Think back to you first day on the mats. What did you wear? Was it Gi or no Gi? How was your instructor? Was it a one-on-one, or a class? What moves did you learn?
Those first few questions almost always vary from person-to-person, but I’m willing to bet one thing is consistent among most of your stories: you probably learned the guillotine choke on your first day of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
A fundamental move, the guillotine is a staple for all young grapplers out there today. Despite its basic tendencies, it can very effective and can end the match if your opponent isn’t careful enough.
With that said, since it’s so readily available for most grapplers, it’s essential that you know the proper technique as to how to escape from this match altering move. The escape techniques are almost as vital and important as the move itself is.
Defending And Escaping From The Guillotine Choke
As your opponent reaches to apply this hold, the first thing you must do is not panic! As with any move, the second you panic and tell yourself you are in trouble, than it’s a wrap. Once you master the art of remaining calm, everything will become much easier to execute in this sequence.
Once your opponent looks to lock on the guillotine, the first step of this process is to get up on your tippy toes. If you can, place your shoulder on their jaw; this will cause all of your weight to push downward onto them, squarely on the jaw causing horrible pain for them!
From here, pinching down with your submission side arm on their leg; this will prevent them from shrimping out and reapplying the hold. Next, take your hand and reach through to grab the hand of your opponent that is applying the choke. DO NOT PUT YOUR ENTIRE ARM IN!
Pulling down on their hand, sit back on your hip, almost bringing your opponent off of the mat. From here, take your head and look up towards the ceiling. Keeping an emphasis on a strong neck, begin to push your head up and back, thus escaping from the choke hold.
What To Be Aware of After The Escape
In this video, you can see that the person being choked is putting themselves in potential danger by leaving their arm in the position to be isolated. You can see the left arm is still being trapped even after he escapes from the choke, and reverts back to the guard position.
This could lead to a potentially dangerous triangle attempt from your opponent, or allow them to disallow any advancement in your position.
Keep this in mind; just because you escaped the choke hold doesn’t mean that you are fully in the clear. Be aware that your arm isn’t in the most desirable place once you escape, and be sure to focus on that once you make it out of the hold.
Be sure to check out this great article at http://scienceofskill.com/bjj-side-control-escape/ on the Side Control Escape!