서기 · Seogi
An essential component of any movement is how one stands. Different stances have
In this article, the units in which stances are measured is one shoulders’
Attention Stance, 차렷 서기 (Charyeot Seogi)
The attention stance is not used for fighting; it’s used only ceremonially
when bowing to instructors or other students. Though similar, it is distinct from
two stances which are used for fighting: the closed stance and the vertical
With this stance, the back of the feet should be positioned together, and the front
Parallel Stance, 나란히 서기 (Naranhi Seogi)
The parallel stance is used in preparation for patterns or other sequences of moves,
and sometimes in transitions.
The weight distribution is even, and the feet should be one shoulder’s width
Walking Stance, 걷는 서기 (Geonneun Seogi)
The walking stance is one of the basic combat stances. It can be used both offensively
and defensively, as it is a strong stance, but it is also slow to move out of and
so is not often used when kicking.
The stance is between two and two and a half shoulder’s width long, and one
and a half wide. The outer side of the forward foot points straight forward, and
the back foot points along the diagonal. The front knee should be bent so that the
knee joint is directly above the heel of the foot. The back knee should be almost
The analogue of this stance in Taegeuk Taekwondo is called the 'forward
stance', 'front stance' or 'long stance'.
Sitting Stance, 앉는 서기 (Anneun Seogi)
The sitting stance is another basic stance, which can, like the walking stance,
be used both offensively and defensively. It is a strong stance, particularly from
the side, but again it is difficult to use when transition, particularly when moving
forwards. Most transitions into and out of the sitting stance step sideways.
The stance is two shoulder’s width wide, and the weight distribution is even.
The knees should be bent, so as to lower the centre of mass and improve balance.
The outer sides of the feet should point forwards, not the inner sides.
The analogue of this stance in Taegeuk Taekwondo is also called the
'L' Stance, 니은자 서기 (Nieunja Seogi)
The ‘l’ stance is one of the basic stances which is useful for defensive
movements. The alignment of the body is more towards the side than in other basic
stances, giving a defensive advantage. However, unlike the other basic stances,
it is quick to transition from and to, so it is also useful for fast offensive movements,
such as kicks. It is least useful for many offensive strikes and punches, because
less power can be directed through to the arms than with a larger stance.
The back foot points sideways and the front foot forward. The stance is one and
a half shoulder’s width long and one shoulder’s width wide. Both knees
are bent, but the back knee more so, because the weight distribution should be seventy
percent onto the back leg, and thirty percent onto the front.
The analogue of this stance in Taegeuk Taekwondo is called the 'back
Closed Stance, 모아 서기 (Moa Seogi)
The closed stance is sometimes used for fighting and othertimes used for ceremonial
purposes such as the start of patterns, as in
Wonhyo, Junggeun and
Toigye. Because the feet are close
together it can be used to transition between movements.
The feet are placed right next to each other, and you should stand straight.
The analogue of this stance in Taegeuk Taekwondo is also called the
Fixed Stance, 고정 서기 (Gojeong Seogi)
The fixed stance is a stronger variation of the ‘l’ stance. Its width
is the same, but its weight distribution is even and the forward foot is further
forward. This makes it difficult to unbalance, and gives the user a sideways posture,
making the stance good for sideways offensive and defensive techniques. Like many
low centre of mass stances, it is not so useful for kicking, but the sideways posture
makes kicks involving turning more appropriate. This stance allows you to maintain
a sideways posture whilst moving forwards, combining many good features of the walking
and sitting stances, though it is not useful for reverse techniques.
The stance is one shoulder’s width wide and two long. The weight distribution
is even and the feet point perpendicularly, along the line of motion and to the
There is no analogue of this stance in Taegeuk Taekwondo.
Bending Stance, 구부려 서기 (Guburyeo Seogi)
The bending stance is used to defend against low-section attacks whilst at the same
time preparing for a kicking technique. It is used in patterns such as Wonhyo and
The back foot points sideways and the forward foot is level with the right knee,
with the sole of the foot facing the knee and the foot pointing horizontally. The
forward leg is bent at the knee, which angles to the diagonal.
The analogue of this stance in Taegeuk Taekwondo is called the Crane
Vertical Stance, 수직 서기 (Sujik Seogi)
The vertical stance is similar to the closed and rear-foot stances. It is used for
gaining height, and so is often used with downward techniques such as downward blade-hand
strike as in pattern Hwarang.
Because the feet are close together it is excellent for use in transition between
two other movements.
There are two variations, which are used in the same way. Whichever variation is
used seems to be a matter of personal preference
The first variation is similar to the closed stance and the attention stance, but
the feet angle outwards further. The back of the feet are together, and the front
of the feet point outwards.
The second variation is similar to the first but with one foot moved forward slightly.
'X' Stance, 교차 서기 (Gyocha Seogi)
The ‘x’ stance is dissimilar to most other stances. It has two significant
variations, both of which cross the feet over in some way. Variation one is used
for landing distance or height jumps, such as in patterns
Yulgok and Toigye. Though
variation two is used for stepping sideways in a defensive position, such as in
The forward foot points outwards from the forward line, and the back foot is behind
it on the ball of the foot. Both knees are bent and the back knee leans into the
front knee. The weight distribution is mostly on the forward leg. In jumping, the
forward leg of this stance is the leg that moves first.
The back foot supports most of the weight, and the other leg passes in front, and
is on the ball of the foot.
The analogue of this stance in Taegeuk Taekwondo is called the 'cross
Rear-Foot Stance, 뒷발 서기 (Dwitbal Seogi)
The rear foot stance is similar to many close-foot stances in that it gives height
to the practitioner, and so could be used for downward or upward movements effectively.
The rear foot stance though, puts much of the weight on one foot, making it useful
for stepping transitions or quick kicking. The rear-foot stance is used in combination
with kicking in patterns such as Junggeun.
The feet point perpendicularly to each other. The front foot is raised onto the
ball of the foot, and the back foot is flat on the ground. The front knee is bent
and the back knee is slightly bent. The distance between the front and back feet,
if the front foot were flat, should be about the width of a fist.
The analogue of this stance in Taegeuk Taekwondo is called the 'tiger
Low Stance, 낮춰 서기 (natchwo seogi)
The low stance is very similar to the walking stance, but is designed to give the
practitioner additional distance in the stance, or to block a low technique as in
pattern Junggeun. Because of
their similarity, walking and low stances will often be used in combinations, such
as in pattern Gwanggae.
The stance is two and a half to three shoulder’s width long, and one and a
One Leg Stance, 외발 서기 (oebal seogi)
The one leg stance is very similar to the bending stance. The difference is that
the one leg stance is designed for looking forwards, whereas the bending stance
Oblique Stance, 사선 서기 (saseon seogi)
Also called: Diagonal Stance, 대각선 서기 (daegakseon seogi)
The oblique stance is similar to the sitting stance, except one foot is moved slightly