This is a fundamental BJJ concept which will help with the foundations of  your  game.

The head is attached to the top of the spinal column, and can therefore be used as a lever to ‘steer’ the entire torso of an opponent in a desired direction, or stop movement in another. By twisting the head you cause your opponent great discomfort, and severely compromise the mobility of his spine. Also, as the head is the center of a person’s physical awareness because it contains the brain and many of the major sense organs, it is very easy to distract and upset the rhythm of an opponent by interfering with their head.

Black is dominates the match by controlling White's head with a neck crank
Black dominates the match by controlling White’s head with a neck crank

You may have heard the wrestler’s maxim, “Where the head goes, the body follows.” To take it one step further, think about your opponent’s line of site. Where he looks is where he is going. If you have your sparring partner in the side-mount and he is trying to turn in towards you, he will have to turn his head and look towards you. You can counter him by making him look away using your forearm or shoulder. This will be covered in more detail in a future video post.