Guillotine Defense (Generic)

Guillotine Defense (Generic)

Defending a Guillotine is one of the most essential skills you need to acquire in life. Jiu-Jitsu does cover this submission in different levels or styles. We’ll look at Defending a Guillotine from the stand-up position, a generic approach.

Guillotine, is a choke submission, where the opponent’s head gets trapped inside/below your arm, crossing your forearm thru your opponen’ts neck below their chin, with a trapped head and arching your body to cut the air using the arm that is across the neck.

A standard action that takes you to defend a guillotine is when you shoot for a take-down; it doesn’t matter a single or double take-down; if you are not aware of your head’s position, you can risk being caught in a guillotine choke. Let’s analyze some of the actions you can take to get out of a guillotine.

  • Always be aware of your opponent’s position when attacking or shooting for a take-down. When shooting for a take-down, you need to keep your head up, facing your opponent’s chest. Usually, the opponent will guide your head to the choking arm, trapping your head as part of the opponent’s defense.
  • When the unthinkable occurs, and you are in a tight hold, the vital thing is always to remain calm, think of what makes a guillotine effective, like; control the opponent’s arm, the choking side, elevating your head to break the hold, and step to the opposite side of the trapped head. When you do this, the opponent’s balance is usually compromised, or you are in a position to pursue the take-down.

    Control their choking arm

    Elevate the position of your head, breaking their hold of your head

    After elevating your head, move your leg to the outside. Pull up your opponent’s middle section moving their center of gravity, securing the take-down

  • If the balance leads you both to the floor, try falling opposite the choking side, the opposite side of the trapped head. This is not a free jail card, but elevating your hips to relieve pressure on your neck will buy out the time to escape. They will let go when the opponent sees no leverage or reason to follow the guillotine choke. It is imperative to fall on the correct side; if you fall to the same side of the trapped head, you leave your opponent to an easy finish by allowing them to trap your lower body with their legs and by adding pressure from the opponent’s chin to your back, compressing for an effective choke.

    if you go to the mat, try to fall to the opposite side of the choking arm


Let’s review from the master himself, Chewjitsu, in the following video

[HowTo_Guillotine Defense]