Guillotine Set up & Technique

The guillotine choke is one of the most practical and common submissions seen in both MMA and Jiu Jitsu. Once you have an effective guillotine, you literally base your whole ground game around it.

It resembles a meathead front headlock, but done correctly is actually extremely technical to apply and also to escape.

The choke can be applied from the standing postion, from the floor when on your back in guard or a variation of guard.

Guillotine from Guard


The guillotine is often applied from the guard position. It can be especially effective against a wrestler’s double-leg takedown, as the head is often in the perfect position for the choke to be applied.

The MG Guillotine Choke

Arguably the most effective guillotine technique from guard is the Marcello Garcia Guillotine.

This version needs a bit of shoulder flexibility.

  • Scoot your hips back, away from the opponent/partner (helps make room to get arm in & under chin)
  • Grab the pinky of your choking hand
  • Push the opponent’s head towards his chest
  • Fall to the side of your choking hand (slightly, don’t roll over)
  • Extend your legs to push your opponent’s body back & tighten the choke
  • Keep pressure on top of the opponent’s head to prevent an easy escape:

 Break posture of his head/neck:


Notes from this video:

  • Be sure to get your arm in really deep 
  • Make a fist and grab the bottom of it with your other hand

  • If you are using your right arm to choke – make sure he can’t hop over to your left
  • Fall to the side of your choking arm – onto your hip
guillotine finish

  • Rock the baby to finish the choke:
  • Push down with your top leg and “crunch up” with it to finish the choke too:

Great Breakdown of the full technique here:


  • If you have your shin on his hip, push away/into his hip with your shin to compress and finish the choke

In this example, Rener Gracie also rotates his upper body into the choke, a lot:

Standing Guillotine Set Ups

From Over/Under Position

From Wrestling Clinch & Arm Tie