Understand The Crossface In Wrestling And BJJ

Understand The Crossface In Wrestling And BJJ

What does the crossface mean in BJJ and Wrestling? The cross face goes to be among the primary submission move that a beginner BJJ martial artist or wrestler should master. Moreover, the cross face is one of the elemental concepts to weaken your opponent and controlling their head in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, MMA, and other martial arts discipline. Thus, this martial art submission gives you more control over your opponent when applied properly; it goes extremely well hand in hand with the underhook technique.

The crossface BJJ technique is more applicable when the practitioner is passing the guard (it could be more useful when passing the half guard) for the purpose to hold the side control or the full mount position, and to apply good pressure to disturb your opponent.


In the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), the wrestling cross face submission may be Chris Benoit’s top finishing move (Crippler Crossface Wrestling). Although, other wrestlers including Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and CM Punk have also employed the WWE wrestling cross face to win several fights.


cross face BJJ

Cross Face meaning in jiu jitsu martial art.

The cross face BJJ is one of the elemental positions with a high amount of pressure over the jiu-jitsu martial art opponent. This amazing Brazilian jiu-jitsu technique gives the grappler a tough control of the opponent’s head.

Otherwise, the BJJ crossface may sometimes conduct the success of many positions including the side control, full mount, top half guard, and many other BJJ grappling positions. 

The BJJ cross face position is one of the elemental characteristics of the pressure game from the highest position in grappling. Moreover, all practitioners know that controlling your opponent with extreme pressure is particularly a necessary aspect of jiu jitsu combat.

Cross face setup in Brazilian jiu-jitsu

Source: The Grappling Academy

The Crossface BJJ lies down on two powerful Brazilian jiu-jitsu principles pressure and head control. If you try to reach the cross face position, here are some tips for a successful Cross face in Jiu Jitsu:

  1. Reach the cross face dedicated position such as the side mount, top half guard, etc.
  2. When there, you have to place your hand under your opponent’s neck as deep as you can.
  3. Drive extreme pressure on the BJJ opponent’s head using your shoulder. However, make sure to distribute your weight properly aligned with pressure placement.

The most important thing is that you keep yourself in a secure jiu jitsu position when you are at the BJJ cross face. Moreover, remember that if your shoulder movement is done correctly, you will probably be swept and give your crossed opponent a big chance to reverse things.

Controlling in jiu-jitsu martial art means you easily control the opponent’s body by limiting his movement when the spine is not aligned.

How to set the BJJ crossface from the half guard? 

The cross face is one of the basics jiu-jitsu fundamentals that gives you direct access to your opponent’s head. It is a big deal that you cannot underestimate his importance. Almost all the truly high percentage ways of passing tough opponents’ guards come out of some form of head control.

The beauty of the jiu-jitsu half guard is that you can get direct access to the head right from the start. Moreover, this is very helpful when you’re dealing with a tough opponent in bottom position a big part of controlling the head is the use of cross faces.

Now, I invite you to discover the ideal ways of setting a BJJ cross face from the half guard explained by Coach John Danaher. Moreover, this is going to help you a lot when you try to pass this kind of guard. 

source: BJJ Fanatics

How to apply the cross face from the side control in jiu-jitsu? 

The cross face under hook has become more predominant as jujitsu started to blend a little more with wrestling. In addition, when someone goes with the cross face, he needs to be completely focused on the shoulders in the chin to make it hard to get to his hands and knees.

Discover more precious detail in the BJJ video below about the cross face from side mount by Coach Matt Thornton.

Source: SBG Portland BJJ and MMA Videos

How to escape the crossface from the side control in BJJ martial art?

Discover here one of the easy escapes from the cross face at the side control position explained by Coach Stephan Kesting. You may think that there is no escape from there. Stay tuned!

Source: Stephan Kesting


What is crossface in wrestling? The crossface is a famous submission hold in the World Wrestling Entertainment that was used to beat several pro WWE wrestlers. Although, we find that there are many cross face hold variations such as crossface chickenwing, Crippler Crossface.

Crossface chicken wing

What is a crossface chickenwing?

The crossface chicken wing is a savage WWE submission that produces much pain on the opponent’s neck and shoulder. A WWE wrestler can reach this beautiful submission from the standing position or also from the bottom. 

How to do the WWE Wrestling crossface chickenwing?

source: WWE 

The crossface chickenwing attacker needs to be behind his/her opponent. Besides, he must trap the opponent’s head and one arm using your both hands connected around the opponent’s face or chin.

Crippler Crossface

Crippler Crossface


The Crossface Crippler is WWE Chris Benoit’s signature move. This is a savage submission that provokes insupportable pain, and therefore it may be banned from the World Wrestling Entertainment.

Find in the video below more details about the Crippler Crossface. Is it a savage WWE submission? 

source: MegaWrestlingMoves


So often I see some practitioners do a good job of forcing their way into some positions like the side control, full mount … But then they fail to set correctly the jiu jitsu cross face. Although, the good news is that the BJJ crossface is so intrinsically strong.

You can mess the cross face up to quite a large degree and still be effective with it. Nevertheless, the higher you go in the BJJ sport the more you will be required to work with the most efficient forms of cross face possible.

Speak your mind; Do you use the cross face technique in jiu-jitsu martial art? How strong it is?

Please leave comments below if you like this BJJ article. Have a good time with us.


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