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