I have been training wrestling in Corea for a good year now. When I learned the "penetration step" (drop step), I learned to put my knee on the mat. However, here in Corea, putting the knee on the mat is a HUGE no-no.
Everyone tells me that putting the knee to the mat is WAY too slow. However, this is the way I learned it and it works for me, so I want to just ignore these folks. However, I teach basic wrestling to people who want to do MMA as a hobby, and my teaching methods get called into question.
Personally, I can see the merit in not going all the way down to the knee when performing a penetration step. However, I think that learning a drop step by placing the knee on the mat has several distinct advantages:
It teaches a wrestler to LOWER THEIR LEVEL. Beginners too often try to charge in without lowering their level and they get punished for it.
It is an "exaggerated movement" which helps beginners learn how to coordinate their bodies and HOW TO SHIFT THEIR BODY WEIGHT during a drop step.
It allows learners to easily branch off into other moves such as the low-outside single and John Smith single, both of which require the knee to touch the mat.
When an opponent sprawls, wrestlers often end up on their knees. Performing the dropstep with the knee on the mat helps wrestlers get comfortable DRIVING THROUGH the opponent while on the knees.
Putting the knee on the mat gives you a lot more "distance" with your penetration. A relatively shallow step gains a lot of distance when the leg rotates forward and the knee hits the mat.
Putting the knee on the mat gets you low -beneath your opponents center of gravity, making a lift that much more easier.
Going to a knee helps beginners to learn how to KEEP GOING FORWARD with their leg attacks. I have seen too many beginners step in, grab the legs, stop all forward momentum and then try to lift their opponent. The drop step helps beginners learn how to MOVE FORWARD while lifting.
Lastly, the people who have told me not to teach the penetration step with the knee to the ground have failed to provide me with an alternative. Personally, I don't know how to teach a penetration step without touching the knee to the mat, let alone teach it to others.
I am curious to hear other people's thoughts on the issue. Knee on the mat? Yay or nay?