Horse Stance Training & Tae Kwon Do

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by dancingalone, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    This seems to have largely disappeared from most modern TKD schools. You know what I mean. The old 'settle into a deep horse stance' and hold it for 5-10 minutes. If you can, that is. :)

    Do any of you believe this type of conditioning still has value? For 'traditional' TKD? How about for sport TKD? Has horse stance training disappeared for any other reasons than because it is boring and painful?
     
  2. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    HAHAHAHA, really they used to do that?

    Well, the school I went to didn't have 5 minutes to devote to that, in retrospect it would have probably saved a lot of time on telling everybody to 'bend your knees' :)
     
  3. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    At the school I attend it's part of testing for all belts with black on them. Endurance in horse stance is used to add stress prior to and during the oral part of testing. The average seems to be 12-15 minutes. Value? I can see the value as a stressor and that it reinforces bending the knees in stances. Otherwise I think kicking, footwork and plyometrics are better related to improving performance.

    Carl
     
  4. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Yes, during my decade as a martial wanderer, I visited and trained at many schools from a variety of styles and systems. The practice was never a common one in TKD or TSD dojangs, but it happened, particularly if the school master was an older Korean.
     
  5. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    That's interesting, Carl. It's been my personal experience that training kicks, etc, doesn't necessarily prepare your leg muscles for something as mundane as just sitting in a horse stance for long periods of time. 12-15 minutes is a very long time for someone who doesn't condition this way regularly. (Not saying I doubt you or anything.)

    I will agree that if you want to kick in an explosive fashion helpful for competition, there's no substitute for just kicking itself along with plyometric conditioning. The horse stance training strengthens your legs and IMO this helps with the ability to produce balanced, rooted stances, which is of value in less ballistic circumstances.
     
  6. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    I like to do the middle stance drills for perseverance and focus. They do strengthen the quads, which helps with balance. I also like to mix them with slow side lunges; start in the middle stance, then after about 5 minutes, start to slowly shift your weight from right to left, so that each leg alternates taking about 80% of the body weight. That's even better for conditioning.
     
  7. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    I guess the horse sitting stance is a bit easier on the muscles than the downhill skier position....(try to assume that position for the 2 minutes it takes a top class skier to get down the Streif in Kitzbuehl or the slops of Vale)
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you are doing this stance with females, make sure they tuck their bums in and hold their pelvis correctly. It's helpful too to put the weight slightly more on the heels. if you are doing this stance and holding it, it's important it'sdone correctly especially for women.
     
  9. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    It's long enough I have to really train for it, and I do agree it has value for stance practice. While I agree it tests your strength, I think squats and lunges are better for developing strength because they move through the range of motion of the muscles involved. It's very clear to me how important good stance is for effective technique. I also think there's something to developing a feel or muscle memory for a deep, well-rooted stance that standing in horse stance promotes. Maybe it's the time and pain that imprints on you, but it's different from changing from stance to stance to stance.
     
  10. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Hmm. Care to elaborate why this is necessary for the obtuse among us like me? %-}
     
  11. dortiz

    dortiz Black Belt

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    Foundation, foundation, foundation.
     
  12. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Hey, Balrog. I've always wondered why the ATA calls a horse stance a 'middle stance'. Any particular reason?
     
  13. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    right, or you get the loo-sitting stance...
     
  14. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    I don't do TKD, but rather Wing Chun. For us the horse stance, or two induction point stance is important enough that almost the entire first form is done while in it. It is a training stance, NOT a fighting stance, by the way. The stance does strengthen the legs, but its focus as a training tool is to keep the shoulders over the hips while doing various things with your upper body. If the hips are tucked, it forces the knees to be bent and locks the body into the correct position. Untuck the hips and students tend to get too high in thier stance, by locking thier knees. The ultimate goal is for students to be able to move without breaking thier own centerline. The horse stance is a training tool used to teach themhow to settle into thier stances and what that feels like.
     
  15. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    LOL!

    It's to do with the female pelvis being different from the male, the tucked in bum and pulled in stomach should be encouraged while standing too, it's partly to do with good posture, partly to encourage the correct position for the pelvis so that there's no aches and strains plus it hekps when pregnant. Women who have had children will often have one hip slightly askew, thats becacuase we tend to carry toddlers on one hip so it sticks out a little more after constant use, my youngest is 25 and my right hip is slightly slightly more prominent than my left through carrying the kids, mine and friends.
     
  16. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Ouch!!!! truth to be told I think I could not last more than 5 minutes siting in the horse stance.

    Would my sambonim or I aske the students to hold the horse stance while we watch them to perform it well? Yes just to test the endurance of our kids but that's all.

    Manny
     
  17. The Ninja

    The Ninja White Belt

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    Hello to all of you!!

    I think that the horse stance is important...It was part of the making in the art itself.
     
  18. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    The horse stance is used as a leg strengthening tool on the sport side (Karate/TKD). Kind of surprised to hear that some schools have gotten away from it. It is a great tech for strength and balance.
     
  19. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    I guess the 'dynamic' form does not count AKA squats :)
     
  20. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    I make my kids sit in a horse stance for only 2 reason;

    One leg quad and hip conditioning as well as splits or flexibility training.

    Horse stance is great for flexibilty training.123
     

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