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Master The Bow & Arrow Choke Step-By-Step


In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, just as in Judo, gi chokes are great ways of attacking an opponent.  The Bow and Arrow Choke is one of the most high percentage chokes for BJJ that you can learn.

Bow and Arrow chokes (as in all chokes), are blood chokes.  They attack the arteries using both hands on your opponents lapel.  

Out of all the gi chokes, it is a favorite among many top BJJ competitors, and is in the top 10 highest percentage gi chokes in competition.  

When attacking the bow & arrow choke, you typically start with back control.  Once you establish a good collar grip, the bow and arrow choke is yours.

Though simple in thought, gi chokes are really tough to finish. It's all about the grip. Judo players are known for their grips and chokes. Travis Stevens (Judo Olympian and BJJ Black Belt) is one of the leading experts on how to attack and submit your opponents with ease using gi chokes.


Here's some of our favorite bow and arrow choke techniques:

Bow and Arrow BJJ Choke Videos

Bow and Arrow Choke (Lachlan Giles)

Lachlan Giles, coach of Craig Jones, breaks how he likes to setup and attack the bow and arrow choke.

HOW to Execute the PERFECT BOW & ARROW Choke!

The bow and arrow choke is a great submission and it much easier to get than you may think. The key is the setup and establishing the first collar grip.

Top 3 Ways To Finish The Bow & Arrow Choke

It is a very painful choke that can do some damage quick. What makes this choke so effective, is that your whole body is attacking their neck.

Bow & Arrow Choke Step-By-Step Picture Breakdown

First, I must have good back control. I have my leg hooks in, my chest is tight to my partner’s back and I have a nice and tight seatbelt control.

Bow and Arrow Back Choke Instruction Step 1

With my under hand of my seatbelt control, I grab my partner’s lapel and open it up. My over hand then goes into my partner’s collar, with a tight grip. I go thumb, ridge of the hand and wrist into my partner’s neck while I have control of the collar.

Bow and Arrow Back Choke Instruction Step 2

My bottom hand that opened the collar posts on the mat besides me. This will be done in quick sequence with the next step.

Bow and Arrow Back Choke Instruction Step 3

I now switch my feet from hooks to a different position. I post my left leg tight to my partner’s side and I put my right leg over my partner’s hips as a half body triangle. I do this because my right leg will keep my partner to me. Without the leg blocking her, there is a chance she can escape and run away from this attack.  Now this will help me get to my next position.

Bow and Arrow Back Choke Instruction Step 4

Now with everything in place, I use my posted arm to scoot my body to the side. I am no longer behind my partner, but actually on my partner’s side. Notice that my legs are pointing the same way that my elbow is pointing for this choke.

Bow and Arrow Back Choke Instruction Step 5

Now, we are getting close to the finish. I throw my left leg over my partner’s shoulder and my right leg which was over my partner’s hips crosses over the left. I then do a mini crunch and grab underneath my partner’s leg and grab her pants, providing correct resistance and taking way any last chance of running away to escape.

Bow and Arrow Back Choke Instruction Step 6

And finally, for the finish. I apply pressure on her far shoulder and use my legs to get her shoulder down to the mat. I pull (or rip as I say when I teach this) on the collar, as I pull on her leg and I lean back. Do all these steps at once, not separate. This will cause the choke, and you will get the tap.

Bow and Arrow Back Choke Instruction Step 7

As I mentioned earlier, the bow and arrow choke is my favorite gi based attack. Even though there are a lot more, some easier to pull off, some harder, the bow & arrow has never let me down. When I lock this choke in, I rarely have an opponent escape it. It works and it works for good reason. If you are looking to learn and play around with more gi based attacks, this is choke to drill and practice. You will be able to apply it as well!

Travis Stevens Bio

2x US Olympian in Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under John Danager and one of the top "chokers" in the world. What makes his choking game so unique is the setups and grips he uses. Judo martial artists have the best grips for throws and chokes... because that's all they do. Take one of the best judo fighters in the world and combine it with his extensive BJJ experiene and knowledge and you get one of the best Jiu Jitsu DVD / On Demand Series out there: Chokes by Travis Stevens




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