Oil and Water: Guillotines and Single/Double Leg Take Downs

Someone pointed out this article, and it makes me sad/really leery of going for a single or double leg takedown: what are they? They are ways to take down your opponent by crouching down “shooting” in and grabbing one or both legs to take your opponent down.

Fancy terminology, I know.

These guys are going in for one of these take downs and their opponent is applying a guillotine which looks like this:

What the guy on the bottom is doing is dropping to take the other guy down and the guy on top has an arm around their neck, and for some, bad things happen.

Vertebra are either shattering or becoming dislocated, and these guys become paralyzed, or die.

These moves are no joke; I would seriously consider taking them out of MMA and jiu jitsu competitions because of the risk. Granted, I can say these things because I’m not on any governing body of anything, but just as they ban kicks to the back of the head, I think there has to be some sort of “no guillotines while both competitors have two feet on the ground.” or something. Guillotines themselves shouldn’t be taken out of the equation, but this is an issue that should be addressed sooner than later.



Filed under bjj, MMA

7 responses to “Oil and Water: Guillotines and Single/Double Leg Take Downs

  1. Yeah that is kinda scary hey… But at least you aren’t a cheerleader, so your risk is less!!!

  2. Nice post! I agree with you on this. I have neck issues and prefer never to get caught in a guillotine…they can be brutal. Honestly, they aren’t taught at my gym for anything other than self defense.

  3. The problem isn’t usually in completing the takedown while in a guillotine. It’s doing the takedown and bonking your head on the ground at a difficult to replicate angle in an awkward manner with the weight of two people on your neck.

    Would you ban armbars because some people refuse to tap until their elbows are mangled? What about Peruvian neckties?

    • Katie

      I see your point, however anything that would seriously damage or sever my Central Nervous System I become quite cautious about. This is partly due to the fact that I don’t really do guillotines or single or double leg takedowns, so essentially I fear what I don’t know and I am totally aware of that. I also have only heard the term “Peruvian necktie” and never really saw it in action until about 30 seconds ago thanks to Youtube…

      …Yeah, I don’t like those either.

      • It is flat out odd that as a woman, you don’t do guillotines. Much is made of Marcelo Garcia’s usage of it, but it remains the single best grappling tactic a smaller person can use against a bigger person.

  4. The problem is shooting improperly and leaving your head exposed to the guillotine– shoot with your legs, not bending forwards from the waist, tuck your chin in but don’t look down at the mat, and keep your head tight to the outside of their hip when shooting a single.

  5. Stephan Kesting just sent out an email about this and referred all to a handy youtube video on the subject: http://youtube.com/Obo9xhQexcI

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