Before a Taekwondo match even starts the first thing a Taekwondo player will do is position themselves into stance. Stance is a hugely important component for a Taekwondo athlete as you send at least 80% of your time in a match in that position. Even during basic traditional Taekwondo training, stance is a major variable which is practised over and over again.
A key question that I always get asked is “what is the optimal stance for Taekwondo?” There are a whole host of different stances in the Taekwondo competitive arena. Looking at the Taekwondo elite 2004 & 2008 Olympic gold medal winner Hadi Saeibonehkohal, of Iran, had what is regarded as a very wide stance.
4 time world champion Choi Yeon Ho of Korea had a very unusual stance in the 2001 World Championships where his back foot was turned in a linear position forward.
Canadian Taekwondo athlete and 2 time world bronze medallist Sebastien Michaud has a very crouched stance just like Bahri Tanrikulu, of Turkey, did early on in his career.
The answer to the question is very simple… There isn’t a correct stance for Taekwondo. Now many coaches would (and will!) argue this point but as long as the athlete feels comfortable and is able to perform techniques effectively there is no reason why the stance adopted is the correct one.
However, there are a number of factors that do need to be considered. Stance dictates posture and posture balance so depending on how you want to play it is a very important consideration.
Flexibility of an athlete also dictates stance, as well as stance when playing to the head and stance when playing to the body. There is also another consideration should stance be the same all through a match or change based on the opponent, game tempo, chosen technique? Should an athlete’s stance develop as they go through their career much as a golfer’s swing evolves?
So on the other hand maybe there is an optimal stance? What do you think?
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