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About Stance ( 서기 sogi )


The Korean martial arts has several stances (서기 sogi / seogi) used for different activities.

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Although there are strong similarities in stances throughout Taekwondo schools, individual instructors often have their own preferred style. These stances are most commonly seen in taekwondo forms, and are critical for balance, precision, and good technique in the martial art. Select a thumbnail image below to learn more about each stances;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attention Stance ( 차렷 charyeot )

Beginner   Tutorial Available

Attention is a stance where your body is in an upright standing position with the legs side by side, heels touching, toes facing straight forward. Your hands should be parallel with your body, to the side. From this stance instructors explain what will be taught during the class session and/or if they want your attention they say Charyeot, meaning you stop whatever you are doing and get into the stance awaiting further instructions. In ITF style Taekwondo, the feet are put at a 45 degree angle as opposed to straight in WTF style. This is the stance that all bows come from.

Attention Stance (charyeot) Attention Stance (charyeot)

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Ready Stance ( 기본준비 junbi )

Beginner   Tutorial Available

Ready Stance refers to the most common ready position used in Tae Kwon Do training. Ready Stance is performed by standing with the feet one foot-length from origin apart, measured from the outside edge (Foot Sword) of the feet, with arms slightly bent and loosely held fists about one fist size apart just below the navel and the fists should be a fist size away from the body. Muscles are relaxed to promote movement speed from this position. This stance and its variants are most often used at the start of patterns. The student should be alert and aware, inhale and breathe out 1/3 of the air in your lungs.

Ready Stance (jun bi) Ready Stance (jun bi)

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Walking Stance ( 앞서기 ap sogi )

Beginner   Tutorial Available

Ap sogi is used to approach or retreat in combat and poomse. Feet should be maintained 3 foot-length from origin. To maintain a sold base, the front foot is facing straight forward and the back foot is 30 degrees to aid balance. Both legs are straight and the inner sides of both feet should be on a straight line. The body is turned 45 degrees to the natural angle and the weight is evenly distributed on both legs.

Walking Stance (ap sogi) Walking Stance (ap sogi)

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Front Stance ( 앞굽이 ap kubi )

Beginner   Tutorial Available

Front stance is used when mobility is important. It is also a precursor of the fighting stance according to some authors. Body should be relaxed. From the attention stance with feet together, one foot is placed straight ahead of the other. Some style teaches to step side way slightly. The distance between the inside edges of both feet should be between one to two fists apart and is about 4 to 4 one-half foot-length from origin. Rear toes are turned outward about 30 degrees and the body is also naturally angled at 30 degrees. The weight should be 70 percent in the front and 30 percent at the back. In International Taekwon-Do Federation, this stance's length is measured from the tip of the big toe to the tip of the other big toe and this stance is called a "Walking Stance" instead.

Front Stance (ap kubi) Front Stance (ap kubi)

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Back Stance ( 뒷굽이 dwi kubi )  

Intermediate   Tutorial Available

This stance is specifically focused on shifting weight to the back leg, as it offers much more control, and makes it easier to kick off the front leg. To perform this stance, the body faces to the side, with the front foot facing forward and the front leg bent. The back leg is bent slightly and the foot is turned outwards perpendicular to the front foot making the letter "L" for this stance. When learning this stance, it is helpful to use a mirror. Align your feet as stated above - some styles require that your body is turned so only your front shoulder is visible through the mirror. Since there is almost no weight on the front leg, it can be swept without affecting the practitioner's overall balance. The weight distribution of this stance is 30% front and 70% at the back. This stance should be 3 foot-length from origin. Align the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle of back leg into a straight line. In International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), this stance is called a "L Stance". Also in ITF Style, there is a variant of this stance called Gojung Sogi or Fixed Stance which is One foot length longer, the weight distribution is 50-50. So when performing this stance one should just be able to see the toes of one's back foot over the knee.

  • Oja-sogi / ‘ㅗ’자 서기 / ‘ㅗ’ Shape Stance (body shifted to center)
  • Back Stance (dwi kubi) Back Stance (dwi kubi)

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    Horse Stance ( 주춤서기 juchum sogi )

    Beginner   Tutorial Available

    The sitting stance is generally used to practice punches. It is similar to the ready stance but feet are placed much wider, about two-foot length's apart. Also, the knees are deeply bent. The shins should be kept perpendicular to the floor. This requires the knees to move outwards away from the body. The hands are held in fists, on the hips at belt level, with the thumbs up. When a punch is thrown, the hand rotates 180 degrees to turn knuckles up before making contact. In combat it is used when being grappled in order to have a wide stance and low center of gravity, giving stability (compare with Judo and wrestling defensive stances). Short range punches can be used on the target who is holding one around the waist when in this stance. This stance can be used instead of a L-stance to perform a sidekick. The weight distribution of this stance is 50%-50% and should be directed inwards. This stance can also be used as a stretch. In International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), this stance is called a "Sitting Stance".

  • (Naranhi) juchum-sogi ( (나란히) 주춤서기 ) - (Parallel) Riding Stance
  • Mo-juchum-sogi ( 모 주춤서기 ) - Diagonal Riding Stance
  • Anjjong-juchum-sogi ( 안쫑 주춤서기 ) - Inward Riding Stance
  • Ap-juchum-sogi ( 앞 주춤서기 ) - Forward Riding Stance
  • Horse-Riding Stance (juchum sogi) Horse-Riding Stance (juchum sogi)

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    Cat or Tiger Stance ( 범서기 beom sogi )

    Intermediate   Tutorial Available

    Stand with your front foot facing forwards and the back foot turned 30 degrees to the side, keep the feet quite close together. The knees should not spread apart. Shift most of your weight to the back foot around 90%, so the front foot is 10% and only for balance aid. You can kick from the front foot with little body weight shifted. Additionally, your front foot should be up on the ball of the foot (heel off the ground). The heel of the front foot should be aligned to the back foot's heel. The butt is out and the body is naturally upright.

    Cat or Tiger Stance (beom sogi) Cat or Tiger Stance (beom sogi)

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    FORWARD CROSS STANCE ( 앞 꼬아서기 ap koa sogi )

    Cross Stance ( 꼬아서기 koa sogi )

    Intermediate   Tutorial Available

    This stance is used to quickly move sideways in which the front leg is supported by the ball of foot of the back leg. Draw one foot sideways over the front of the other foot and place the sole of foot flat onto the ground. The front soles should be close to each other when you cross and the back foot is angled at around 30 degrees. Lower both legs only slightly. The shins of both legs make a X and the shin of the back leg is touching the calf of the front leg. The weight distribution of the front leg is approximately 90% and the back supporting leg is at 10%. The space between the feet or the knee should not be too wide. The distance between feet is one fist-length apart.

    Cross Stance (koa sogi) Cross Stance (koa sogi)

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    REAR CROSS STANCE ( 뒤 꼬아서기 dwi koa sogi )

    Cross Stance ( 꼬아서기 koa sogi )

    Intermediate

    The weight is rested on the front foot which is facing 45 degrees. The back leg closely follows behind the front foot where you would draw one foot behind the other. The foot in the back should be supported by the ball of foot. The back foot should support the center of your body. The shin of the back leg should be closely attached to the calf of the front leg in a cross stance. The space between the feet or the knee should not be too wide. The distance between feet is one fist-length apart.

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    LEFT SIDE STANCE ( 왼 서기 wen sogi )

    Side Stance 'L' Shape ( 옆서기 yeop sogi )

    Intermediate   Tutorial Available

    For the "wen sogi", pivot the left heel 90 degrees to the left from a parallel stance. The right foot is facing straight forward. The stance should be one foot-length apart and both legs are straight. The weight is evenly distributed on both legs and the center of the body should be in the middle.

    "L" Shape Stance (wen sogi/oreun sogi) "L" Shape Stance (wen sogi/oreun sogi)

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    RIGHT SIDE STANCE ( 오른 서기 oreun sogi )

    Side Stance 'L' Shape ( 옆서기 yeop sogi )

    Intermediate   Tutorial Available

    The "oreun sogi", pivot the right heel 90 degrees to the right from a parallel stance. The left foot is facing straight forward. The stance should be one foot-length apart and both legs are straight. The weight is evenly distributed on both legs and the center of the body should be in the middle.

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    Parallel Stance ( 나란히서기 naranhi sogi )

    Beginner   Tutorial Available

    Stance is performed by standing with the inner edge of both feet about one foot-length apart and the toes are facing straight forward. The legs should be straight, eyes look forward, and the arms position will depend on the technique being used. In poomse compeition, some deduction factors are the foot-length is too narrow or too wide.

  • anjjong-sogi / 안쫑서기 / Inward Stance
  • pyeoni-sogi / 편히서기 / At Ease Stance
  • Parallel Stance (naranhi sogi) Parallel Stance (naranhi sogi)

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    Covered Fist Ready Stance ( 보주먹준비 bojumeok junbi )

    Intermediate   Tutorial Available

    Stance is performed in an upright standing position with the legs side by side, heels touching, toes slightly apart. Cover the right fist with the left hand and lift them up from the solar plexus to the target area. Put all of your strength into the right hand since that is the attacking hand. The left hand is used to cover and protect the right hand. Note the left hand should not cover the right fist too tightly.

  • danjung  / abdominal area
  • jungdanjung  / chest area
  • sangdanjung  / face area
  • Covered Fist Ready Stance (bojumeok junbi seogi) Covered Fist Ready Stance (bojumeok junbi seogi)

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    Crane Stance ( 학다리서기 hakdari sogi )

    Advanced   Tutorial Available

    Lift one foot like a crane and place the blade of the foot on the innerside of the other knee. Bend your knees and lower the body like a riding stance. The raised knee should be facing forward as well as the supporting foot. The knees should not be facing outward. This is a preparatory stance for an attack to the opponent such as a sidekick to the side. The weight distribution is 90% to the standing leg and 10% to the supporting leg.

  • Ogum-sogi / 오금서기 / Inner Knee Stance
  • Hakdari-sogi / 학다리서기 / Crane Stance
  • Crane Stance (hakdari sogi) Crane Stance (hakdari sogi)

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    Fighting Stance ( 겨루기준비 gyeorugi junbi )

    Beginner

    This stance varies with the martial art and practitioner, but is the basic all-purpose stance used in sparring and combat. Common features across the arts include turning the body to the side to present a smaller target, slightly bent knees for balance and agility, feet about two shoulder widths apart, and hands up, protecting the head. In an art relying heavily on kicks, the body's mass is usually shifted slightly to the back leg, making the front leg easier to lift and increasing the speed of kicks. Regardless of the exact stance, this is the most familiar stance for a martial artist. All other stances, blocks, and attacks flow from this stance.

  • gyeorumsae / =겨룸새 / Sparring Posture
  • wen-gyeorumsae / left foot in front
  • oren-gyeorumsae / right foot in front
  • Oreun-dora-ditgi / 오른 돌아딛기 / Right Turn Stance
  • Wen-dora-ditgi / 왼 돌아딛기 / Left Turn Stance
  • Fighting Stance (gyeorugi junbi) Fighting Stance (gyeorugi junbi)

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    Overlapped Hand Posture ( 겹손준비 Gyeopson-junbi )

    Advanced   Tutorial Available

    This stance has both hands overlapped across each other in the shape of a cross. The left hand palm is on top of the right hand. Leave about a fist size distance between the hands and lower stomach ( danjung / abdominal area ). The center of gravity is evenly distributed to both legs. Your body is in an upright standing position with the legs side by side, heels touching, toes slightly apart. This is an advanced ready posture used in the 4th dan poomse 'Pyongwon' of World Taekwondo Federation style.

    Overlapped Hand Posture Overlapped Hand Posture

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    Log Pushing Posture ( 통밀기준비 Tongmilgi-junbi )

    Advanced

    This stance has both hands appearing to push a log slowly with the two palms. You begin the movement by imagining that you are pulling a piece of log thats flowing on water toward your chest while you breathe in. Then use the handblades to push the log out slowly and breathe out. The height of your fingers should be around the upper lip area. This is an advanced ready posture used in the first dan poomse 'Koryo' of World Taekwondo Federation style. The center of gravity is evenly distributed to both legs at 50%. Remember junbi is to gather your spirit and power in a short time. Correct posture has the thumbs tucked into the palm. This is a form of Ready Posture ( junbi-jase 준비자세 ).

    Log Pushing Posture Log Pushing Posture

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    Two Fist Ready Posture ( 두주먹허리준비 Dujumeok heori junbi )  

    Beginner   Tutorial Available

    This stance has both hands making a fist on the side of the waist. The center of gravity is evenly distributed to both legs. From this stance you are awaiting further instructions. Most commonly used in demonstration activities.

    Two Fist Ready Posture Two Fist Ready Posture

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    Diagonal Stance ( 모서기 Mo-seogi )

    Beginner Level

    This stance is used to attack or evade an opponent where both feet are turned diagonally. The center of gravity is evenly distributed to both legs for effective and fast mobility.

     

    Closed Stance ( 모아서기 Moa-seogi )

    Beginner

    The inside edges of both feet are closed together and both the knees are straightened. Make sure to stand upright and the toes are facing straight forward. This stance is to focus the practitioners mind and relieve physical tension before or after poomse practice.

  • Dwichuk-moa-seogi / 뒤축 모아서기 / Heel Closed Stance
  • Apchuk-moa-seogi / 앞축 모아서기 / Toe Closed Stance
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    Bending Ready Stance ( Goburyo Sogi )

    Intermediate Level

    Lift one foot to knee level and place the blade of the foot close to the innerside of the other knee. Bend your knees slightly in preparation for a sidekick. The lifted knee should be facing to the side and the body facing the front in a fighting posture.

     

    RESOURCES
    This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Taekwondo Stances", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

     

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