Weekend Diversion: Karate Chops

I remember being a kid and taking karate lessons. How cool was it to go somewhere for the purpose of learning how to kick ass? It was fun, of course, and one of the things you learned how to do was to attack (strike, kick, and punch) with your entire body, not just with your limbs.

Maybe the coolest parlor trick we learned was how to break a wooden board with our bare hands. (I remember surprising the hell out of Leon Hodge years later in High School by doing it in a history class one day; Hi Leon!) We also heard the story that the way this worked was that you compressed air molecules so much, so quickly, building up so great a pressure that you don't even wind up touching the board with your hand; the air in front of it breaks it.

So here's a little "mythbusting" for you:

Clearly, the "air breaks the board/block" theory is untrue. And how cool is slow motion?

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