Ice Breaking is often seen as a side show for martial exhibitions.
Now an ice break can be real, or the ice can be prepared cutting the planks salting them and letting them refreeze so that none can see the difference. You are left on faith how real it can be.
This was before my time. I heard it from a friend who was a Pai student and used to stack the ice for those demos’
In the 70’s Damiel Pai was teaching first goju and later a family style of Chinese art, in the Conn., Pa, W.Va raea. One of the first to openly teach the Chinese arts. The way I heard it he was the first giving demos with Ice Breaks, and there were karate-ka who derided those demonstrations. When he moved away from those demo’s he did one final break.
He took a woman from the crowd, placed her on a chair. Had her hold her palm over the ice. Then he lectured those in attendance on Ice Breaks. Some of them were his main detractors. Finally he finished and went to leave the stage, then realizing he wasn’t done, turned and faced the woman, tapped her on the head, causing her hand to fall, and the ice broke.
Believe is or not, one of the more original stories I ever heard.
Later George Dillman picked up the stunt and started breaking ice.
But as this photo shows he used his elbow for the break.