A Few Crazy BJJ Guillotine Variations To Brighten Your Day

The guillotine choke is a grappling classic and one that predates Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by centuries. It is one of those moves you see even in old wrestling drawings. As such, it is highly effective both as a position and a submission. There aren’t many of those in grappling martial arts, so when they pop up, everyone turns to them. That’s the case with the guillotine as well, as this is one of the most utilized moves in JIu-Jitsu. That makes it predictable, and up to a point, not too hard to deal with. That’s where different BJJ Guillotine variations come into play, the more unorthodox, the better. And we have a real treat for you today!

I really love guillotine chokes! And not just chokes, but everything guillotine related. There are just so many things you can do with guillotines that you can easily base an entire top and bottom game around them. People at the highest levels have, with Daniel Strauss, in particular, coming to mind. There’s no need to confirm how successful they are, However, in order to be able to catch people off guard, you need more than just one guillotine. In fact, you need more than just the regular guillotine variations as well. That’s where strange and somewhat unusual submissions come into play. Of course, we’re talking only about tried and tested BJJ Guillotine variations that work, right?

Never Sleep On A Guillotine Choke

Pun intended. If you’re caught in a rally tight guillotine, it is nap time for sure. However, the sense I meant this in is to never skip over a guillotine choke opportunity. Precisely because it can put people to sleep with ease. There are in fact, plenty of ways to use guillotines to accomplish just about anything. Having trouble with takedowns? Snap an opponent down in toa guillotine and have your way with them. Suffering from a lack of takedown defense? Once again, go for a guillotine! Trouble passing the guard? A Guillotine rip will get you past any guard out there, Gi or No-Gi. And I haven’t even started talking about BJJ Guillotine variations!

When it comes to choking, most people in BJJ usually start off with the regular, low elbow guillotine. It is a difficult one to do, and one that people more or less know how to defend. So, this one is usually something people do not stick long with. The arm-in guillotine is the second most used variation. It is a more wrestling-style one and can be really devastating, but it requires a lot of understanding of the grips. Finally, there’s the High elbow guillotine, popularized by Marcelo Garcia and now enjoying his second coming thanks to Danaher. However, it too has run into some obstacles as of late.

This is where some unusual BJJ Guillotine variations enter the frame. The idea is to confuse opponents and get better control, faster taps and make them question what they think they know about guillotines. Then, If’ you really want to e high level, you take it full circle. You start using the nasty and unexpected guillotine choke to set up a “regular” higher percentage one, like the high elbow guillotine. It is a beautiful loop if you’re not the one caught in it.

Unorthodox BJJ Guillotine variations That You Can Pull Off On Anyone

We can measure the success of Guillotine chokes in one very obvious way – the rate of submission. The more people you tap with them, the better they are.  However. it is not just the submission rate. If you truly want t be a high-level guillotine artist you need to make sure you’re doing things right. The more blood chokes you have vs. air chokes, the better. Moreover, you have to factor in everything a guillotine choke opens, like passing or sweeping. A clear example is struggling to get a guillotine from the bottom, then doing a sweep and finishing with a mounted guillotine. You have pressure, you have the position, points (if you’re counting) plus a submission ready to go. There are countless situations like this where you can use BJJ Guillotine variations to advance through the hierarchy. And, the stranger the guillotine, the better the outcome.

  • Army Guillotine

The army guillotine is the perfect option to open up turtled opponents. The best part about the army guillotine is that it works off of a back attack setup against the turtle. Everyone knows how to defend seatbelt grips form turtle, meaning you can use their habits against them.

Army - A Few Crazy BJJ Guillotine Variations To Brighten Your DayYour first order of business is to thread a hook inside one leg. IN this situation, you’ll rarely get an easy way to establish a seatbelt grip. However, they won’t be defending the opposite sidearm. That means you can thread it around and look to connect both your arms under the near side armpit. The grip is the standard guillotine grip, or whatever works for you. Then you want to fall on your back, connecting your ribs to the triceps. You end up in like an arm triangle – guillotine hybrid that;’s crazy effective. Remember to squeeze the legs, so that the opponent won’t tripod and try to defend.

  • Teabag guillotine

The teabag guillotine is one of those BJJ Guillotine variations you’ll immediately fall in love with. It works when people are trying to beat your guillotine grips from the front headlock. It is funny, innovative, and works like a charm! In essence, it is a guillotine – necktie combination put together perfectly.

Teabag - A Few Crazy BJJ Guillotine Variations To Brighten Your DayYour one prerequisite here is a chin strap. In fact, you want to imitate grip fighting as your goal is very simple and S grip underneath the chin of an opponent. That’s it. Once you have an S grip you’re going to do what nobody, including you, expects – stand up. When you stand up though, the goal is to place your butt on the crown of the opponent’s head. Funny but ultra-effective, as they’ll never be able to recover posture, or sneak the head out. Squeeze and push your hips in and you’ll get the tap and a lot of laughs!

  • Reverse guillotine

rev guill - A Few Crazy BJJ Guillotine Variations To Brighten Your DayYou might know this one, but it is still one of the most unexpected and effective variations of the guillotine out there. Plus, it works perfectly from standing, mostly in the sense of takedown defense. When an opponent has a single leg on you, first, twist the leg a bit, so that you gain stability for a moment. The twist will position your body sideways which is not really ideal for a guillotine choke. It is, however, perfect for the reverse guillotine. The way you set it up is easy – you go for a high elbow guillotine, but aiming to shoot the choking arm as far as possible.

The idea is that you’re not looking for the regular guillotine grip at all. Instead, think of this like a D’arce choke without an arm in. What you do is lock a figure four grip, in a rear-naked choke style. From there you have two options – squeeze n get a tap, or let them take you down and they’ll go to sleep in the process.

Figure four

The figure four guillotine is once again a front headlock attack that’s based in catch wrestling. It is an awesome way of getting a tap[, particularly if you have lankier arms. It is quick, takes people by surprise and nobody expects it. Moreover, the setup is pretty unorthodox but foolproof, and once you have it,  your opponents will have no way to break out.

Punch - A Few Crazy BJJ Guillotine Variations To Brighten Your DayFor this guillotine choke variation, you just need a front headlock position, standing or on all fours. Especially if you can’t really thread the choking arm through, this is the choke for you. People won’t go for your arm if it’s not in a chin strap, so you can let it dangle free as long as it is through. Then, you use the other arm to push on the shoulder, as far back as you can. The goal is to grab a low figure four, like a Kimura grip. Once you do, though, it’s all done and dusted. The choke is an air choke that’s brutally tight, and given the figure four and the shoulder control, there’s no way to break out. For a choke, just straighten the wrist of the arm that’s on the shoulder.

  • Diesel Squeezel

Finally, a look at something we’ve covered in detail before. It is also a very, very sneaky choke that works when people think there’s no more danger from BJJ Guillotine variations. In essence, it works like a power guillotine, but the best setup is when you make your opponents choke themselves.

Diesel - A Few Crazy BJJ Guillotine Variations To Brighten Your DayIf you have the chin strap, or anything close to it, you’ll be able to choke people out even when they jump to the correct side when defending. To fend off most BJJ guillotine variations when someone’s passing your guard they go on the side opposite of their head. While for most guillotines this is the end, it is only the beginning fro the Diesel Squeezel choke. The goal is to thread a fist to the opponent’s neck with the harm that’s usually on top. In his instance, you use the choking arm to hold the fist of the other arm, which is going to do the actual choking. That’s all it takes.

In Summary

BJJ Guillotine variations come from everywhere. All you need to do is see them when the opportunities arise. The interesting thing is opportunities arise a lot more outside of those regular guillotine chokes we all love to do. So, when you think you have a guillotine, go fo it. Who knows,s you might just come up with the next big unorthodox guillotine choke that changes Jiu-Jitsu forever!

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