I'm training BJJ but my native language is not english. I tried translation but it didn't work as well.

So I'm wondering: what is a cross face? I see people mentioning this cross face position, when passing the guard.

I apreciate!

  • I've never received a direct explanation but my understanding is that it refers to any position where you force the person's head to turn, such as with your shoulder (Shoulder of Justice in side control) or your forearm (e.g. during a rear naked choke) Apr 16, 2016 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


A crossface is a way to gain positional control of an opponent while working from side control (side control is also called cross side or side mount). The gist of it is that you are driving shoulder pressure into the chin of your opponent to mitigate his/her mobility. More specifically, using a crossface helps prevent your opponent from turning toward you so that they can either hip away from you or roll into you to initiate some sort of escape.

Here is a good visual reference:


  • crossface does much more than just a position in side control
    – AFetter
    Apr 21, 2016 at 3:04
  • If you talk about the crossface with any person who has trained BJJ for more than a week, you will have a mutual understanding of the position I described. Your answer was basically useless.
    – 123
    Apr 21, 2016 at 3:53

Crossface has no translation in bjj. It is a position when you force the head of your opponent to one side using your forearm or shoulder on the face of him. This position could be from side control, half guard, back, mount and defense of take down.

Crossface is very common nowadays to protect the single leg. When your opponent attack your leg. Using the crossface to be able to escape from the take down.

Hold the opponent face to prevent he turn to turtle using the forearm to create space looks a choke, but without pression on the neck it isnt' a choke

TL;DR Nowaday BJJ is getting very well organized but the name of the positions still a problem. In few year I believe, BJJ will get better and will organize it. But BJJ keeps growing and every day appear new position.

There are names in Portugues/Japanese/Inglish with a really good explanation.

  • Triangulo
  • Omoplata
  • Arm Lock
  • Kataguruma
  • Kata gatame

Also some names with the name of the person who introduce the position to BJJ.

  • Kimura
  • De Larriva

And the worst scenario the names created inside the academies.

  • Helicopter
  • Flying donkey
  • Pork knuckle

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