Executing An Effective & Fundamental Guillotine Choke

I’ve been grappling for some time now, and recently obtained my black belt.  The pinnacle of my rather young grappling career, earning that black belt was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.  Through all the hours of hard work and dedication, it truly was rewarding.

Yet and still, with all the hours logged on the mat and all of the knowledge obtained, I never forgot my humble beginnings in grappling.

For those that know me, you probably know I have a slight obsession for leg locks and variations of the sorts.  From inverted to 50/50, if it’s complex and takes some serious studying, then it’s for me! I learned in an interview with Caio Terra that “fancy” is not always best, and in terms of “basics,” the guillotine tops the list.


However, despite all of my time spent towards learning in depth techniques, I still haven’t forgotten where I came from and the basic moves that helped me get my foot in the door. 

One move that jumps to mind is your basic guillotine choke.  Simple as they come, the guillotine choke is the bread and butter of many grapplers and fighters today.  This is still a personal favorite of mine, and can still do serious damage!

Hitting The Guillotine From Front Turtle Position


There are so many positions from which you can hit this submission, but one very common setup is from the front turtle position/front head lock position.  Let’s take a closer look as to how you’ll want to go about pulling it off from here:

  • We’re assuming that this is being setup after our opponent shot for a takedown and we were able to stuff it.
  • As they shoot in and we get heavy in the hips, we’ll want to take one hand and cup their chin.  This will act as the first step to setting up the submission hold.
  • From here, we’ll want to slap on our grip, by taking our off hand and cupping our submission hand around the wrist.
  • With the grip in place, swing your arm over his shoulder to apply pressure on the choke hold.
  • To finish the hold, swing your inside leg under your opponent and bring your other leg over the top and clamp down on them

To finish off this choke, now that we have everything in place if you roll your arm upwards, this will cause great pressure on their throat, and for them to tap out for the submission finish.

Sticking With The Basic Techniques

As I stated earlier, as a black belt I love me some sick, advanced moves.  Yet, with that being said, it’s still pivotal that you focus on these building blocks and not forget them, because there will come a time where your advanced techniques are being stuffed and voided, so you have to have an arsenal.

No matter how you cut it, there is always one area that you can attack that will cause panic to set in rather quick for your opponent, and that’s there neck.

Just remember to keep the foundational moves in mind next time you’re on the mat, and you’ll be all set!


Dan Faggella

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