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The Penetration Step With Henry Cejudo
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The Penetration Step With Henry Cejudo

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When shooting in for the takedown, the penetration step can be a crucial part of making the takedown successful.  

Henry Cejudo has a few quick tips on how to make the penetration step more effective in his video, “Penetration and level change”.  

First, it’s worth reminding everyone, you cannot shoot from a square stance.  It is important to have a typical one leg forward stance when preparing to shoot for your takedown.  Equally important, changing your level and having good posture is imperative to a successful takedown shot.  

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Let’s first start by assuming the opponent is within reach and you do not need to close the distance.  We will start by dropping our level. This phrase is used often in Jiu Jitsu. What we are referring to is bending at the knees, like a squat.  Bending at the waist is not what we are looking for when we are looking to change our level. Bending at the waist breaks our posture, weakening our position, and puts us at risk of other attacks from our opponent.

Once we change the level, we lead with our front foot stepping towards the opponent.  After taking the step we want to drive the front knee to the mats. This is going to stretch you out leaving your back leg sprawled out.  A common next step is to drag the back leg up to a point where you can easily step up. Henry Cejudo says there’s a better way. Rather than dragging the back foot across the mat, he talks about focusing on your weight when driving the knee.  As he drives the front knee forward, he is focused on taking weight off of the back leg allowing him to lift it off the mat and bring it up to the step forward, planting the foot. This should leave you ending in a kneeling position.

If the opponent is not within reach, there is a simple way to cover the distance.  Simply bring the back leg up even with your front leg. This will allow you to take a step with your lead leg closing the distance.  If this is the method you must use to get in reach of the opponent it’s important that you are planning to drive to you lead knee the moment your foot touches the mat after taking the step with your lead leg.

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Now we are kneeling with what was our lead leg knee on the mats inside the opponents’ legs, and what was our back leg planted flat footed on the outside of the opponents’ legs.  At this point the last thing to check your posture. Your back should be straight up and down, and your head should be aligned with your back with your face facing the opponent. It’s crucial to maintain posture to limit the opponents attack options.

It’s now that we are in the appropriate position to grab the leg or legs depending on the takedown we are going for and finish the takedown.  It’s important to remember that shooting a takedown is not going to be easy. You must remain alert, and active, continually moving and working to distract your opponents’ attention to the upper half of your body so that you’re able to create a window of opportunity to shoot in for your takedown successfully and ultimately finish the takedown.

Join MMA Champion, and Olympic Champion Henry Cejudo, and take your wrestling game to the next level! Check out Henry's DVD "Gold Medal Wrestling", and get to work on your takedowns, top game, and bottom game! Check it out here!

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