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#130268 - 10/20/00 10:51 AM Ice Breaker
Eaglemaster Offline

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 2
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
This next story involves one on the many ice breaks that I've seen Grandmaster Pai do. This one was in Connecticut somewhere. It was for the finals of a tournament and the demonstration was held on the school's stage.

I've seen Grandmaster Pai break one block of ice, but never have I seen him break more than that. This demonstration was the first on many such demonstrations I've seen.

I sat in the audience just a lowly brown belt at the time. The only reason I was there was to watch Grandmaster Pai break the ice. Finally it was time for his demonstration. I watched as the brought out a block of ice. The students that brought out the block of ice went back behind the curtain. I thought they went to tell Pai that the ice was ready. They just set the first block on a couple of cinder blocks, so I guessed he wasn't using any students' heads.

The curtain shook a little and the students carried out another block of ice. The put at either end on the first block two thin pieces of wood. They then hoisted the one hundred and fifty pound block on top the other. They continued this until they had eight blocks of ice piled one on top of the other. I thought, 'What manner of ice breaking is this?'

Grandmaster Pai walked out on the stage and began to tell his usual jokes. As he pontificated, the students were setting up a table behind the ice blocks. When they were all set, Pai turned and walked behind the ice.

He stood on the table and could not even reach the top block of ice. He jumped off the table and started yelling for his students to bring something else for him to stand on. One student walked out with a chair and placed that on top of the table. Pai climbed on the table and then the chair. The chair was fairly old and not very staple. He had two students hold the legs.

His head was still below the ice. He had to reach above his head to place his hand on the ice. All you saw from the audience was a large hand on top of a large thousand pound wall of ice.

He placed just his fingertips on the ice and the palm of his hand was raised a few inches above the ice. Now keep in mind he has no leverage or body weight because his hand is above his head.

The palm raises up and down a few times like a large spider flexing its legs. I saw the ice begin to crumble--followed by a large bang. The ice crashed down ferociously and flew out into the audience.. It was unbelievable. I never to this day saw anyone even come close to repeating that type of ice break. It was incredible to watch, hear, and feel.

Ernest Rothrock

#130269 - 07/17/03 04:16 PM Re: Ice Breaker
Grappler Offline

Registered: 07/09/03
Posts: 32
Loc: sayville,New York, United Stat...
how did he ever do something that great??? Was it a fake break or real???

#130270 - 07/17/03 09:18 PM Re: Ice Breaker
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
That's what makes stories interesting, you're left hanging.

All I can say is Ernest is my friend for 25 years, my tai chi chaun instructor, he's taught me quite a bit about the Chinese arts and I've never had any reason to doubt what he's seen.

But I can't explain it either. Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction.

Victor Smith

#130271 - 07/25/03 12:51 PM Re: Ice Breaker
MAGon Offline

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 1737
Loc: Miami, Fl.
Another story: In the mid- 80s I was sent for job training to Maryland for a couple of months. As is my habit, I packed my gi in my suitcase and looked for a local school immediately upon arrival. Although a Japanese stylist, I stumbled upon a very good Tang Soo Do instructor (He tested and received his 5th degree about a month after I left) and asked to be allowed to train (I won't say his name, because I haven't asked his permission to do so). I was welcomed with open arms, and had a great two months worth of cross- training. He must've been tickled or amused by the idea of someone from a different tradition being enthused about his style and teachings, or else it was just his good humor and sense of hospitality, because although I was only a 1st Kyu brown belt, he took a personal interest in my training and kept me on the "inside track" of the dojang.
Anyhoo, one night I stayed past class to train a little more on the staff form he'd taught me during the class, while he did his office work. After about an hour later, he invited me into his office to chat. During our conversation, he showed me a photograph of himself doing an ice breaking exhibition at a local event. The 150 lbs. blocks had been stacked exactly like Eaglemaster described, with wood "spacers" at the the ends. But these had been stacked one story high in front of a local store and he stood on the roof of the store in order to punch down into them!!!! The picture he showed me captures the moment when the stack had been shattered halfway down. I was duly impressed and said so effusively. He waited until I'd finished Ooohhhhhing and Ahhhhhhhhhhing, then gave me a playful smirk and let me in on the trick: He said the hard part was breaking the first block of ice. Once THAT was done, the momentum of the blow to the first ice block, the ice's weight and good ole gravity took care of the rest!!!!!!
Knowing this, I STILL find Grandmaster Pai's break impressive. To break an 150 lbs. ice block with a palm strike with so little wind up is ONE HECK of a feat. As for the rest of the ice blocks.... Oh, heck, what's so bad about a little bit of martial arts drama, anyway!!!!!

[This message has been edited by MAGon (edited 07-25-2003).]

[This message has been edited by MAGon (edited 07-25-2003).]

[This message has been edited by MAGon (edited 07-25-2003).]

#130272 - 07/31/03 12:21 PM Re: Ice Breaker
Ender Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/29/03
Posts: 2253
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
And people think there arelimits to what somone can do...

tsk, tsk, tsk


#130273 - 12/07/03 01:12 PM Re: Ice Breaker
ShaolinKungFuFighter Offline

Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 4
No kidding? I just started Shaolin Kung Fu and am an orange belt. I don't know if they have ice breaking in this form of martial arts, but it would be interesting to do I suppose. Since the hard part is breaking the ice, is there a specific method or trick to breaking it? Just curious.

P.S. Does anyone have any good sites that offer diagrams for pressure points? Just wondering.

#130274 - 03/08/04 01:12 PM Re: Ice Breaker
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Seen it many times, long as you can break the first piece your home free, the wieght and domino affect take care of the rest. Yes it is impressive as hell to watch but not that big of a deal.


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