Stemming from various forms of martial arts and Brazilian Jujitsu, the guillotine chokehold is one of the most common types of submission in the MMA world, today.
One of the most frequent mistakes a fighter can make that will make them susceptible to the hold is when putting his/her head on the outside of the opponent’s body while going for a takedown. This will fare extremely dangerous, and sometimes calls for a quick ending to what could’ve been an even matchup for many fighters.
There are two types of ways that can cause the tap from the guillotine: the blood choke and the air choke.
In a blood choke situation, the blood flow to the brain is cut off, causing much pain in the victim, which will most likely cause them to tap early, or, if a fighter is stubborn, it could cause him to pass out due to a lack of blood flow. This can happen in a matter of seconds. The blood choke is performed by placing pressure on the arteries in the opponent’s neck.
An air choke constricts the air flow from the lungs by compressing the windpipe. It is the harder of the two to apply, and it also is five times less effective than a blood choke, where unconsciousness comes a lot quicker. The pain is much more intense in an air choke than a blood choke. The air choke is performed by putting pressure on the windpipe with the forearm.
The guillotine can also be performed in another two ways – standing or on the ground.
From the ground, the opponents head should be lower than yours when you place your armpit around the back of his neck, locking your wrist and hand in a tight grip, around his throat. Once secured, the pressure should be applied up into the neck. Wrapping the legs around his waist will drive his hips lower and applying more pressure around the throat. Submission is inevitable at that point.
The standing form puts a smaller fighter at an advantage to a larger one. As the attacker lunges at you, spread your legs into a wide base stands and grab the neck, as in the ground version of the chokehold, holding the wrist. Moving forward and then arching your back will allow the forearm to slice the throat and apply the necessary pressure. Too much of an arch can put you in a defensive position and make you susceptible to a takedown.
From the standing position, you can certainly bring the opponent down to the ground and use the ground position. The best line of defense is to be aware of your head placement. Never be lower than your opponent if you are not strong enough to counter an opponent’s chokes.