The art of transitioning in BJJ is one that requires a certain level of grappling skills. DO not get me wrong, even white and blue belts can transition, but not as effectively as advanced belts. As such, more advanced BJJ transitions not only allow you to continue attacking constantly but also help you get submissions easily. The trick with transitioning is timing and that is one thing that takes time to develop. it is not hard, though – the more you roll, the better you get. If you look at any high-level BJJ match you’ll notice that transitions and transitional attacks are the deciding factors. However, even with transitions, you need to really be on point to manage and catch a high-level opponent. To that extent, where you transition to and how you do it are crucial to success.
The Truck is a position most “mainstream” grapplers do not expect. Granted, there’s not much to do from there unless you’re a brown belt. Well, at least under IBJJF rules. Under different rulesets, the Truck is one of the best positions you can get yourself into. Moreover, it can act as a position zero for further transitions into virtually any direction. As such, its power is highly underrated, making it a great weapon for you to exploit. That said, the one tricky thing about the Truck is getting there in the first place. Entries into the Truck are available from every position, but transitioning successfully into the position might prove a bit difficult. Today, we’ll go over the best BJJ transition for obtaining the Truck.
BJJ Transitions And Submission Rate
It has been said many times that positions do not make BJJ. Granted, they bring you points and might help you win a match, but pinning someone to the ground is not the ultimate goal of Jiu-Jitsu. Making them surrender as a result of a strangle or a joint lock is. The only problem with achieving this ultimate goal in competition is that the other guy/girl know what you’re after too. Not only that, but they’re also attempting the same. So, there’ll be no easy days on the tournament mats.
The one trick about a higher rate of submissions that black belts know and do not share easily has a lot to do with BJJ transitions. Namely, what advanced grapplers do is they hunt for that elusive submission while they’re transitioning. For example, when a black belt is taking your back from the turtle position, they’ll have the choke sink in as they’re rolling, while you’re still thinking about the position you lost instead of defense. This is just one simple example of how BJJ transitions can impact your submission rate.
Now imagine that you can get a bunch of top submission positions, as well as many transitional submissions from one single position. Moreover, that position is available from literally everywhere. The whole trick here is knowing how to use BJJ transitions to get there in the first place. That position is the Truck, and this article has all the ways to transition into it you’ll ever need!
While we’re on the subject of submissions, let’s not forget that Bernardo Faria has a brand new BJJ instructional titled “Transition Mastery”. This brand new four-part DVD set contains secrets of the transitional game that no black belt has shared before. Moreover, it is filmed in a very unique and original manner.
BJJ Transitions Into The Truck
Like I said, getting to the Truck is not hard when you know-how. While usual entries are from the top turtle position and some side control variations, transitions into the position are available from many more positions. In fact, the Truck is the transitional station for all your submission efforts, bar the full mount position. Let’s take a look at some of the best BJJ transitions into the Truck:
Getting the Truck from the turtle position is probably the most common entry. while you might not consider this to be among the advanced BJJ transitions, consider the opportunities it opens. Defending the entry opens up other attacks from the same position with minimal transitioning. Or, you always have the option to proceed to the Truck and work from there.
Form the top of the turtle, the only requirement is to stay heavy on the hips. Your main goal is to thread your far leg inside the opponent’s leg. In essence, you want one leg in the half guard position. The moment you get it to grab the far leg’s foot with two arms. This very motion is going to get you into the Truck, but if you want to, you can sit back for an added effect. To make sure you stay in the Truck, keep the opponent’s hips above ground at all times and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Half Guard Dogfight
Getting from the half guard to the dog fight position is not hard. Whenever you get the underhook from the bottom, which should always be your main half guard goal, you’ll be looking for a way to sweep. The simplest way is to get up to your knees. At this point, you’ll run into the most resistance an opponent can offer from the position. Instead of muscling them to the ground, use their wide base to get to the Truck. As far as advanced BJJ transitions go, this one is really slick!
Since you’re already on your knees, you actually have a much more mobile base than your opponent, because you’re carrying no weight. What you want to do is use your outside leg as a hook. This opens up your other leg to go around and hook the other leg, just like for a seatbelt. Keep your grip tight and stay glued o their torso for the whole time. Once the hook is deep enough, sit back and lock your legs down for the Truck.
Top Side Control
Getting to the Truck from top Side Control is probably the most widely used way of entering the position. The 10th Planet “Twister Side Control” position, more commonly known as the reverse Kesa Gatame. The main goal here is to remain heavy on your opponent. In most cases, they’ll try to get their legs into half guard, meaning they’re opening the transition for you.
All you need to do is hook their top leg with your bottom one. Try to hunt for any part of their bottom leg with your arms, preferably the foot. All you need to do now is get both your shoulder to the opposite side and pull with your arms. You’re not directly into the Truck with submissions ready to go. Or further BJJ transitions, if that’s what you want/need.
Getting the Truck from the back is a great option when none of your bak attacks seem o be working. When you can’t get the choke, you usually go for an armbar or triangle choke from the back. But, what happens when an opponent is so good that they block everything? Time to consider lower body BJJ transitions. That, of course, means the Truck.
All you need to do from full seatbelt back control is tilt the opponent to the choking side while getting the top hook out. Make sure you really use your upper body to tilt the opponent, so that their hips end up in the air. All you need to do now is lock the legs and let go of the seatbelt. You immediately end up in the Truck with both leg locking and twister options.
Double Underhook Pass
From the double underpass, you can use the Truck to deal with those extra flexible opponent’s that can’t be passed. Once an opponent has both feet down in an inverted guard passing becomes really tricky. Opting for the Truck is your best choice.
Getting the Truck transition means you’ll have to choose a side to go to. This means getting your shoulder on one side of your opponent’s hips, and your knees on the other. Now you simply trap the leg with your legs, just like before. Your arms are already in a position to grab the free foot and attack. You might need to make a few little adjustments to make sure their hips stay off the ground, but then you’re all set!
The wrestling cradle is one of the best positions for pinning and holding an opponent down. However, in BJJ it brings no points and doesn’t open many direct attacks. what it does offer, though is a great and easy transition into the Truck.
The movement here is quite similar to the transition from the double underhook pass. From the far side cradle, your goal is to stack your opponent on their neck, both feet pointing to the ceiling. Use your nearside leg to frame under their butt so that they can’t get back to the mats. Now you lie down just like for the double under setup, knees on one side of the hips. and shoulder on the other. This entry is much more secure than the double underhook pass one because the legs are together and you have crushing control at all times.
IN terms of difficulty, this one is the hardest of all BJJ transitions into the Truck. It is also the most attractive one and the one that’ll surprise everyone. What you want to do is go for a rolling Kimura against the butterfly guard. The thing is, many people find ways to counter this one as of late.
The solution is as easy as switching transitions midway. The moment you begin your role, make sure you use your inside leg to entangle (hook) the leg on the same side as the Kimura grip. In essence, this is the same side you’re rolling to. The trick is to stop the roll halfway, when you’re back is on the ground. If you placed your hook right, you’ll be in the Truck and your opponent will be none the wiser about what just happened.
Attacking From The Truck
Although attacking from the Truck is not the focus of this article, we’re going to check some direct submission options. In the spirit of the article, though, we’ll discuss how you can get them while doing BJJ transitions.
The easiest attacks are on the lower body. Here, the banana split is the most obvious solution. Namely, as you transition, all you need is to have your hand hooked around the thigh of the free leg for a banana split. As you land in the truck you simply pull with your arms and extend your hips for a brutal crotch ripper. The problem is that this is an illegal submission under the IBJJF. Furthermore, you can transition directly to, or proceed to hit a calf slicer from there. For the slicer, you need to get the foot of the hooked leg and pull it towards you. This is a move that’s legal from the brown belt onward.
Finally, the Twister position is also available as a transitional attack from the Truck. All you need is to release any grips and continue extending your hips. This can lead directly to a Rear Naked Choke attack or into the Twister if you trap an arm along the way. Remember that the Twister position is not illegal if you don’t go for the neck crank. Armbars and wristlocks are also available from there.
All in all, using BJ Jtranistions to attack with your submissions is an advanced way of approaching the grappling game. The Truck is the ultimate pit stop for any kind of transitional game, as it can lead you into submissions or other great positions. Whether you like to get them back, top half guard, or simply want to finish from there, you have every option open from the truck. Give these BJJ transitions into the Truck a go, and by the time you master them, you’ll be a force to reckon with!