Low Stance

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Alexander, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    Hello all! I was just wondering about the definition of a 'Low Stance' - which is very prominent in the ITF stuff in the Patterns done at 1st Degree. In all the videos I've seen, and whenever I've done the 'Low Stance', its been a Walking Stance (or Front Stance). But whilst reading through the official written descriptions I've noticed many of the moves are supposed to be in a 'Low Stance' and I haven't the foggiest as to what that is... I ran some searches on these forums and asked Google Sensei, but wasn't able to find a good definition. Plus, all the online videos tend to show people doing the movements in Walking Stance instead of Low Stance, unless there's a very subtle difference that I'm missing...

    So I was wondering, could anyone give me a handy definition of what a 'Low Stance' is, and/or how it differs from walking stance?

    Many thanks,
  2. martinnharvey

    martinnharvey Valued Member

    Low stance (nachuo sogi) is a foot length longer than walking stance

    It's introduced in pattern Joong Gun at blue belt


    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  3. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    What's Google-sensei?

  4. A low stance is a walking stance. But one foot length longer and wider.


    The use for this stance is incase somebody is trying to kick you. But the kick is nowhere near you so you have to step closer to them to block it because if you didnt step forwards to block it, the kick would miss you altogether. And an attack missing you being widely regarded as a good thing is therefore unbearable to General Choi who immediately set about devising a method to make sure nobody ever missed his students with attacks ever again.
  5. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    Is it? Wow, I always did walking stance throughout! Does anyone know if the Low Stance was a latter development of whether it was always there... I've just never remembered it in any written pattern description that I've seen of Joong-Gun. Perhaps I've just totally subconsciouly blotted it out!

    Cheers Martin
    Hi Matt,
    Google Sensei - he very wise! (I'll PM you soon by the way, just need to properly collect my thoughts before I write anything substantial.)

    Awesome! Thanks for the application dude! I'm not sure I'd have ever thought of that one on my own! :D
  6. Angelus

    Angelus Waiting for summer :D

  7. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    is'int this first introduced in won hyo tul??

    when your stepping out to perform the circular block??
  8. wmks shogun

    wmks shogun Valued Member

    This is all speculation here, but I think I might be able to shed some light on the situation. The ITF walking stance is a shortened version of your basic shotokan karate front stance. In the earlier days of TKD, I do not think there was a walking stance, only front stance. I believe it was changed to make it more 'Korean.' Changes have crept in over the years; the walking stance and the sine wave are two such examples.
  9. martinnharvey

    martinnharvey Valued Member

    It's always been walking stance with the circular block in my book.

    I was going from memory but I think it's introduced in Joong Gun


  10. martinnharvey

    martinnharvey Valued Member

    AFAIK you are correct. In the 1965 TaeKwon-Do book by Gen Choi there is no Walking stance or L stance, there is Front stance (Chon Gul Sogi) and Back Stance which later became Walking and L respectively. There is also Low Stance which hasn't changed

    It's interesting to read this book and see how much has changed over the years. I love the old 'calf length' trousers with the doboks...
  11. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    i'll take your word for it!

    but i was taught to do a low stance for that block as it was moving out further than a walking stance it stuck out in my mind!!

    this may have been one of them old differences we have deen talking about in hee il cho's tkd forms, as my instructors would have come from that line at the time.
  12. Cait

    Cait da Bionic is BACK!

    shogun's right, it's one of those things that grew out of the desire to separate tkd from karate.. from what i understand, all the stances were originally much longer/wider, due to the heavy influence of karate during the japanese occupation of korea. as we all know, korea can't stand japan, and so the tkd slowly worked the longer stances out. it'll still show up in a number of things, like some of the ITF patterns, and the WTF palgwes.

    Also, a lot has to do with a given school's interpretation of the pattern.. remember, no two schools (or people) will ever do a pattern the exact same way. Different styles & different grandmasters have their own ways of doing things.
  13. Mandras

    Mandras Eats Ninjas For Breakfast

    According to my handy dandy training manual the circular blocks in won-hyo are done in walking stance, with the low stance first appearing in joong-gun with the palm pressing blocks. :)
  14. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    as i said!!

    this could have been from the differences my group had picked up from gm cho.
  15. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    I was always taught low stance as being *much* lower than walking stance, i.e., longer than a foot length. Right pain if you're knackered :)

    Interesting about the front stance and back stance. I wonder if this was when they got the 'left and right stance' rse about face?

    Rhetorical question - Why is it that left walking stance has the left leg forward, whereas left l stance has the left leg rear? I know it's to do with weight distribution but damn it's annoying.
  16. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    seems to be a constant between you and tkd :D
  17. TKDTraditional

    TKDTraditional Valued Member

    One technical description of a low stance says that it's 1-1/2 shoulder width long as measure from the heel of the front foot to the toes of the back foot. Compare this to a walking stance that is measure from toes to toes. Therefore, the front foot extends one foot-length further forward.

    My 6th edition (1986) of General Choi's TaeKwon-Do uses low stances for both pressing blocks (moves 27,29). The same book describes a low stance as "similar to the walking stance, though longer by one-half foot."
  18. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)


    I was taught "1 foot length" longer never heard the 1 foot length wider bit though!

    Anyway, heres an old document I did that may be of use to students. It denotes what the patterns ready postures is, as well as which ones have fixed or low stances (as these are often confused with walking or L stances).

    Disclaimer: These are based on the ITF not how other may do things and its a few years old (so anything, if at all, that may have recently been changed probibly isnt included)


    Attached Files:

  19. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    Thanks a lot for that document, much appreciated!

    I guess the low stance must have been eliminated from the syllabus I was taught; So I'm probably not going to be changing the way I do things, but it's always interesting comparing styles.
  20. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    and you should never have to! just work with what you have been given on the trad patterns as the concepts are still the same. while looking at the other versions of the art we practice can give us a clue to more applications or roots of movements.

    this is why i have spent time on looking at karate kata of shotokan and okinawan arts as well.

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