Shattering expectations: Quebecer becomes concrete breaking champion

"Just give it your all,” says Janet Neeracher, Quebecer who can break eight concrete blocks with a single foot stomp -- recently returning from a competition in Atlantic City as a champion. Pamela Pagano reports.

Shattering expectations is Quebecer, Janet Neeracher, breaking eight concrete blocks with a single foot stomp.

She won first place in the division of her last two competitions. Including back in May – in Atlantic City – making her the United States and World Breaking Association (USBA) North American Champion in the category.

“It’s hard to describe,” said Neeracher. “It just feels really, really good to achieve that.”

Quebecer, Janet Neeracher, at the Pro Am Taekwondo school in Brossard on July 3, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

“My son started first and I was one of the parents who was sitting on the sidelines watching him do it, brought a book sometimes,” Neeracher explained. “At one point I was kind of like, okay, I should get in shape.”

“Instead of sitting here and watching, I’ll get in,” she added. “I’ll just do it.”

And she did just that –- over 10 years later, she is a 2nd degree black belt in taekwondo.

Quebecer, Janet Neeracher, attending a class at the ProAm Taekwondo school in Brossard on July 3, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

The ProAm Taekwondo martial arts school in Brossard –- on Montreal’s South Shore — is where she trains and now also gives classes.

Her competing journey began with fighting, but she says she’d have close to no one to fight against in her category –- which meant sometimes not fighting at all.

Still wanting to compete though — one year ago, she deciding to try breaking.

“I was breaking wood with my hand, wood with my elbow,” she said. “Then I did elbow concrete.”

“At the beginning of this year I injured my bicep,” she added. “And it wasn’t even doing taekwondo, it was scraping the ice off my car!”

That injury led her to this: Power Concrete Foot Breaking.

Quebecer, Janet Neeracher, breaking concrete blocks with a single foot stomp at a competition on May 25, 2024 in Atlantic City, United States. (Credit: Monster Productions)

“So I said, ‘I’ll try the foot stomping. Why not? I’ll just try it.’ So I only started foot stomping at the beginning of this year,” she explained. “I knew I had strong kicks but I wasn’t sure if I could break concrete with it.”

On May 25, she won first place for the second time in a foot stomp competition — breaking eight of eight blocks.

“I’m still getting used to it,” said Neeracher. “Like, yeah, okay, I won but you’re only as good as your last one.”

“I’m already training for the next one,” she added. “And I’m training like I didn’t win the last one.”

Quebecer, Janet Neeracher, broke these concrete blocks with a single foot stomp on July 3, 2024 at the ProAm Taekwondo school in Brossard. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

The rush she gets from breaking –- indescribable, she says.

It is also a way to help her overcome life obstacles and anxiety.

“You get bruises, you get swelling, you ache,” she explained. “You just kind of have to do it anyway.”

“It’s a lot of focus, it’s a lot of mental preparation,” she added. “You have to shut out the world and just give it your all.”

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