The Guillotine choke in BJJ today is almost as feared as the real guillotine machine the French have invented. Fortunately for MMA fighters who get caught up in this devastating submission hold, this one want chop your head off.
That being said, the guillotine is still a highly effective submission maneuver and one you would do well to master, so let’s get to it.
The guillotine is a perfect hidden weapon a striker with little wrestling background can use against a grappler that is pushing forward in an attempt to take them to the ground. Just wait for the opportunity when your opponent rushes at you with his head down, reach your arm around his neck and grasp the choking arm with your free arm.
This should make him tap out fairly quickly.
Okay, of course it’s not that easy performing the guillotine. You can actually apply this submission from multiple positions: open or closed guard, standing, even jumping (crowd loves that).
Let’s take a look at how you would do it from a standing position:
First, keep in mind that, with the standing guillotine, your balance will suffer a little, so you will be exposed to being driven back or on the ground. To counter the opponent’s potential counter, grab your wrist first before clasping the hands to be certain you have a stable base.
Now you have two options: do it standing, or go into guard with it.
The first one is to use your posture to lift up and pull the opponent’s head toward yourself. However, this will only work if you are taller than your opponent or have particularly long limbs.
However, you won’t always have the height or reach advantage over your opponent. Now worries, the guillotine can still work if you jump into the guard with it. Be sure that you have a good hold, otherwise you’ll lose not only the choke itself, but the dominant position you were in just a moment ago.
When doing the guillotine from guard, make sure that you control your opponent with your hips. Next, get him into a good position (good for you, but very bad for him) so that he is close to your chest.
If you’re right-handed, focus on his opposite hand and push it to the ground. Now plant your feet and sit up. This should make your opponent either take his other hand and put it behind your back or he will pull back. That’s exactly what we want him to do.
Now reach up and wrap your dominant hand over and up the opponent’s neck. Keep your chocking hand close to your stomach and tight while doing this and use your other hand to go underneath his chin and grab your chocking hand.
Finally, put more pressure on the guillotine by sitting back on it and going back to the guard. At this point, your opponent will once again try to pull back so pull your arms (toward yourself) and push away with hips.
If you’ve done everything right, your opponent should be tapping in no time.
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