I was partnered with a guy at the gym the other day who was having a hell of a time working out how to hit a tire with a sledgehammer. He had no point of reference as to how to even start, and obviously no previous experience with tools or how to wield heavy objects without getting himself in trouble.
I tried to give him a visual mirror to copy, breaking down the move, but the 45 second time interval was too short and he couldn't get the hang of it, so the coach took him aside to practice by himself.
Now I understand how hard it is to learn a new physical skill, it's taken me quite a bit of practice as an adult to be able to throw a ball well (yes, I throw like a girl. OK threw like a girl, through lack of experience doing it as a kid), but there's another problem, some of the folks at the gym who can do the movement pretty accurately (and by that I mean that their body mechanics are good and they are not hurting themselves) would be useless on a construction site because they are purely doing the move, not using the tool for what it's FOR - i.e breaking things.
Their motion is contained, gentle, and balanced, in the same way that you see most Tai Ji practitioners do the strikes and kicks in their form, no force potential whatsoever, and what I mean by that is that if they actually made hard contact with something, it would be them that would fall over, with no effect on the thing they struck.
So I propose that a great addition to a martial arts curriculum or to a 'functional' gym workout would be to do some demolition. Not mindless thrashing, but the way the construction industry does it when they want to take out certain elements of a structure, save some of what they take out, and leave other parts intact.
Demolition with hand tools would be a wonderful way to learn the about the mechanical advantage of levers, heavy weights and gravity, alongside accuracy, physiology, efficiency and safety.
You would also get to break things using your own power - which is enormously satisfying - and as an added bonus, the accuracy part and the safety part would demand intent, calibration to the task, and the ability to adjust and adapt in a dangerous environment.