All stances may be oriented in either a closed (both opponents have same foot forward) or an open (opponents have opposite foot forward) position. This is an important concept as it pertains to how a stance is used while sparring.
Competitors use a variety of stances while sparring but the most common stance used is the basic fighting stance. Of the basic Taekwondo stances, the back stance offers the best fighting position, but it is forced stance, meaning that you must consciously force your body stay in the back stance position. To change the back stance into a more effective fighting stance start in a classic back stance and then relax and stop forcing the stance letting the body shift into a natural, more relaxed version of the back stance by:
- Letting the front foot naturally angle inward (about 45 degrees) to help protect the groin.
- Letting the back foot naturally angle inward (about 45 degrees).
- Letting the upper body naturally angle inward to protect the centerline.
- Slightly bending both knees and keeping them bent. If you straighten the knees, you lose mobility and power.
- Keeping the arms up in your favorite guard position, keeping the elbows inward to protect the midsection.
- Letting the shoulders relax and drop
- Lowering and tucking the chin to protect it.
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