Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has evolved comprehensively over the last ten years, and this is due to many new innovators within the Martial Art. The rise of No Gi grappling on the international scale has driven the sport to bold new heights. Nowadays athletes are extremely well versed in leg lock attacks, and leg lock defenses. This new high level game style involves a whole bunch of new positions not seen in the early days of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The leg entanglement game has opened up new realms of possibility with positions like the 50/50 guard, the single leg X guard, shin to shin guard, and the rubber guard. Many of these positions can lead to different types of leg locks, and various other positions like a back take, a truck position, and multiple ways to choke out an opponent.
What this article covers:
- What Is the Truck Position in BJJ
- Entries Into the Truck
- Submissions that Can Be Done from The Truck
The truck position doubles as a control position, or an attacking way to execute a back take, a spinal crank, or a leg lock submission. The truck position was developed by the No Gi pioneer Eddie Bravo, who is the famous innovator, and the creator of the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system. The truck position is one of the main core positions in the 10th Planet system, and is used by many No Gi, and Mixed Martial Arts athletes around the world. Using the truck system will enhance an athlete's ability to set up back takes, use bjj inversion, or even dominate opponents with various leg locks like heel hooks, toe holds, calf slicers, ankle locks, and knee bars.
WHAT IS THE TRUCK POSITION IN BJJ
The truck position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sneaky, and innovative way to attack an opponent with leg locks, or back takes. This dominant Brazilian Jiu Jitsu position is the simple evolution of the leg ride in wrestling terms. Athletes that try this position must be extremely careful they do not knee reap bjj, as this can be illegal in most formats of grappling competition. The truck position involves an athlete to use various entries into a leg entanglement position. The actual position is like an athlete having the half guard position, except from the back of their opponent, and trapping their leg in a figure four locking mechanism. At the same time grabbing their other leg, and this allows the athlete to almost force their opponent to do the splits. This position is also used by athletes like the Mendes brothers in the Gi format, but is mostly used by 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu competitors in No Gi Jiu Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts, as it can create numerous opportunities for the athlete to cripple their opponent with high calibre submission maneuvers. The truck position is an extremely strong mechanism designed to give an athlete the best advantage over their opponent. Athletes are extremely safe from counter movements, and are in a substantial position to create multiple attacking platforms.
ENTRIES INTO THE TRUCK
There are multiple ways to enter into the truck position from a grappling standpoint. Athletes will need to spend a considerable time inside their academy practicing techniques, and securing high intensity jiu jitsu rolls, in order to find the approaches that best suit them. Entries into the truck can be simple, or quite complex but in all cases it takes strategy, and agility to find this pivotal position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Some entries are extremely easy to secure, as an athlete can simply stack an opponent as they begin to pass their guard, and slot into an easy truck position. One of the most basic ways to achieve the truck position is when an opponent is in the turtle position. An athlete should apply pressure over their opponents hips, as they place their far leg inside of their opponent's leg, and at the same time grabbing hold of their opponent's far leg with their hands. This is quite a basic maneuver, but athletes will need to understand that if they want to keep their opponent in this position, they need to continuously elevate their hips off of the mat at all times.
The most common entry into the truck position is when an athlete has their opponent in reverse side control, or reverse Gatame. This is commonly known as the twister side control in the 10th planet system, because of how they will attack for a twister from this position. The main goal is to keep their opponent down using as much pressure as possible. The athlete will then proceed to use their bottom leg to hook their opponent's top leg, as they look to attack their opponent's bottom leg, while rolling over their shoulder and transitioning into an easy truck position. This is a great entry, as it can lead to a multitude of different attacks, as well as an easy back take. There are many other entries that can be executed by an athlete like the half guard dog fight, which is where both opponents are on their knees in a whizzer like scenario, leaving them to see which opponent is faster, and more agile to achieve the truck position from there. The truck position can also be achieved from the back mount, or during a double underhook pass, which is similar to the stacking position. The truck can also be engineered from positions like the 50/50 guard, the x guard, and the de la riva guard.
SUBMISSIONS THAT CAN BE DONE FROM THE TRUCK
There is an expansive range of submission maneuvers that can be achieved once an athlete can secure the truck position. The most famous submission maneuver is the Twister, which Eddie Bravo developed after learning a similar hold in Wrestling called a Wrestlers Guillotine. The Twister is an extremely brutal submission that can put an intense amount of pressure on the spine of the opponent. The Twister submission is designed for an athlete to execute twisting pressure to the torso of an athlete, while they control one of their legs with a figure four position. Once an athlete has secured the truck position, the next step is to attack the opposite arm by securing the wrist and feeding it over the athlete's head. Once the arm is trapped behind the attacking athlete's head, they will use their other arm to reach over the head before linking both hands together, and executing the twist. This will result in a spinal crank, and the opponent will be forced to yield.
One of the more iconic submissions that a student can achieve from the truck position is the Banana Split. Because an athlete already has the leg wrapped up in a figure four position, all they have to do is reach through to the other side of the leg, gripping around the inner thigh, and the outer of the hip, forcing an opponent to do the splits. This submission will work on many athletes, but there are flexible opponents that may not tap to this position. When a more flexible opponent is encountered the athlete should switch to the Crotch Ripper, which is quite similar to the Banana Split, but instead of stretching the legs out in the splits position they should extend the leg more forward, and pull the other leg backwards almost creating a forty five degree angle with the split position. This still may not work against flexible opponents, but can be extremely deadly, and will force an opponent to tap.
Another submission that can be extremely brutal is the calf slicer, and even though some athletes won't tap to this, it can cause some agonising crushing pain in an opponent's calf. To achieve a calf slicer from the truck position, all an athlete needs to do is grab hold of the foot that is on the leg trapped in the figure four, and simply pull it down. An athlete just needs to make sure that their shin is firmly placed behind their opponent's knee, as their shin becomes the catalyst for the submission. It is important to keep an opponent trapped in the truck position, while attempting the calf slicer, otherwise an opponent can escape the position leaving the attacker in half guard. The calf slicer is a deadly submission, and there are different variations of this submission that can be achieved like the kamikaze calf slicer, which is basically the same just with an added leg coming in to apply more pressure onto the locking mechanism.
There are many other attacks that can come from the truck position like a series of leg locks. The heel hook, the knee bar, the toe hold are all easily achieved from obtaining the truck position. This position has proven to be extremely successful with athletes like Eddie Bravo, Rafael Mendes, Ryan Hall, Mikey Musumeci, Andre Galvao, and the Miyao brothers all showcasing this control position. Securing the truck position can also lead to chokes from the back, as athletes can execute berimbolos, or crab rides to initiate a back take. Securing the back control position is the most advantageous position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and the hardest position to escape from. Utilising the truck, and then transitioning into a back take is an extremely high percentage movement, and can help athletes win their matches at the highest levels of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and inside the Mixed Martial Arts cage.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE 10TH PLANET SYSTEM
Eddie Bravo is the creative genius behind the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system. His iconic series of bjj transitions have become significantly popular around the world, as many high level athletes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts are using these high level techniques. Before developing his own system of Martial Arts, Eddie was heavily involved in Karate, and Jeet Kune Do. In the early 90's Royce Gracie dominated the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and after Eddie watched the event he decided to start training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In 1998, Eddie stopped training in the striking arts, and began focusing more intently on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It was around this time that Eddie received his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Jean Jacques Machado. Eddie would then start developing his signature submission the Twister, which was a spinal lock that was discovered out of side control, and off the back of pressure bjj. One year later Eddie was promoted to his purple belt, as he began creating a series of systematic transitions, and positions that would lead to various submissions. Eddie began showcasing his intricate rubber guard position, which he then added a multitude of sneaky techniques to enhance his ability to control, and submit his opponents.
In 2003, Eddie was a brown belt, and was competing at the highest levels of Jiu Jitsu. After winning the North American trials, he entered the ADCC World Championship, where he put his name on the map. Eddie would defeat Gustavo Dantas with a rear naked choke, which would send him into the quarter finals against the infamous Royler Gracie. Nobody gave Eddie a chance against the formidable four time IBJJF World Champion, and three time ADCC Champion in Royler Gracie. Eddie would spark a generation of future fighters, as he executed his rubber guard system to perfection, and eventually submitting Royler with a Triangle. Eddie would go on to lose the semi final to the expertise of Leo Vieira, but the application of his rubber guard system became synonymous with No Gi grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts.
After returning to the United States of America, Eddie was promoted to the black belt by Jean Jacques Machado, as Eddie continued to develop his intricate system of Twister Side Control, and the Rubber Guard. Eddie would open his first 10th planet Jiu Jitsu school when he started teaching his system to many students in Los Angeles, California. After a decade competing, and teaching students, his highly innovative series of new age Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques, Eddie agreed to a rematch against Royler Gracie. The pair fought in a twenty minute submission only match, which consisted of a back and forward contest, as each competitor showcased some of their most notorious maneuvers. Towards the end of the match Eddie achieved the Electric Chair position, before attempting a calf slicer on Royler, but as the time limit expired, and Royler did not tap, the match was called a draw, as both opponents showed respect to each other. Nowadays Eddie Bravo has continued on with the development of his Rubber Guard, and Twister Side Control series adding in various other positions just like the truck, which gives an athlete many entries into obtaining the berimbolo, and the crab ride, which can help them gain the back control position, or dynamically enter into the intricate leg entanglement game.
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