Taekwondo basics build your taekwondo
from the ground up

This page of taekwondo basics will help you perfect

your taekwondo stances.

Other pages of our site cover basic kicks strikes blocks.



Here's a quick video demonstrating most of the basic stances.

You can also see more helpful instruction on each stance below.

Ready stance or chumbi

taekwondo basics chumbi,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo
taekwondo basics chumbi,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo

The first of our taekwondo basics is get ready or chumbi.

To do this you stand with your feet shoulder width apart facing forwards. Then you cup your hands with your palms upwards.

You start with your hands just below belt level and slowly bring them up to chest level.

You are gathering your Chi or positive energy. Getting your mind and body ready for what's to come.

As you bring your hands up you bring your left foot in next your right foot.

Then you make fists with your hands and slowly bring them down to level with your belt.

At the same time you step your left foot out again to shoulder width.

Some schools like you to Ki Hup at this point. Just go with whatever everyone else is doing.

Once you are standing with your feet shoulder width apart.

And your fists clenched at belt level.

And your eyes focused forwards.

Your instructor and you both know that you are ready.

Ready and focused to give your best.


Horse riding stance or juchun seogi

taekwondo basics horse riding stance,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo
taekwondo basics horse riding stance,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo

The second of our taekwondo basics is horse riding stance.

The photos show Deb doing quite a narrow stance. Traditionally the stance is wider and deeper.

But today many taekwondo schools practise a more upright version. We suggest you do whatever style your instructor asks.

The important points are these.

The feet should face forwards. So don't point your toes out. (Your toes can point slightly inwards- that's fine.)

Your knees need to be over your toes. This means you need to push your knees out sideways.

Your back should be straight. And your bottom tucked under- not sticking out.

And you need to hold your core muscles strong and tight.

The most common use for riding stance is for practising punches, blocks and strikes. You often have to hold the stance for a long time which can be tiring if your legs are not used to it.

It helps to tighten your gluteal (bum) muscles and your abdominals if your legs start to shake.

You can also find at first that you get pain in the ligament down the outside of your ankle.

That's normal. It's just stretching a little. The soreness will go away after a while.


Walking stance or ap seogi

taekwondo basics walking stance,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo
taekwondo basics walking stance,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo

Walking stance is the next of our taekwondo basics.

It's mostly used in the taegeuk taekwondo patterns.

It's like normal walking. But your back foot turns out slightly.

It's important to look forwards.

Tighten the abs.

And keep a your back straight.


Front stance, long forward stance or Apkubi Seogi

taekwondo basics front stance,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo
taekwondo basics front stance,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo

Front stance is a powerful stance. Which grounds you. And gives you a solid, strong base. From which you can defend or strike.

The important points are these.

Your front leg is bent so your knee is over the toe.

Your back leg is straight and solid.

Looking from the front your feet are shoulder width apart. If you have one foot directly behind the other you can easily fall over. And if you feet are too wide apart it's hard to move and kick quickly.

It's important that both shoulders face forwards.

And as always your abs need to be tight.

And your back straight.

Look ahead to where you are going. Definitely don't look at the ground!

Again you will notice that Deb is doing the short version of front stance used in WTF taekwondo. In more traditional taekwondo styles the stance is longer.

It's important to work the way your instructor asks you to.


Back stance or dwitkubi seogi

taekwondo basics back stance,taekwondo moves,taekwondo stances,taekwondo

The next of our taekwondo basics is back stance.

Master this and you'll start to look like a real martial artist!

The important points are these.

Your front foot points forwards. And your back foot points sideways at 90 degrees to the front foot.

Make sure the back foot doesn't start to turn backwards or you'll look more like a duck than a martial arts pro!

Your heels need to line up.

So if you slide your front foot straight backwards it will touch the back heel.

Your weight should be 60-70% on your back foot.

So you can easily lift your front foot up if you need to.

And both legs are bent.

You should really sink down into this stance.

At first the back leg will feel tired if you hold back stance for a long time. But in time this will get better.

You need to tuck your bottom under. Hold in your abs. Keep your back straight. And look forwards.

Shoulder position and stance length vary in different taekwondo styles.

Your instructor will tell you how they want to see these taekwondo basics performed.


Cat stance, tiger stance or bum seogi

taekwondo basics cat stance, tiger stance, taekwondo moves, taekwondo stances, taekwondo
taekwondo basics cat stance, tiger stance, taekwondo moves, taekwondo stances, taekwondo

Cat stance is the last of our taekwondo basics.

It's used in some of the higher taegeuk patterns. Like Chil-Jang and Pal-Jang.

Again your weight is on your back foot. And your back leg is bent. With the foot turned slightly outwards.

For your front foot just your toes are on the ground. Almost as if the ground is hot and you don't want to put your whole foot down.

From this position it's easy to guard your groin. And to kick with the front leg.

In the photos Deb should ideally be bending her back leg more.

But of course as always. Taekwondo always gives us lots to work on!


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