We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Smashing Bricks (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Cetch
View Profile
New user
Kelso, Washington USA
6 Posts

Profile of Cetch
Before I go off and hurt myself. Could someone tell me where I might be able to read up on breaking Cinder blocks on your self. Is there Brick preperation or is it straight out pain tolerance? Smile
Don't let them know how much it really hurts.
Darmoe
View Profile
Special user
Ohio
741 Posts

Profile of Darmoe
The majority of people you see doing this kind of demo have at least 3-5 years Martial Arts background or some kind of "mind over matter" foundation. In short, it is "legit"... even when laying on the nails or glass or whathaveya...

Yes, you can gaff the bricks... you can make them yourself out of oatmeal... I don't recommend it however. There are other techniques for making boogus brick... again, I don't advise it.

Why?

Let's say you get away with it for the next two or three years, have a client base and reputation going for you and on the day of your biggest promo some disgruntled News Paper reporter snags a brick, places the right bribe and voila! You're exposed and everything you've worked for is shot down in flames!

Let me put another light on this issue... I'm an outside consultant/specialist for a very well known "Reality Tv" show. My job is to investigate potential features, to see if they are legit or not. This show and the organization around it host legendary status when it comes to verifiable realities or truth about oddities. They will not risk promoting a fake. Thus, if you were extended the oppportunity to be on such a show and they found out your were faking it.. well, you lose credability and more!

Bottom line is, think before you act/cheat.
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Missing_Link
View Profile
Elite user
442 Posts

Profile of Missing_Link
Quote:
On 2002-07-01 09:52, Darmoe wrote:
The majority of people you see doing this kind of demo have at least 3-5 years Martial Arts background or some kind of "mind over matter" foundation. In short, it is "legit".


I would say that most perfoming this stunt do not have any, or minimal, martial arts training. I certainly don't. The stunt works due to fairly simple physics - not that it is without danger, but it can be done safely without any "mind over matter" stuff.

Learn first hand from an experienced performer - that way you'll learn the safe way. And, I agree with Darmoe, don't fake it. This kind of thing can be done without that.
Darmoe
View Profile
Special user
Ohio
741 Posts

Profile of Darmoe
Quote:
On 2002-07-01 12:44, Missing_Link wrote:
Quote:
On 2002-07-01 09:52, Darmoe wrote:
The majority of people you see doing this kind of demo have at least 3-5 years Martial Arts background or some kind of "mind over matter" foundation. In short, it is "legit".


I would say that most perfoming this stunt do not have any, or minimal, martial arts training. I certainly don't. The stunt works due to fairly simple physics - not that it is without danger, but it can be done safely without any "mind over matter" stuff.

Learn first hand from an experienced performer - that way you'll learn the safe way. And, I agree with Darmoe, don't fake it. This kind of thing can be done without that.


Well, my perspective on the term "most" stems from working for Ward Hall and doing Martial Arts Demos for a number of years... most of the folks I know in the biz have the trainning.... most I know that have contemplated it, seem to resign themselves to the idea of some in-depth study and trainning.

Yes! I can teach anyone how to break a wood plank or brick without years of study... Dean Hankey does it in his NLP School Assembly shows all the time... I get people to walk on hot coals without trainning... by BSing their psyche into believing they can do it... but it is ill-advised as well as potenitally "dangerous"

Simple? YES! It's logical and merely takes guts (or a few card short of a full deck... which tends to be how and why I've gotten myself into such positions in the past Smile )

The real point and reason I stress some kind of foundation trainning is safety, wisdom adn common sense... let EXPERIENCE guide you!
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Harry Murphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Maryland
5345 Posts

Profile of Harry Murphy
I get the feeling that two different things are being talked about here!

I believe that Cetch and Missing Link are talking about the old trick of using oneself as a table while someone breaks a cinder block or brick on them using a sledgehammer.

I believe that Darmoe is talking about someone breaking a board or cinderblock or brick with their bare hand (or perhaps their forehead, or foot) while it is being held firmly by a helper or stacked on a table or floor.

Two associated tricks but different entirely. If I am wrong in my assumptions then “WOOPS! I’m sorry!”

Both tricks have several things in common. They both rely on physics to work (I’ve never thought of physics as simple), both look dramatic as hell, and both can cause injury to the performer.

There are two other points to be made about both of the tricks. Both sort of negative points. The first is that neither requires the use of gaffed or gimmicked blocks, bricks, or boards. And the last point is (despite Darmore’s contention) neither requires long years of practice or discipline.

Both of these stunts were in the repertory of so-called circus “strong men” well before martial artists started showing off by breaking boards. Eugene Sandow, a strongman of the late 1800’s traveled the world over with his strongman act. It included has breaking boards, bricks and blocks of ice using his fists and head! As part of his act he also let an audience member break a stack of bricks while they were resting on his abdomen. His act was widely copied.

It is manifestly more difficult and more potentially injurious to attempt to break a board (etc.) with your hand, a la’ the martial arts thing, than to break or have broken a block on your abdomen.

Try this, get three or four of those flat, concrete squares that are made to lay down on your yard to make a walk way. Also get a 2-pound sledgehammer. Finally get a pair of safety goggles/glasses. Got it? Good!

Now put on the safety goggles, as eye injury is the main injury to fear from this little stunt. Sit comfortably, and lay one of the concrete squares on your lap. Take the sledge and tap the center of the square. OK, it didn’t break, but you didn’t feel much of anything did you? Ain’t physics grand! Tap it harder and harder, applying more force to your hits each time until you break the block.

You notice that you feel very little across your thighs except a bit of pressure. I set this up this way so that you would safely experience what it feels like (or doesn’t feel like) and thus reduce your anxiety, and gain confidence that you can do this.

Now, take the second paving square, put it on your lap, and WACK it! It breaks and you get cement dust all over your lap. Put two together now and whack them. Hey, you just noticed that it is not any more difficult to do two than one! There are tricks to doing more than two. You notice that most martial artists use these tricks (woops, so much for focus, strength, discipline, and years of self denial and training!). A spacer is put between each layer of block. There is a physics principle behind this that I won’t bother to explain here. Just know that it works.

Now comes a big test. Lie on the ground, lay a concrete square on your abdomen, take your hammer and tap it, then hit it with enough force to break it! Notice anything? No? Well, that’s what you are supposed to notice.

The final step in this “training” is to have a friend hit the concrete square while it is lying on your abdomen! Ta-Da! You’ve done it; you have the makings of an act!

Safety talk! Always wear safety goggles, cement splinters do fly and can and will injure your eyes. If you have an assistant (or spectator) helping you, require that they put on the safety goggles. Know that a cement block will have sharp edges when it is broken, those edges may cut you. These will generally be minor cuts and scratches, but you will be cut if you do this stunt long enough.

IF you use a spectator to break the block on you, know that you are risking your life! YOU ARE RISKINGYOUR LIFE! If you give the spectator a sledgehammer (of any weight) and they take a big swing and miss the block, they WILL break a bone and possibly KILL you.

Further, even a trained assistant CAN miss!

I strongly recommend NEVER, ever doing this stunt! Never!

Whenever I do this stunt, I whack the cinder block. I don’t miss, because I don’t take that wild swing. I know the force needed to break a cinder block and use a small sledgehammer.

I can do the “break the board with the bare hand” stunt. It is somewhat more difficult to learn and perform. I prefer using the edge of my fist or the area right behind my elbow on my arm and striking a stack of stacked paving squares (easiest to break and are “real”) rather the straight fist through the held board bit.

I do not (will not) perform the straight fist through held board stunt. There is simply too much that can go wrong. It won’t cost me my life but a misjudgment here also can cost a broken bone in your hand. I

Finally, the breaking the block on your abdomen can be performed while you are laying on a bed or nails or a bed of broken glass without increasing the danger in either of those stunts. It looks dramatic and dangerous (hey it IS dramatic and dangerous!) but is no more difficult or dangerous than performing any of the three stunts in one. Put them together and you have an act!

Let me say, that I performed this act for years, literally hundreds of times, and I have been hurt several times. Each time was an accident. Accidents will happen eventually!

Finally, I have never had one day of martial arts training. I learned these stunts directly from a sideshow performer who made his living performing this act.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Harry Murphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Maryland
5345 Posts

Profile of Harry Murphy
The above post somehow got posted twice, I am editing out the second one. Sorry!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Missing_Link
View Profile
Elite user
442 Posts

Profile of Missing_Link
Quote:
On 2002-07-02 20:33, mumblepeas wrote:
I get the feeling that two different things are being talked about here!

I believe that Cetch and Missing Link are talking about the old trick of using oneself as a table while someone breaks a cinder block or brick on them using a sledgehammer.

I believe that Darmoe is talking about someone breaking a board or cinderblock or brick with their bare hand (or perhaps their forehead, or foot) while it is being held firmly by a helper or stacked on a table or floor.


Mumblepeas - you're right, I believe Darmoe and I are talking at cross purposes here! I've never attempted the "martial arts" stunt so can't comment on the amount of training involved. But the version I do, as Mumblepeas describes, ain't that hard to do. Looks great to an audience though, and that's the main thing.

ML
Cetch
View Profile
New user
Kelso, Washington USA
6 Posts

Profile of Cetch
thanks mumblepeas, that was exactly what I wanted to know. I am not all that worried about the pain, I have a strong tolerence. I just didnt want to go off half cocked and try a stunt that needed any kind of setup Smile
Don't let them know how much it really hurts.
Darmoe
View Profile
Special user
Ohio
741 Posts

Profile of Darmoe
ACtually, no... there wasn't a criss-cross on the thought... though I did bring in the latter element as a kind of example (It's easier to teach someone they can break a board vs. talking them into laying down on a bed of broken glass and letting us smash bricks on their tummy...) Smile

Aside from that... I still hold to the idea that EDUCATION on such a thing, is important... just about anything I've done that "I thought I knew" and didn't get some direct trainning on resulted in injury... the gods know I've had far too many of those over the years... Smile
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Paul Jester
View Profile
Special user
UK
759 Posts

Profile of Paul Jester
Just a note, watch your toes... my Dad used to do the paving slab on stomach thing in Martial Arts Demos. One time the guy hit the slab, it broke, and fell on his toe Smile Smile oops!
Jester_Juggler
Prophet
View Profile
Regular user
Caledonia, NY
184 Posts

Profile of Prophet
I have seen the act where a performer (Brian Brushwood) Breaks a Cinder Block with a sledge hammer while balancing the block on top of his head. Is this the same principle as the abdomin?
Yours In Magic

Mike

Smile
If you are new to Magic check out my article
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=462185&forum=41
Duct Tape is like the Force. It has a dark and a light side and holds the universe together.
Harry Murphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Maryland
5345 Posts

Profile of Harry Murphy
Yes.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Smashing Bricks (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.16 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL