Guillotine Escape – with Saulo Ribeiro

Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of Escapes. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – grab his “Top 7 Escapes” eBook for FREE online at:

There are few moves as basic and simple as the guillotine.  Either it be arm in or arm out, the guillotine is something most of us learned our first day on the mat, or at least our first week on the mat.  Despite the simplicity of the move, there is no denying how dangerous and effective it can be when it comes to cutting off the blood flow to the brain, and ending a match.

No matter how experienced you become, the guillotine is always has a daunting presence in any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu match.  Given that, I feel it’s imperative that every grappler has some effective ways of shaking off the hold, and being able to escape from it at all costs.

In this entry, I’ll take a closer look at the highly decorated, Saulo Ribeiro and how he would go about escaping and defending from one of the BJJ cornerstone submissions.

Using Your Body As An Offensive Weapon

Saulo turns his body HARD to the right in order to relieve the neck pressure.

Saulo turns his body HARD to the right in order to relieve the neck pressure.

I’m sure there have been countless times in which someone has told you to utilize your body as a weapon of sorts.  In instances, your body is the most readily available tool to use, and by that I mean being able to use your weight and leverage against your opponent and turning the position against them in a blink of the eye.

When you find yourself stuck in the guillotine, this becomes very evident.  In the video, Saulo shares how the very first thing you must do in order to defend this hold is to take your non-choke side hand and reach around their back.

Grabbing hold of them, you then want to prop yourself up on your tippy-toes.  The key to this step is to drive your elbow into their jaw, causing an immense amount of pressure to be focused squarely on their jaw.  In fact, I made someone tap out by doing that to them one time!

Upon altering your position, you want to turn towards the side of your opponent.  This will prevent them from extending their hips, causing you to lose your posture and ending up back on the mat.

Shaking Free of the Guillotine Choke Itself

Now that we are driving all of our weight into our opponent, the next step is to pass to the non-choke side.  After a certain distance, they will break their guard which will allow us to advance to either side control, north/south, etc.

However, there is a chance that the opponent will use their leg to defend your from passing.  Simply, all you have to do is use your foot to peel it off, and pass right on by. If you’re into positional or submission escapes – check out this BJJ addict article about Jeff Glover’s scrambles, or see more of Saulo’s stuff online on his Youtube channel.

This setup can be broken down into a few variations, but this is a very effective escape either way.  It does a terrific job of ridding yourself of the choke hold, and also allows you to advance to a much better position.

Dan Faggella

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *