The MMA Twister – Wrestlers Guillotine

We as sports fans and fanatics recognize when we bare witness to something special, something rare, something extremely difficult in the sports world. In Baseball we have the perfect game, the no hitter and things of that sort. In Golf and Tennis we have the Grand Slam.

In MMA we have things like the Jumping Fence Kick, the Flying Triangle, or in this case, something that Kiser and I saw first hand during an MMA fight… The Twister or as they refer to it, the Wrestler’s Guillotine.

Whatever you like to call it, Eric Wahlin and Mike Stidham demonstrate how they like to set up this very nasty, career ending submission and it’s very interesting to see how the technique relates to it’s roots in Wrestling. The question of the hour though is “what’s in a name?” I mean, there are a number of folks out there who hate names and hate people who give techniques names even more.

What’s worse then, a technique that has no name? A person who gives a technique a name? Or perhaps even a person who re-names a technique that already has an accepted name? Keep in mind before you start spouting off, that The “Kimura” was known in Japan as the “Ude Garame” long before it’s new nickname. Catch Wrestling aficionado will argue that the British called it the Double Wrist Lock long before that.

And what if we want to rename something for tactical reasons, so that coaches can shout out suggestions to their fighters without their opponent’s knowing what exactly it is that they’re talking about? Why not call a Double Leg Takedown, “Worship of the Ivory Goddess”?

Weigh in with your comments below and be sure to cast your vote in the poll.

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What is the proper name of this move?

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10 replies
  1. KJ Gould
    KJ Gould says:

    The lack of dedication to historical preservation is one of the things that irks me most about modern day martial arts. There just seems to be little respect or willingness to do just a little research. Instead everything has to become a brand, so it can be marketed and slapped on a box with a price tag. I’ve always been taught that history being written by the victors is often a bad thing, and I will always be vocal about revisionism in martial arts if I believe it to be happening.
    I have no issue with the wrestler’s guillotine being called a twister, it was a nickname Jean Jacques Machado came up with when his student Eddie Bravo used it. But it’s still originally a wrestler’s guillotine, and anyone that values themselves as any kind of historian should never forget that.
    Then there are names thought up needlessly. Robert Drysdale calls a power nelson “Cross Head Control”, and has a chapter on it in his DVD sets. No mention of wrestling is made. It’s vaguely possible to come up with a move independently in an art, as the body can only be manipulated in so many ways across 3 dimensions, but ‘power nelson’ existed in English long before whatever it may have been called in Portuguese or Japanese.
    Using internal coded language for coaching is fine, but again that doesn’t mean we should become apathetic to historical preservation.

  2. Dr Sick
    Dr Sick says:

    Fantastic comment @KJ Gould !  Kiser and I have done what we could to use what we think of as a “Bibliographic” approach to historic preservation.  We try to reference whomever was the one who taught, shared or influenced what we show in the hopes that those interested in learning more can dig backwards and eventually find closer source material.
    I think that respect to those that came before, paved the way and preserved that which we so passionately pursue is a necessary part of becoming a respected newcomer to the game.

  3. kenseisato
    kenseisato says:

    awsome post, i should start calling it Guillotine or wrestler’s guillotine just becuase people know it as the twister. Great for a code name.

  4. naturalbornfighter1
    naturalbornfighter1 says:

    I ‘m going against the grain on this one, I like to call it the Twister. There are a few reasons for this. If coaching someone and you see an opportunity to catch the move then shouting twister is quicker than Wrestlers Guillotine and between the time for the shout, thought process then action may be minimal an oportunity can come and go in a matter of seconds. Also I’m a huge Eddie Bravo fan, he openly admits to knowing the origins of the move and the name as being the wrestlers guillotine but it was generally considered ‘a dead move’ when he started to popularise it again, no one was using it, no one was using clever set ups to catch the technique. Eddie was catching higher grade exponents than himself with it, not only did he make it popular but he built a whole strategical framework system around the move. If Eddie never did this it may still be a dead technique. I give him props for the regeneration of the technique. 
    We already have the regular Guillotine in MMA adding Wrestlers Guillotine may cause slight confusion.

  5. Dr Sick
    Dr Sick says:

    Ha, I respect your answer and reasonings @naturalbornfighter1.  It takes guts to go agaisnt the grain.  I myself, think it’s pretty cool that a place like DCMMA fosters Eddie Bravo fans in the same place as Wrestlers, Catch Wrestlers and MMA guys.

  6. naturalbornfighter1
    naturalbornfighter1 says:

    Thanks Dr.Sick! Thats why I love this place so much. The open mindedness here is awesome. I love the Catch Wrestling, 10th Planet, BJJ, Greco Roman, Judo, Olympic freestyle. I love them all, To me it’s all just little pieces of a much larger puzzle. I have love for all systems regardless of origins. 😀

  7. NoHonorLeft
    NoHonorLeft says:

    The History of the name of this technique doesn’t matter in my opinion. The History of the name of this technique is lies and politics, which is why you will never find a history of the Guillotine Pin before the 80’s besides a doctored black and white photo and doctored yearbook-fraud made to look like the yearbook was made in the 60’s.

    The Martial Arts isn’t about politics and definitely not lies, it’s about being humble, self-defence (Not Offence) and treating human life with respect in my opinion, yet braggarts, liars, frauds, thieves and murderers are the most respected martial artists today because America has more respect for people with these qualities rather than honorable qualities. (Most Americans lust for blood, not honorable actions)

    That’s how losers to America’s martial art can be rewarded with the very technique that they were defeated with, they represent Americas quality of braggarts, liars, frauds, thieves, murderers and sore losers. America is not a civilised country and never will be, in my opinion. Americans will never stop worshipping people who lie, cheat and steal from them; because Americans worship false advertisement and all who oppose false advertisement will be punished by their government-approved-scam-artist Senseis, who in my opinion have turned out to be the best liars in the world because most people are honorable enough to turn into an honorable-crying-mess, who tells the truth. Which makes them the most superior liars on the planet.


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