All martial art styles use stances. Low stances are very stable and powerful. High, upright stances are less stable but allow for quick movement. For example: wrestlers use a low, crouched stance, most karate stylists use a low, upright stance, most Chinese stylists use a low, long stance, Aikido uses mostly upright stances, and Taekwondo, while considered an upright styles, uses low stances.
Stances form the foundation of all Taekwondo movements and techniques since they maintain stability while permitting quick movement. When the body is stable, tension in legs and feet is transferred to the body’s center of balance to furnish a firm foundation for any technique while still permitting rapid body movement in all directions. Without a firm foundation, movements will be unstable and techniques will lack speed and power.
Stances involve the concepts of body position, range, focus, and breathing. This topic discusses body positioning as related to stances. Range, focus, and breathing are discussed in other topics. Stances also express the user’s state of mind, spirit, purpose, and determination—they reflect the user’s intention to do battle.