Tae Kwon Do is an excellent way for individuals to learn self-defense, proper exercise, and self-confidence. While becoming an expert in Tae Kwon Do can take years of practice and dedication, a knowledge of a few basic stances is needed in order to form the foundation of this martial art.
The first stance a student would learn is called the Attention Stance. It is a simple stance used when beginning and ending practice, testing, and times when respect is to be directed toward the instructor. The stance is performed with feet placed closely together with toes pointing forward. The hands are one fist length away from the student's belt and one fist length away from each other. They are closed fisted with the thumbs closet to the person's waist. The individual should have a good posture and be looking straight ahead.
The Horse Stance is used primary when doing kicks and in some fighting situations. Like its name, this stance is taken from its simulation to riding a horse. The feet are one and one half shoulder lengths apart. The hands are placed at chest level with one hand slightly forward.
The Fighting Stance is used primarily when training for the martial arts, but would not be used a means of defensive. Here, the feet form an L shape. The left foot is facing forward and the right foot is turned ninety degrees to the right. The feet are one and a half foot lengths apart. Because the feet are so close together, the stance should only be used in practice. It would be easy to lose one's balance with this stance. Despite it's name, the fighting stance would not be an effective means of defending oneself. Here, the Horse Stance would be better suited.
Good and proper stances are the foundation to the proper execution of latter martial arts material. Once these stances are understood, proper technique will follow.