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Stances as combative devices

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Ever thought there was more to stances than just standing still?  Ever thought they looked like they had combative purposes that seemed to conflict with the unrealistic notions of many patterns applications?   Well you were right!  Stances are devices to affect stability, mobility and facilitate the transference of energy (percussive and otherwise).  In 'Old School Perspectives on Taekwon-do' my NEW BOOK OUT NOW!!! , I examine stances and the confusion over them.  I address the claim that many are just for 'leg strengthening' and I show how they can be used to efficiently employ a whole host of self-defence techniques hidden in the Chang Hon tuls. What follows is a short excerpt from my New book.  Enjoy the article and don’t forget to look at the video example ;)  Taekwon Ciaran McDonald

Sitting stance: Application B - Knife hand takedown (Do-San Tul)

In this technique, the sitting stance is used to attack someone’s balance. Again, we drop weight down and through the opponent. However, in this example we also use the stance to block the feet of the opponent and prevent them from readjusting their base once we shift their centre of gravity away from it. This results in loss of balance and a takedown (see Figure.57).  

The steps

  1. The attacker’s arm is lifted using a rising block. This disrupts their posture and momentarily prevents them from responding with proper power.

  2. The defender spins round and under the arm to position himself behind the attacker.

  3. With the defender now low in his stance and close behind the legs of the attacker, the attacker is prevented from stepping backwards in order to right his balance.

  4. The defender can now apply backwards pressure using a knife hand across the chest to disrupt the balance of the attacker and take them down. This is further aided by the attacker using his knee to ‘pop out’ the knee of the attacker.

Thanks for taking a look!

This is the first example of my new blog on applied Taekwon-do. These blog articles will help the TKD lover find the magic self defence in their system. Whether Taekwondo, Taekwondo-do or Tae Kwon Do, we are all one.

It the mission of Old School Perspectives to help the martial arts student or instructor find the hidden or lost magic in their kata, tuls, hyung, poomse or forms. By understanding the applications and the lost practices of our art we can begin to design better and more appropriate methods of training the techniques than the common method of step sparring.

It is my hope that together by looking at the past we can make TKD more relevant to the self defence needs of the 21st century.


Ciaran McDonald M.A., M.Ed.

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