Technique of the Day

The Guillotine. Most people pronounce the "l", but technically you're not supposed to. Either way, it's a very common submission in MMA. Renzo Gracie…

By: Luke Thomas | 16 years ago
Technique of the Day
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The Guillotine.

Most people pronounce the “l”, but technically you’re not supposed to. Either way, it’s a very common submission in MMA. Renzo Gracie above demonstrates how it’s done.

A few things to note: Renzo grips his wrist. I’m in no position to tell Renzo anything, but I was taught differently. I was taught to grip along the blade of the hand. The basic reason for that is it makes digging the top of your wrist into their throat and larnyx a lot easier. That dig adds a little “bite” to the choke. Either way is fine, although the curious thing to note is that I learned this choke from a Renzo Gracie purple belt. Strange.

Also, notice how Renzo cinches the choke. He doesn’t violently arch his back for pressure and leverage. Instead he uses the twisting and collapsing force of his arm closing to apply the submission. Arching the back helps a little bit, but think of it like arching your back during the bench press. If you bench 290lbs, arching will MAYBE get you to 300lbs. Even then it’s not guaranteed. Don’t think all you have to do is slide your forearm under a guy’s throat and arch back like you’re having seizures. You’ll wind up creating space at the top of his head, which will leave an opening for him to break. Worry about cinching tight and inside, then lean.

Lastly, and this is critical, once you have the choke locked and your opponent is in your guard, that’s not enough to finish the submission. You must extend your hips up and out while simultaneously squeezing the grip on your hands. It’s the spreading motion that will apply the finishing pressure. If you simply use your guard to stabilize while trying to finish by cranking on the neck, you will put your ability to finish your opponent in jeopardy.

And remember: GRIPS, GRIPS, GRIPS. GRIPPING IS SO IMPORTANT. Make sure your gripping fundamentals are sound. I cannot stress this enough.

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Luke Thomas
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