The BJJ Truck Position: Drive Everyone Into Submission

Last updated on 11.06.2023 by

The BJJ Truck is one of those highly divisive moves. You either love it or you despise it. Actually, it was one of those moves back when it was Gracie Jiu Jitsu vs. anyone who wanted to innovate, which back in the day was only Eddie Bravo. Nowadays, the Truck position pops up regularly and is something that I think each academy needs to have on their curriculum, if nothing else, to be certain that you can deal with it if any “truck drivers” come your way. 

The Most Effective Style Of Jiu Jitsu

There is no way I can talk about a 10th Planet move and not mention different styles of Jiu Jitsu. I will do the best though, to play devil’s advocate.

I find myself in a position to do so, given my background. Having trained and taught extensively in both Gracie Barra and 10th Planet Jiu JItsu (among other “styles”) I feel qualified enough to share my findings. 

To begin with, I think that Jiu Jitsu does not belong to anyone. While the version of Jiu Jitsu we do today was definitely popularized and molded as Brazilian during the final decade of the previous century, nowadays, it is just Jiu Jitsu. So many people have contributed so much that giving every nation or person credit is impossible. 

Next up, the gi vs. no-gi thing. It doesn’t have to be a versus relationship. Many 10th Planet moves (as our representative of no-gi n this particular example) work flawlessly with the gi and vice versa. Trying to gauge the effectiveness of moves based upon their use in certain situations is a testament to their ineffectiveness on its own. 

The bottom line is that the best style of Jiu Jitsu is the one that fits you. There are no two black belts out there with the same style. So just adopt what is useful and disregard everything that doesn’t fit you. For now. 

Returning to things you didn’t like after a while is a great way to improve your Jiu Jitsu. 

The BJJ Truck position is one of those grappling positions, that everyone will find useful. It just wasn’t included in the original Gracie curriculum. 

What is The BJJ Truck Position?

The BJJ truck is a position derived out of a very popular and effective wrestling move – a leg ride, or to be more precise, an inside thigh ride. 

In wrestling, it is a move that allows the top person to unwind a defensive bottom person, arriving at a position to pin them (get their shoulder blades to touch the mats). 

In BJJ, though, the move has morphed into a position that is just as detailed and versatile as the back mount or side control is. In fact, the BJJ truck is the ultimate checkpoint in between side control and back mount. Moreover, it is one of the original high-control leg locking positions that are still vastly underrrated from this perspective nowadays. 

I’ll use a simple example to portray the positional mechanics, before talking about some of the BJJ Truck’s many potential uses. Let’s say an opponent is on all fours, facing the mats. Your goal is to put your left leg around their left leg, treading it by their left hip, between the legs, and around their left thigh. Basically a super hook on one leg. 

Next, an easy way to establish a solid Truck position is to reach with both arms and grab a palm-to-palm grip around the opponent’s far side hip (the right one in our example).

Holding on tight, your goal is then to sit back, eventually lying down supine. As you do, you end up controlling both hips. On one side you have the palm-to-palm grip. On the other, you only have the hook though, which means you need to improve. 

Once on your back, the goal is to triangle your legs, using the free leg to cover the leg that is acting as the hook. This will provide ample control, but if you truly want to torture somebody from the truck, you’ll need to extend both legs, ending up in a lockdown-style position. 

Depending on your goals, your grips will determine the success of your subsequent moves. 

A very, very important thing is to keep the opponent’s butt on top of your belly at all times. If their butt reaches the ground, you’re in danger of them flipping the Truck on you and controlling you instead. 

Attacks From The Truck Position

The immediate attacks from the BJJ Truck are of the leg lock variety. That said, there are far more than you might think. 

You can attack both legs from the position while the opponent is pretty immobilized. The entire position aimed to provide a painful calf slicer in the early days of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. That calf slicer is available on the leg that you have trapped with your legs (the lockdown). 

Executing this calf slicer requires you to get your legs back in the original triangle configuration (i.e., bend them at the knees). You then reach for the opponent’s toes on the trapped leg with your far side (free) arm. From there, you pull the foot towards yourself, as you externally rotate the shin of the leg that is behind the opponent’s knee. 

The other arm holds the toes of the opponent’s other leg, preventing them from kicking out. This is traditionally used in the 10th Planet system, but I have a slightly better way of trapping this free leg. 

Instead of grabbing the toes, look to trap the ankle of this leg underneath your nearside armpit. Simply “hugging” the leg like for an ankle lock will do the trick. From there, it is submission galore. 

For starters, the calf slicer is better if you finish it as explained, but reach with both arms as you keep the free leg trapped in your armpit.

You can also execute a reverse ankle lock by sneaking your free arm across your chest and behind the opponent’s Achilles tendon, establishing a figure four grip, and twisting your torso. 

There are also options in terms of crotch rippers (a.k.a banana split). One version is to hold their free leg as described and hug the thigh with a palm-to-palm grip. Rotating your torso away from the opponent while extending your legs will put immense pressure on the hips. 

The other option is to Kimura grip the lower leg of the opponent’s free leg and twist your torso in the opposite direction, once again extending your legs. 

BJJ Truck Entries & Exits

This is where things get a lot of fun. The BJJ truck position is readily available from top and bottom positions if you have the basic positioning mechanics down. 

The easiest entry is the one versus an opponent on all fours that I used to portray the position. However, this won’t work against seasoned turtle players.

Getting to the BJJ truck from top half guard or side control is also a viable option. As long as you get your opponent to lie on their side, with a hook inside their top leg you’re ready. The goal is to go into a Granby roll, placing both your shoulders on the ground right next to their butt. Simply get the shoulders there, and there is no need for fancy spins or rolls – you’ll have the Truck immediately. 

Finally, you can always go back into the truck if your back attacks are failing, as long as you keep a hold of the bottom hook. In fact, you can use the Turck to keep a hold of an opponent that is escaping your back mount, and either use the Truck to submit them, get into the Twister, or, right back into an improved back mount. 

In Conclusion

The BJJ truck is a cool and reliable checkpoint position that will provide you with better attacks. It is legal in all rulesets, as long as you do not finish with a crotch ripper (IBJJF & UAEJJF illegal move) or are at least a brown belt and above if you’re gunning for the calf slicer. The ankle lock is legal for all. 

The best thing about the position, though, is its back-and-forth connection to the back mount and the options that arise from it. Have fun experimenting!