Grapplers Graveyard

Execute the Bow And Arrow Choke with a 100% Submission Rate

bow and arrow choke

Table of Contents

Welcome to Grapplers Graveyard, the hub for all things related to martial arts, health, fitness, and recovery. In this series, we want to cater to those who love to study and desire to increase their skill level in the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. We don’t know how many of you actually want this but we are writing in mind to help you become a better grappler. In this post, we will be covering the bow and arrow choke, a popular submission that get attempted while training in the Gi.

bow and arrow choke, bow and arrow setup, opponent's collar, gi jiu jitsu choke

What is a Bow and Arrow Choke?

The bow and arrow choke is a submission in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that can only be executed when you have someone back. Back control is crucial here but this submission can only really be executed when you have back control from a seated position.

When you hit this submission right, the likelihood that the opponent taps out is very high. The bow and arrow choke is one of my favorites for this reason, not only is very effective but the success rate (when done correctly) is so high.

Step-by-Step Breakdown of How to Do a Bow & Arrow Choke:

  • Get (seated) back control of your opponent

  • Get a seatbelt grip on your opponent and hug their body to your chest

  • While hugging them to your body, reach for a cross-collar choke. Note, you do not have to get this grip SUPER deep. The more “normal” collar grip here will make the move less scripted in their eyes

  • After getting this collar grip you will be diving to grab under the same leg that you have the collar grip on

  • While diving under the leg, your leg (on the same side of the collar grip) will move across your opponent’s body, resting your calf across your opponent’s lap. If you get your foot on the mat the grip gets way more tight

  • Lastly, you will throw the leg (that is on the opposite side of the collar grip) onto the same side of the shoulder.

  • When you get this leg on top of the shoulder, pull your arm that is across the collar as if you are drawing a traditional bow and you will have submitted your opponent and successfully executed the bow and arrow choke

Here is a video breakdown explaining what we just listed:

Note: All movements listed above should be done in one motion. The step-by-step is helpful for those who like the breakdown but all moves should be done at the same time or with minimal time between each step.

The Art of Bow and Arrow Chokes

When done correctly, bow and arrow chokes have a super high rate of submitting your opponents just due to the uncomfortably that they will be put in when the pressure hits their neck. If you have ever gotten caught in one that is super deep, you will know that if you are unable to tap quickly, going to sleep is the next thing that you will experience.

What is the Most Common Way to Set up the Bow and Arrow Choke?

The most common way to set up the bow and arrow choke is going to be while you have someones back in a seated position but the bow and arrow choke can be completed from both a standing position (when you have the back) and from half guard. Here are two great videos on how to execute the choke from the positions.

Note: The mechanics of the choke are still pretty much the same but logistics of how you pull it off are slightly different.

Bow and Arrow Choke From Half Guard

Doing a bow and arrow choke can be executed within the half-guard position. Here is a video explaining how to pull this off.

Standing Bow and Arrow Choke

Bow and arrow chokes can be done from a standing position. Here is a great video explaining how to execute this submission when you find yourself on someone’s back while they are standing.

Mastery Through Practice

Much like anything in life, the bow and arrow choke takes time to master. There are a lot of moving parts that need to be in place to execute the submission the right way. In the beginning, you may get stuck trying to get your leg across, or maybe you’re not as flexible and cannot get your leg to the shoulder. Whatever it may be, doing this in training (when the stakes are low) practice will make perfect here.

Considering you have to have the right set-up to even get the choke off, there will only be a couple of situations when you can actually get this done. Having this on your tool belt only makes you a more dangerous grappler.

Conclusion: Understanding the Bow and Arrow Choke

The bow and arrow choke is in fact a fancy and (sometimes) impractical way to submit your opponent but just know, it is one of the most effective BJJ submissions out there. The bow and arrow choke is one of the most potent ways to strangle an opponent and continues to show its usefulness in the gi. if done properly, this choke will work wonders for your game.

No-Gi Bow And Arrow

The submission is much easier to pull off when you are in the gi. The friction that gets created in the process just makes everything super tight. As you know, that is not the case when you are training no-gi. In no-gi, there are no grips, no collar, and no pants to hold onto. Instead, you will have to change the grips (that were on the collar) to grips on the wrist.

In all likelihood, pulling off a bow-and-arrow choke in no-gi is not going to happen in a real roll or possibly in a training session, people are just too slippery. There are much higher rate submissions that you could attempt over this one. but, for those daredevils out there who want to rip and spam te bow and arrow choke, here is a video on how to do it in no-gi: