Facial Harassment – 3 Sneaky MMA Moves

High level MMA competition has often been compared to chess.

Like chess masters, top fighters constantly go over various scenarios, studying counters and counters-to-the-counters.

The more techniques you study and drill, the easier it will be to anticipate your opponent’s moves and set yourself up to land strikes, improve your position, or snag a submission.

While mastering the basics is essential, slipping in an unconventional technique can be a fun and effective way to throw your opponent off of their game.

In the video below, Pro fighter and CSW instructor Ben “Badger” Jones demonstrates 3 sneaky submissions not commonly seen in traditional submission grappling arts.

The first submissions is a facelock that uses pressure to jam your opponent’s jaw out of alignment, similar to a slow motion knockout punch.

Yes, it’s nasty.

Yes, it will make you an unpopular training partner if you try it on your unsuspecting buddies.

But if you ever find yourself in the middle of a close “chess match” of a fight, perhaps a bit of facial harassment could be a game changer in your favor.

[box]If you’re interested in other unconventional techniques to catch opponents by surprise, check out these videos in our members’ section:


What do you think about these techniques? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

What do think about "facial harassment" techniques?

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24 replies
  1. SterlingOkura
    SterlingOkura says:

    Wicked. I could almost hear Coach Kiser’s ear pop. Hope his jawbone is ok! :-)Definitely a legit move in a fight. Love it!

  2. Ramsey L. Dewey
    Ramsey L. Dewey says:

    Interesting. So is it fair game or dirty? I don’t see how those jaw cranks violate any rules, so I don’t see how it’s unfair in any way. I’m just wondering if they would work against someone wearing a double mouthguard?

  3. Sterling Okura
    Sterling Okura says:

    I agree with you guys. Legit for MMA.

    I’ve seen guys complain about “cheap” pain-compliance moves at grappling tournaments. I think it’s silly to whine about a move being dirty just because it’s not a classic armbar, triangle other “textbook” technique.

    On the other hand, when rolling with a training partner, I’d be pissed if they cranked it on me. It means they’re more interested in “winning” a session than training.

  4. RPryor
    RPryor says:

    It’s fair in a street fight.., it shouldnt be in an mma contest. if thats fair, what about small joint manipulation, or fish hooking. it should be illegal. Bottom line, use it on the street.

  5. Benjamin Daniel Grass
    Benjamin Daniel Grass says:

    incompetion its unsportsman like and undeed illegal under the small joint manipulation rule concering the tweaking of the jaws hinge.. IMO. risk an reward …. its your reputation when you do it, and retaliation to such an offense can often be costly.. . . the low blow can cost you the match, i had an oppent stick a finger in my mouth while using a hand smother. i repectfully gave him two secs … then i broke the didgit in his finger for it. so …. risk and reward.. . . there are levels of cheap and dirty… i had a rib broken from a dirty jits heel strike…. it gave me a wicked knot on that rib i use as a weapon to work my opponents muscle to insight movement… thats not insportsman but dirty none the less… that can be seen what ever way you want, but in competition and not are night and day mentalities too… ehen i compete i strive to always fight clean and abide by the rules. my first infraction cost me the entire match… i was DQ’d…… . great piece guys!!!

  6. Jeff White
    Jeff White says:

    I would consider it definitely “dirty” in much the same vein as raking the ribs or pressing that little nerve casing directly behind the ear. E.g., don’t do this to your training partners regularly or they will all hate you and refuse to roll with you. But, if it’s legal, then it’s completely fair game in competition. It’s totally legal under the Unified Rules of MMA as it is not “small joint” manipulation (limited to fingers/toes explicitly by the rules), so if I find any opening to use it you better believe I’m cranking that jaw.

  7. naturalbornfighter1
    naturalbornfighter1 says:

    I think they are totally fair. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re just very smart techniques. It’s still technical fighting. The only problem with it is popping the Jaw. I was caught in a reverse triangle a number of years ago but my opponents legs got caught around my jaw bone rather than my neck. When he squeezed it dislocated my jaw. It pops out every now and then sometimes when I’m grappling but also when I sneeze or laugh too. You would need to be very careful drilling. In saying that, sweet moves! 😉

    • SterlingOkura
      SterlingOkura says:

       @naturalbornfighter1 When you sneeze or laugh…wow!  Is it easy to pop your jaw back in place?  Hard core bro!

      • naturalbornfighter1
        naturalbornfighter1 says:

        @SterlingOkura @naturalbornfighter1
        It only happens occasionally, if im laughing hard it can pop too. It can go back in almost straight away or it could take about 45 mins, mostly I can pop it back in pretty quick now. I can get incredible shooting pain up the side of my face in front of my ear sometimes tho. It happens quite a lot when grappling too but I’m so used to it now im used to it.

  8. Paul t
    Paul t says:

    totally agree , its not in the same league as fishooking or snapping someones finger just not the norm, as for the street there is no tap out and the only reliable retraint is unconsciousness !!

  9. Chris Hunsaker
    Chris Hunsaker says:

    Not something I would use in training, but if the opportunity is there in competition you better believe I will use it.

  10. Ben Jones
    Ben Jones says:

    The human body is a submission waiting to happen… All these techniques are things that I have learned from 2 of the best Catch Wrestlers around, Erik Paulson and Josh Barnett. I do agree that they are things that should not be done all the time in training, depending of the level of your training partners. You also have the ability to control how severely you apply the submission. On the other hand, during a fight I will use any LEGAL technique to get the win. Manipulating the jaw is in no way illegal. Because punching the jaw would be considered much more violent, wouldn’t it? Either way, that shit works…Hahaha

  11. Ramsey L. Dewey
    Ramsey L. Dewey says:

    Okay, I just got back from the gym. I had to try this stuff out for myself, and yes it works like clockwork. It also works against an opponent with a double mouthguard and a high tolerance for pain, if you simply adjust the angle of the head a little bit it turns into a vicious neck/spinal crank as well as a jaw breaking submission technique. It’s much more practical than I thought it was when I first saw the video.

  12. Damage Control MMA
    Damage Control MMA says:

    Imma hold you to that comment Ben Jones “…they are things that should not be done all the time in training…” at this years CSW camp.


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