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Learn the Penetration Step from Olympic Level Grappler Henry Cejudo
Could you benefit from adding some Olympic level wrestling instruction to your arsenal from one of the best combat athletes in the game? Sure you could. I can’t stress enough how helpful basic wrestling is when applied to BJJ. The parallels between wrestling and BJJ are endless, but when it comes to developing that important take down game, I feel solid wrestling significantly adds value to your toolbox from the feet.
So, you’ve probably heard of Henry Cejudo. If you aren’t familiar with his storied wrestling career, you probably are familiar with his super successful MMA career inside the cage. Cejudo recently dispatched TJ Dilishaw in just 32 seconds in his latest conquest inside the octagon. By doing so he retained his flyweight title, and is now looking forward to his next MMA challenge.
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Cejudo recently filmed an instructional with BJJ Fanatics that showcases some of his vast grappling knowledge. Its titled “High Level Take Downs and Mat Control for Grapplers”. With Cejudo’s wrestling pedigree, its contents are sure to bring up your takedown game and help you connect some important dots. Have a look at this video. Cejudo covers one of the most important concepts in all of grappling. The penetration steps.
There are some interesting details here. Straight away, Cejudo’s commentary about his whole body being “alive” strikes a chord in me. There’s an element of awareness that seems to be paramount in becoming comfortable on the feet. The penetration step is classic as far as form goes. But Cejudo’s advice on making the trailing leg as light as possible is something I have surely not paid enough attention to in my training. His penetration step beings with a staggered stance. As he drops his knee to the mat, he keeps a strong back and good posture (a theme we can all relate to as BJJ practitioners). He then lifts his back leg through the movement instead of dragging it, and rises back up to his stance.
Cejudo then shares an excellent detail to making the penetration step even more powerful. To cover more distance, he briefly brings his feet together before his penetration step. This takes his partner by surprise, and can provide access to an incredibly deep shot. We’re always instructed in grappling to keep a wide base, but bringing the feet close together in this scenario can have an effect similar to a spring board as we react quickly to spread our base back out, making the shot and penetration step much more powerful. Great details!
If you’re a beginner in the early stages of developing your take down game, it’s important to start at the bottom. Foundational techniques such as these will be the building blocks of your BJJ stand up. The basics can’t be side stepped of you hope to become a well-rounded grappler, and Cejudo provides some fantastic ideas on where to start!