1. Attention* Heels together

2. Parallel Ready* Feet shoulders width apart and parallel

3. Closed Ready A Feet together. Close right fist, place left palm over right fist. Hold 30cm from filtrum This start position symbolises the opposites of each other, i.e. hard & soft, dark & light, etc.

Example: The left hand symbolises the soft and the right hand is the hard. In Korean this is represented as Um Yang.

4. Closed Ready B Same as A but hold fist in line with knot of belt.

5. Closed Ready C Feet same as A and B. Both hands open, place left hand over right with first finger in line with first knuckle line of right hand.

6. Sitting Stance* Feet parallel, one and a half to two shoulders widths apart. Bend both knees equally. Back straight and head up. Weight distribution 50% on each leg.

7. Walking Stance* Feet shoulders width apart, one and a half to two shoulders width in length. Front leg bent with knee directly above heel of foot. Back leg straight, foot at slight angle to line of stance. Back straight and head up. Weight distribution 50% on each Leg.

8. L Stance Feet at a right angle, with the heels in line one and a half shoulders widths in length from the front toes to the outside of the back foot. Body faces same direction as back leg. Back straight and head up. Weight distribution 30% on Front leg, 70% on the back.

9. Fixed Stance Same as L stance except half a foot longer and distributes 50% on each leg.

10. Bending Ready Stance One knee in ready position for side kick. Standing leg with Knee bent and foot at right angle to direction of kick.

11. X Stance Both knees bent. Back straight. If striking to the left, the Left foot should be in front and flat on the floor, the right should be resting on the ball of the foot. Change when striking to the right.

12. Rear Foot Stance Feet at a right angle, shoulder widths in length with both knees Bent. Weight distribution 100% on back leg, which should be flat on the floor while the front should be resting on the ball of the foot. Body should be facing same direction as back foot.

13. Vertical Stance Feet at a right angle and flat on the floor, heels in line half a shoulder width in length. Weight distribution 50% on each leg.Both knees are straight with the body side facing.

14. Fighting Stance* This is a relatively new stance, which is very important as most sparring and fighting takes place when in this stance. It is similar to an L stance, the main differences being the back leg is pointed slightly forward giving better mobility for quicker movements, the body is half facing the opponent to present a more elusive target, and a strong hand position is maintained for defence, it is also a more relaxed stance.

* These stances are the basic stances first learned by the beginner.



This is a very powerful technique used to attack the floating ribs, armpit or neck artery, but is equally effective to the solar plexus.

1. From an L-stance the kicking leg is brought round so that it is bent with the foot tucked in towards the knee.

2. The hip is then raised up and the supporting foot turned outwards, away from the direction of kick.

3. The leg is then extended, thrusting the hip simultaneously into the attack.

4. The power is concentrated using the footsword (edge of the foot).


This is a very powerful technique used to attack the side of the knee, side of the temple or neck artery, but is equally effective to the solar plexus.

1. From an L-stance the kicking leg is brought up to the side using the knee as the aiming tool. Ensure that your toes are pulled back in this position.

2. Then continue kicking the leg out in a round motion, make sure the leg is locked out straight when approaching target. Make sure that your foot of the standing leg is turned to an angle behind you to enable you to open your hips.

3. Once the kick has made contact ensure you bring back kicking leg back to the original start position.

4. The kicking tool is the ball of the foot.


1. From fighting stance. Lift your back leg with your knee moving in a upwards motion towards your chest (this is called chambering the leg).

2. Then kick out your leg towards the target.

3. You are to make contact with the ball of the foot.

4. After kicking, bend your leg back towards your knee.

5. Place your foot on the ground and get back into fighting stance


From your walking stance, position your hands at your sides, swing your back leg forward and up, exhale when it reaches maximum height. (The muscle group at the back of the leg is the 'Hamstrings' and should be fully stretched before any kicking). Although this exercise is known as the FRONT RISING KICK, it is really only a leg swing. When the kicking leg is returned to it's original position, try to get into the habit of using both arms to block simultaneously, as this helps the beginner to co-ordinate the movements of hands and feet.


To get comfortable in the walking stance, prior to practicing any basic techniques, try to move forward and backward, taking four steps in each direction. Each time you move forward, remember the following two points:

1. Try to slide the stepping foot, rather than banging it on the floor, as you move forward.

2. Move the leg in a slight arc, almost touching the standing leg, as you move forward. (Also practice moving backwards).

The above two points will help you familiarize yourself with this stance.

The first exercise in the MIDDLE PUNCH. To begin, step into a walking stance, and place your fist over the knee which is bent, the opposite arm recoiling to the chamber position with the fist at your hip. Whilst moving your back leg forward, try to punch with the fist at your hip, and simultaneously pull back the opposite arm. Keep practicing until you have co-ordination your hands and feet to execute the exercise in one smooth movement.

In some classes, the Instructor maintains you count out loud on each successive impact, this helps you to exhale, as well as instilling confidence in your performance. Remember to punch approximately in line with the center of your chest and shoulder height, close your fist tightly, and don't bend at the waist.

PERFORMING A LOW BLOCK (performing a right hand low block)

1. Place your right hand on top of your left hand with your right palm facing towards you and your left palm facing away from you (Backs of the hands to face).

2. At the same time position both hands up towards your left shoulder.

3. Then move your Right hand in a straight movement downwards (keeping the right arm slightly bent). With the left hand place this back to the waist in a fist position with the fingers facing upwards.

4. Stop when your arm is above your front leg.

5. Your right hand should be a fist and half away from your lead knee.


You can use the inner or outer forearm when performing this block. The most common, however, is the inner forearm block.

Beginning in a RIGHT WALKING STANCE, firstly, hold the stance and complete a few practice movements with the hand you will be blocking with. At first using only one hand is beneficial, as the movement is learned faster, and batter understood. If you intend to practice a RIGHT INNER FOREARM BLOCK, begin by placing the right arm outwards, blocking over the knee which is bent. Remember the following five points:

1. The fist of the blocking arm is level with your shoulder.

2. Your upper arm and forearm form a 90 degree angle (Right angle).

3. Your elbow covers your ribs.

4. Don't block past your body.

5. Keep _ facing the opponent.

Once this movement becomes comfortable, try using the opposite arm to complete the technique. This is called the reaction hand, which acts as an opposite force, and aids the block.


Stand in a PARALLEL READY STANCE, move the RIGHT LEG back approximately one and a half shoulders width, bend the knee of your front leg, and keep your back leg straight.

The fundamental movements of Tae Kwon Do are practiced in the WALKING STANCE. Now try four steps forward, and four backward, until you are comfortable with this stance


Apart from practicing the forearm block, and other basic blocks in Tae Kwon Do, beginning students will be told repeatedly by their Instructor, to twist their hips as the techniques are executed. Your hip bone is called the pelvis, which is the largest bone in the body, so by quickly turning your hip as you execute a technique, your hip gives extra momentum to the technique. When practicing blocking for example, a good idea is to swivel on the ball of the foot with the leading leg in a stationary walking stance, lifting up on the heel and twisting the upper body, as if you were swinging a golf club, this will give power, and a flowing momentum to the technique.


There are various kinds of kicks in Tae Kwon Do. The basics are the side kick, turning kick, push kick, front kick, hook kick, back kick, axe kick.

Side Kick: is a very powerful kick that could be delivered with good support of flexibility. The drive provided by the supporting leg, combined with the proper aligning of the hips, generates tremendous power in this kick. The attacking tool used is the footsword.

Turning Kick: is the most commonly used kick in sparring that has great speed and appropriate power. The power of this kick is generated by completely turning the hips as co-ordinating the shoulders, the waist and the hips. It is the most effective when it is delivered near to the vertical line from the body. The attacking tool used is the ball of the foot in traditional & breaking and the instep of the foot for sparring.

Front Kick: is the basic kick that is delivered by snapping the knee. It has big power that could knock down a person in one blow. The attacking tool used is the ball of the foot.

Push Kick: functions as defending by stretching the leg and pushing by the foot. It is effective when the opponent is approaching without any warning in fast speed. It kicks off the balance of the opponents.

Hook Kick: may be considered a reverse application of the turning kick. The kicking foot is raised with the knee bent and drawn across the front body. Then the foot is swung upward in an arc to bring the heel across and into the target. As most Tae Kwon Do kicks, this kick's main source of power comes from your backbone and hip. The attacking tool used is the heel.

Back Kick: is basically took from the concept of the back kick of the horse. It is delivered to the rear by turning backward. This is the most powerful kick in Tae Kwon Do. The attacking tool used is the footsword.

Axe Kick: is the most commonly used effective kick along with the turning kick. The kicking foot is swung up across the body until it is high in the air, when it is brought straight down onto the target. This is used to kick the facial part of the body. Also, could be used to axe the opponent's shoulders or upper part of the body. The attacking tool used is the heel.


In Tae Kwon Do kicking is very important. In fact kicking is the most important part of Tae Kwon Do, it includes all types of kicks and some of them are very challenging. In order to kick well you need a number of things:

The first aspect of kicking is technique. Good technique ads power and speed to a kick, sloppy technique makes a kick slow and un-powerful and in some cases dangerous and uncomfortable. The first part of a kick is the chamber position, in a sidekick the chamber position involves you bringing the knee to your waist and pivoting the foot towards the back. This is a very important part of the kick and if done correctly can add a great deal of power to the sidekick. The pivot and chamber should be worked on a great deal as it is the main part of the kick, even the most experienced martial artists have trouble with there side kick and a good chamber means a good kick. Practice the chamber in front of a mirror and focus on getting it correct, you will find that your sidekick will improve greatly.

The front kick is very fast and powerful kick that if done correctly can be lethal both in sparring and on the street. The key to the front kick is driving the knee up and using the hips, drive the knee up to the waist and then thrust out but when you do drive with the hips and slightly arch your back. This will give extra distance and it is possible to generate alot of power from it. Also at the point where you are at full extension snap the leg back to gain extra power.

Turning kick can be very fast and extremely useful in sparring for going for the all important head shot, For this reason it is a good idea to train the turning kick for speed. This kick is commonly aimed at the head but can be just as effective when aimed to the body or in the street to the groin.

Crescent kick is a common kick in Tae Kwon Do, there are numerous variations to the crescent kick: outside, inside, spin, jump spin, 360 degree jump spin. The basic crescent kick is very easy to perform and although it is not very powerful it can catch an opponent of guard, to do this chamber the leg like a front kick and feint a front kick but at the last moment raise it up and then down on the top of the head. This technique is very effective but don't try it too often, as there are numerous counters to this move. The jump spin crescent is a very challenging kick and takes a long time to master. The key to this kick is to whip the shoulder round, this gives a fast spin and generates power, also make sure the jump is high enough to give you enough time to spin and don't raise the leg to early or to late the trick for this is too drive the knee up just as you have turned 180 degrees this gives enough time to land the kick. The 360 crescent kick is actually a very easy technique and can be executed easily and is commonly used in sparring. The key to this kick is the spring off of the leg. As you bring the knee round spring off the kicking leg and whip it round. Twist kick is a VERY effective kick when sparring it is strange kick and because of that most people don't expect it. When performing this kick it is hard to generate power and the kick is only effective when done quickly. The best area to aim this kick is the stomach and when possible try and strike the head. A good combination for this kick is a turning kick to the body and then with the same leg do the twist kick to the other side of the body.


The difference between a choke and a strangle technique is: A Choke is a technique applied against the throat that cuts off or restricts the flow of air to the lungs .A choke will render a person unconscious to the time scale of 30 seconds to 3 minutes after its application depending on whether the lungs are fully inflated or deflated at the moment of application and the amount of physical activity the recipient undertakes. Death will follow shortly afterwards unless the choke is released and resuscitation is commenced.

A Strangle is a technique usually applied against the neck such that the blood flow to or from the brain is restricted.Unconsciousness will occur in about 10 seconds after application and death at about 18 seconds .There is no resuscitation .The brain may be permanently damaged once unconsciousness has been caused by a strangle. It will be apparent that a strangle is far more dangerous than a choke, no one should apply a strangle technique to a colleague for more than 1 or 2 seconds .It is sufficient to show the effect of the technique and to practice their application . You should not practice chokes or strangles for an extended period of time as the body becomes sensitised and traumatised by the application of these types of techniques .I stress , it is dangerous to apply a choke and it is very dangerous to apply a strangle for more than the briefest of periods and they should only be undertaken in the strict confines of the dojang under the direct control of a Instructor.


© Copyright Tae Kwon Do Schools of Excellence