help you to maintain balance and generate power during your
kicks and strikes. In addition, if you want to master your forms
(and Taekwondo in general), you need to have perfect Taekwondo stances (i.e.
back stances and front stances). Here are the basic WTF
Taekwondo stances. Visit our main
Forms page if you are looking for information regarding what
kicks, strikes & stances are needed for each Taekwondo form
Taekwondo Stance Videos
Written Instructions for Taekwondo
- Ready Stance (Joon Bi Stance)
- You will use this Taekwondo stance to start your forms and
many of your stretching/training routines.
The ready stance is performed by standing with your feet one
shoulder length apart.
Your head & body should be facing forward.
should hang down and be slightly bent with your hands formed as
Your fists should be down around belt level and they should be
a fist-size away from your body.
For an example of
the Taekwondo Ready Stance, you should watch the very beginning of
Taekwondo Form 1 (Taegeuk Il Jang)
as the Korean Taekwondo Master prepares to begin this form.
- The Taekwondo walking stance is like taking a small step forward in a slow-paced walk.
You will place one foot
forward as in a regular "walking" step. The rear
foot stays in place.
front foot points straight forward and the rear foot points
slightly to the side.
The distance between
the front and rear foot is roughly a foot's length apart. This
is a short stance.
You will see this stance in many
Taekwondo forms such as
the beginning of
Taekwondo Form 1 (Taegeuk Il Jang). Watch the Korean
Taekwondo Master in the
Form 1 video if you want to learn this stance correctly. He will
start in the Ready Stance and then move into a walking stance
with a low block. He will then step into another walking stance
- This is an offensive Taekwondo stance.
You need to take a long step forward with your front foot.
"length" between your
two feet should be two shoulder widths apart.
between your two feet should be one to one & a half shoulder widths
Your front leg
should be bent sharply forward (like taking a large lunge
forward). Most of your weight will be on your front leg. FYI -
My Taekwondo Master explains that explains the need for this
knee "bend" in order to generate power as you move forward and
to avoid your front leg buckling if hit by an opponent (a
knee is less vulnerable to bending backwards).
Your front foot will
Your rear leg should
Your rear foot will
face to the side at a 45 degree angle.
Your body will face
forward towards your opponent. Try to keep your body straight
FYI - My Taekwondo Master
sporadically tests me by standing on my front knee... to see if
it is "bent" enough. :)
Back Stance -
This is generally a defensive Taekwondo stance.
Your feet should be
in a L-shape (your front foot points forward and your back foot points
90 degrees to the side).
The "length" between
your two feet is about two
shoulder widths apart.
The "width" between
your two feet is minimally as your legs should
almost be in a single line facing towards your opponent.
You will place most of your weight on your back leg.
Your rear knee will be partially bent.
body will be facing to the side and thus you are offering a
smaller target to your opponent in the front.
Your head will face
forward towards your
FYI - I always have trouble keeping my front foot
pointing straight ahead when I am moving in this stance. Moreover, my Taekwondo Master occasionally sweeps my front leg to see
if I am putting my weight on my back leg. :)
- This stance is used mainly in forms such as the ending
Taekwondo Form 7 (Taegeuk Chil Jang). This Taekwondo stance is not used
frequently in sparring and/or fighting. It is used often for
practicing punches and building endurance (as your legs will
ache in this stance after a while).
Stand with your feet two shoulder lengths
Your knees should be bent... almost to a 45 degree angle.
You will look like you are riding a horse as you will be "bow
Your feet should be
facing forward towards the target.
Your body & head
will face towards the target.
Keep your back
Place your fists on
Cat or Tiger
Stance - Not one of my favorite Taekwondo stances as it is a
little unstable and hard to defend against non-frontal assaults.
This Taekwondo stance is used mainly for quick snap kicks and can be found in the
beginning portion of
Taekwondo Form 7 (Taegeuk Chil Jang).
It is similar to the
back stance but your front foot is very close to your rear foot
(versus the two feet being two shoulder widths apart) and
only the toes/ball of your front foot are touching the ground
(your rear foot is flat to the ground).
- Not used much in real life but it looks cool!
You will find this
at the end of
Taekwondo Form 5 (Taegeuk Oh Jang).
As you leap in the air,
you will land with your rear foot behind your front foot (so you legs are
crossed or "twisted").
This is supposed to
be a transition stance before you move quickly into a more
Be careful not to stumble in this
- This Taekwondo stance is used for sparring/fighting and not in
Taekwondo fighting stance
video in order to "visually" learn how to perform a Taekwondo
This is a modified front stance with fists in a
Your lead fist
should should be head high - ready to block or jab.
Your rear fist should be
neck/chin high -
ready to block or throw a powerful punch.
Your body should be
faced to the side - so you present a smaller target to the
opponent in the front.
Your head will face
forward towards the opponent.
Your feet should be
placed in a modified front stance. The distance of your stance
will be roughly half way between a walking stance and a front
Your weight should
be equally divided between your two feet/legs (don't favor one
leg). Balance on the balls of your feet - don't be on your heels
as this slows you down.
Generally, your front foot will
be at 30-50 degrees and the rear foot at 50-70 degrees. However,
don't worry about degrees and angles. Pick a
foot position that is comfortable/natural for you and that you
can use to quickly react to or initiate an attack.
students/Masters "bounce" slightly when they are in this stance
in order to move quickly and attack, defend or feint.
This is not a rigid
Taekwondo stance so stay loose & relaxed. It is for fighting and not