Woolston Taekwondo

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Attention Stance

Charyot Sogi is the neutral, non combat stance used in class at all times when not training, during address, discussion etc. Feet are pointed outwards at slightly under a 45 degree angle with the heels close together. When bowing you should incline your head 15 degrees forward, remembering to always keep your eyes fixed on your opponent.

Closed Stance

Moa Sogi means the feet are parallel and close together. It can be side facing or front facing to your opponent.

Walking Stance

Gunnun Sogi is used to approach or retreat in combat and poomsae. Feet should be maintained shoulder width apart except when stepping, where the leading foot moves outwards marginally. To maintain a solid base, each step should put about a shoulder width between feet. When stopping in the middle of a step, the back foot should be inclined outwards slightly to aid balance.


Niunja Sogi is a standard fighting stance used in Taekwondo to prepare for kicking. The body is turned to present only the side to the opponent and the legs are split one and a half shoulder widths apart. The front foot points directly forwards while the back leg is turned out just under 90 degrees. The feet are lined up along the heels. To make sure you have the L-stance properly aligned, stand with your feet together, turn out the toes and step the back foot directly backwards into the stance. 70% of the weight should be on the back leg which means the front leg can be engaged in quick kicking and it will not unbalance the practitioner if swept.

Parallel Stance

Naranhi Sogi is a neutral stance from where a variety of Taekwondo kicks and punches may be thrown. The feet are both pointed forward and placed shoulder width apart. Arms are lightly bent with the clenched fist just under the navel and the muscles of the body should be lightly relaxed, ready to spring into action at any moment.

Rear Foot Stance

Dwit Bal Sogi is sometimes known as Cat Stance or Tiger Stance in Taekwondo. It is like the L-Stance but much tighter, and the feet are slightly over head width apart. Again most of the weight is placed on the back foot, leaving the front leg ready to kick.

Sitting Stance

Annun Sogi is a low stance used in Taekwondo and several other martial arts as a neutral position, which also enables an individual to practice punching. In Chinese martial arts, it is known as the 'horse-stance'.

Feet are placed wide, around two shoulder widths apart and the knees are deeply bent until the hamstrings lie parallel with the floor. The back is kept straight. Arms are bent with closed, upturned fists held at the hips. As each punch is directed forward, the fist swivels 180 degrees down to a natural position before impact, turning back up again as it is retracted to the sides.

This is a very arduous position for the legs and lower back. While punches are being trained, other parts of the body are receiving an workout. As a student progresses, his hips will begin to open up and he will be able to achieve an even lower stance. Tests of martial endurance are often based around maintaining this position for protracted periods, holding other objects on outstretched arms or even balancing them on the head.

Fighting Stance

This refers to the non-traditional stance sued in sparring and competition. The body is turned sideways to the opponent to present a smaller target with feet around shoulder width apart. The feet may be frequently switched to confuse and worry the opponent as to which is the leading leg. Hands are held up in a high guard to protect the head and the weight is kept light to enable quick movements. As in many other side facing stances, it is common to keep the majority of the weight on the back leg to avoid being swept and enable the front to deliver fast front kicks.