This Guillotine Set-Up with Marcelo Garcia is MONEY
Few submissions are as devastating as a well placed, technical guillotine choke. From jiu-jitsu’s earliest inception and it’s introduction into the martial arts world as a viable and supreme form of self defense, the guillotine has been a cornerstone of any basic curriculum and has established itself as a technique that every practitioner must know. In the past we’ve often seen the guillotine used as more of a power based technique that looks more like a neck breaker than an actual strangle. That vertical chin to chest movement that makes us all cringe is certainly a way to get the job done but the guillotine has been revolutionized by modern day BJJ athletes and it's now more sneaky, technical, and dangerous than ever, leading to some of the fastest taps on record and mysteriously putting some of the best BJJ players in the world to sleep when things seemed to be going ok.
The truth is, as with any submission there are mechanical properties to the guillotine that can be quite elusive. Hand placement, rotation, the position of your elbow. There are so many factors that can transform a guillotine from average to deadly. It’s quite likely that Marcelo Garcia has the best guillotine choke in the history of BJJ. He’s been putting it to work for years at the highest levels of competition and you can do a quick internet search and find evidence there if you'd like. He seems to apply it effortlessly with such ease and many times the opposing party doesn't even appear to be in danger until a quick tap is given up. What makes Garcia’s guillotine so dangerous? Obviously years of practice and applying it thousands of times certainly doesn't hurt but there is a science at work there that few others have succeeded in discovering.
Garcia has recently released an instructional series completely dedicated to his guillotine choke. The Complete Guillotine Choke is an inside look Garcia’s most revered and feared submission in his arsenal and a comprehensive library of his favorite ways to apply, set-up, and finish the technique. Many of us have been waiting years to get a look at this material and it’s finally here. Let's take a look at a segment from the series. Here, we’re going to look at one of Garcia’s most infamous set-ups for the choke.
Garcia begins by approaching a seated guard player. As many of us look to do, he steps up the middle to begin a passing procedure while at the same time offering his leg to his partner. As his partner looks to get close to Garcia and connect to him, perhaps to hug the shin or look to reverse, Garcia pushes him away. He plays this game, pushing his partner away repeatedly to entice him to really make an effort to close the distance. As his partner makes one last play to get close, Garcia uses the opportunity to snap his partner's head directly into a guillotine set-up.
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There is a very important detail here that cannot be overlooked and Garcia takes a pause to address it. Before he snaps his partners head down to capture the guillotine, he places his forearm under the chin. Doing this, he makes sure that the guillotine is in place and that the chin doesn't end up tight to the chest where he cannot dig it out. This is critical and it could be an instant game changer for many of us.
With the guillotine secured, Garcia guides his partners head to his right side and takes a big step out to his left, creating a large angle. With his left foot he can create a post that will stop his partner from forcing him into a roll if this is preferable.
This same trap can be set from a scenario where Garcia’s partner is on his back and is trying to return to a seated position. Garcia permits his partner to try and try to get up and when he finally allows it, boom, the guillotine is right there.
You’ll have to check out the rest of the series for some great finishing details but man is this set-up phenomenal. Garcia does such a fantastic job of putting the most tried and true action reaction themes to work and his timing is just incredible. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to learn from a true legend of the art!