The art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is renowned for its focus on technique, positional dominance, and strategy. As one level up in their understanding, they are exposed to a variety of positions, some of which are more unique than the rest. Perhaps one of the more exotic positions in the sport is the infamous “Truck” position. The Truck is a technique that originally goes back to wrestling, and has been synonymous with Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu style of grappling. Over the years, more and more athletes have adapted this move to add new wrinkles to their game. Today, we will review the Truck, its mechanics, and applications in BJJ.
What Is The Truck Position?
At its very essence, the Truck is a control position that targets the opponent’s lower body, specifically the hips and legs. You get this type of control by hooking one of the opponent’s legs with their own, while simultaneously grabbing the opponent’s hip or waist. This novel configuration not only limits the opponent’s movement but also opens up several paths for attacks and transitions to other positions like the back.
Benefits And Strategic Advantages
One of the main advantages of the Truck is the control it offers. The practitioner can effectively dictate the pace and direction of the match, making it difficult for the opponent to mount any meaningful offense. Additionally, the Truck’s versatility is a significant asset. From this position, you can move to different pathways leading you to dominant positions. Also, since the Truck is still not as accepted as other mainstream techniques, there is still an element of mystique in that not all practitioners know how to react (much so defend) when you apply it to them. Using the Truck to surprise your opponents and drag them to uncharted waters is recommended.
In this video, Eddie Bravo black belt and world-class competitor Geo Martinez, demonstrates two basic entries to the Truck. The first technique is where you enter the Truck by forcing the opponent to go supine by lifting their legs. Force your opponent’s leg upwards as you take the space near their hip. You can hook your leg to one side and reinforce the control by grabbing the other leg with your hands. This simple yet nuanced entry can give you many attacking opportunities. The second entry is where you go to the Truck against an opponent who turtles up. This is a nice follow-up to the first technique, as your opponent might go to turtle once you stack them. Both are excellent moves to get you started and are highly advised to at least try it out.
Basic Finishes From The Truck
Brandon Mccaghren is another high-profile 10th Planet black belt known for his technical approach to BJJ. In this video, he shows several submissions you can employ once you get into the Truck position. He shows the calf crank, banana split, banana splint, and crotch ripper as solid options to finish the opponent.
Submissions And Transitions
The Truck is not just a position of control; it’s also a means to move to submissions. We’d like to mention the Twister as a prime example of what you can do after entering the Truck. The Twister, by definition, is a spine lock, where you lock your opponent’s legs and hips in one direction as you crank their head at an angle. It is a brutal submission and highly useful in grappling and mixed martial arts. A practitioner can apply this painful and effective submission by controlling the opponent’s leg and head simultaneously. Other cool techniques you can do from the Truck include calf cranks, which target the calf muscle or Achilles tendon, and hip locks – these are techniques that Brandon shared in his video. Aside from submissions, the Truck also enables you to move towards the opponent’s back, opening up opportunities for strangles.
The Truck is an absolutely useful technique for anyone open to learning it, but understand that every position in BJJ is with its counters, and the Truck is no exception. Opponents versed in its intricacies can employ strategies like maintaining proper posture and alignment to neutralize its threats. Another vital defensive tactic is hand fighting, where the opponent works to break grips and prevent the practitioner from securing the head or limbs. Additionally, active leg movement, such as pummeling or even removing the entanglement altogether, is a simple yet effective weapon against the Truck.
Training And Mastery
To truly harness the Truck’s power in live sparring, it is a must to first master its fundamental movements. And to do this, you must consistently drill the entries and typical sequences. This repetitive practice ensures the movements associated with the Truck become second nature and automatic. It is recommended to allot a few minutes of your training day to understand the basic mechanics of the position, preferably with no resistance at the start. This is for you to build the muscle memory to apply the move with little thought. Once you get comfortable with the basic movements of the Truck, your training partner can now slowly add resistance to make your drilling more realistic. Once you are at this stage of learning, it is best to also work on the entries and submissions mentioned in the videos above. Remember that in order to be effective with the Truck, you must be able to cycle through your techniques as needed.
In conclusion, the Truck position in Jiu-Jitsu is a testament to the art’s ever-evolving character. It showcases how techniques from different grappling disciplines can be assimilated, adapted, and used to fit BJJ’s framework. For those looking to add another layer to their grappling toolbox (especially in No-Gi grappling), the Truck presents a harmonious blend of control and offensive potential that can surely make you a better grappler. As always, in the world of BJJ, embracing new techniques like the Truck requires an open mind, dedication, and an insatiable curiosity for the art. Try the Truck today and see if it works for you!
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