Horse Stance

馬步 太極拳 騎馬立ち
Horse Stance

Horse stance is the fundamental stance in all style of martial arts. Japanese Karate also has horse stance named Kiba-dachi.

In Chinese martial arts, the way of standing differs from school to school.

What does the Tai Chi horse stance look like?

Let’s explain.


With the toes pointed forward, stand in parallel feet with a stride double the shoulder width.

Place the sacrum tucked in with putting knees apart to the left and right.

And keep the posture of “Sink the chest, raise the back (含胸抜背)” so as not to lean backwards.

This helps you have a stable stance with feeling a center of gravity at  “Energy Center (丹田)”.


Furthermore, press the lower body down with dropping the center of gravity (Energy center).

Grabbing the ground with the toes and heels, and place the weight evenly on to the 4 points.

This completes the iron arch with the harden buttocks and thighs.


There is a sacrum at the top of the arch.

The spine has a natural S-shape standing on the sacrum in balance.


The distinctive feature of Tai Chi horse stance is its posture of opening the crotch (開胯).

And by this opening, a robust arch is completed.

It you felt the outer edge of the foot and the thumb bite into the ground, you would  not hurt the knees.

The muscles and tendon of the both legs are strengthened to keep a strict posture.


For beginners, their legs might be sometime  shaking or become sweaty.


The horse stance strengthened the legs.

But that was the result,

Do not aim to train the lower body muscles and tendons.


If your aim is wrong, you could not practice in the right way.

I often see a disappointing horse stance that is supposed to be the posture in immobile heavy foot.

The martial arts leg should be light and hard.

It can change in an instant.


It is very important to learn the correct posture of house stance.

If you could not take this basic arch position, you would not be able to expect further improvement in your martial arts.