronger centre of gravity.

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2 Hand position The Korean word for chop is 'son-nal' (hand knife). You must create a small impact point - a knife-edge. Push your thumb and fingers next to each other as tight as you can and use the muscle that forms at the base of the little finger on impact.

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3 Utilise the whole of your body Think about how your hips, shoulders, stomach and all other muscles can aid you.

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4 Technique A 'twist' before striking will add extra power and more control. Begin with your hand near your ear, and the palm away from you - almost in a 'salute' position. Bring the hand down and turn it straight, so the edge of the palm hits the brick.

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5 Confidence Mental strength is almost more important than physical prowess. Having the genuine belief you will go through the brick helps avoid failure and injury.

By Tom Ford with Neil Guest, 7th Dan World Tae Kwon Do Federation and Secretary General of the British Tae Kwon Do Control Board

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