Bow & Arrow Choke

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, just as in Judo, gi chokes are great ways of attacking an opponent. They provide a painful and effective way of choking opponent, using an opponent’s collar or lapel to cut off blood to the brain. Out of all the gi chokes, the first one I learned is still my favorite. That favorite is the bow & arrow choke. The basic way I like to hit this choke is off an opponent’s back. Once I get control of an opponent’s collar, it is something I can flow into right away. Check out below to learn this fundamental choke…

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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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!