Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for...

H is for Horseback Stance and Ho Sin Sool

Horseback stance is another one of our basic stances and it is so named because it kind-of looks as if one were sitting on a really fat horse.
The key to this stance is to make sure that the knees bend deep while staying directly above the heels and the toes point forward.  The hips can be rotated forward or backwards (as if you were going from Cat pose to Cow pose in yoga) for weight distribution and power.  We start practicing this stance early on for punching drills but you don't see it in forms until green belt and above due to its difficulty.  The Naihanji forms (see N) use it the most heavily and are not learned until 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dan, respectively.

Ho Sin Sool means self defense and refers to a series of techniques we start learning at 1st Dan designed to defend against a grabbing attack.  We have techniques for when someone grabs your opposite hand (grabbing your right with theirs which requires them to reach across the body), when someone grabs your same-side hand (left on right or right on left), when someone grabs you with both hands and when someone grabs your lapel.  Like the one-step techniques they are a series of 3 or 4 moves designed to incapacitate the aggressor.
Not a traditional part of Tang Soo Do, the primary source for the bulk of the techniques we practice is actually Akido, so they all involve using the attacker's momentum against them and moving, in general, in a circular motion.  Because Akido specializes in grappling they start learning these techniques much, much earlier on than we do (and they're MUCH better at them).  We instead focus on the basics, forms and sparring and then get into these techniques at 1st Dan and above (because it's best to get a solid understanding of one martial art before picking up another).


  1. It does kind of look like he's sitting on a horse. Aptly named!

  2. Akido sounds like something most young women should be taught, just in case.

  3. I would love to learn Ho Sin Sool! Everyone, especially women, should know basic self-defense moves. :) Great post!

  4. That horse pose would exercise a lot of muscles, too, aside from learning self-defense, which is probably reason to learn Akido.

  5. It definitely makes sense to have a good foundation, before getting into the more tricky elements of martial arts. The first thing I thought of when reading this post, is that it must be great exercise, discipline and a wonderful way to relieve stress and improve flexibility.

    M. J.
    A - Z Co-Host

  6. My dad did Akido for a long time. I learned some, but not this much! Thanks for sharing...


Thank you for your comment! I will love it and hug it and pet it and call it George. Or, you know, just read and reply to it. But still- you rock!