The penetration step is essential to almost any neutral position takedown. Although this is not something you will add to your Wrestling Moves List it is essential for many takedowns you will be adding. Performing the proper penetration is a very simple wrestling skill to learn yet takes hours and hours of practice to master.
Step 1: Start with either the staggered or squared stance. With either foot take a large step low and forward towards your opponent. Keep your weight balanced over your leading leg and do not over extend your upper body too much in order to keep this balanced position. Your hands and arms should remain in close to your body (to avoid getting hooked).
Step 2: Continue to step through while keeping your trailing legs knee off the mat. If it does hit the mat make sure it does not slide and that no weight is distributed to that knee. (it should bounce off the mat)
Step 3: Continue the step though all the while avoiding your leading leg knee to touch the mat. (This is difficult to perform at first but with leg strength and practice this will be easier to do)
Step 4: Finish the move by moving back up into your original staggered or squared stance.
The movement should be close to that of a pendulum. You move from the standing position to a low striking position and back to the standing postion all the while using the strength in your legs to keep your weight on the balls of your feet, your body balanced and ideally your knees off the mat.
TIP: Don’t step back or “wind up” prior to taking your step. Doing so telegraphs to you opponent that you are coming and they will easily defend your attack.
TIP: While practicing the Penetration step without a partner you should pick a spot on the mat and imagine where your opponent will be standing. Then make sure to step through that spot by a foot or two!
TIP: As you are learning this step concentrate on your body position and balance first. Perform the step very slowly at first and only after you are comfortable and feel balanced through the step start to add speed. Speed is critical but it will mean nothing if your balance is off at the point you make contact with your opponent.
Here is a great clip showing a great penetration step.