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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

09 March 2015

09/03/2015 - Teaching | The Back | Bow & Arrow Choke

Teaching #291
Artemis BJJ (MyGym), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 09/03/2015

This week, I decided to focus on the bow and arrow from the back. Starting from standard back control with a seat-bet grip, you open up their collar with the hand you have under their armpit. Fold it over (a handy tip from James '300' Foster), then grip it with the hand you have over their shoulder. Don't grip too high, or you'll lack the range to finish the choke.

Next you want to get hold of their non-choking side leg. If you're having trouble grabbing it, Dónal suggests using your same side heel to dig in by their knee, curling your leg back. That should bring their trouser leg in range for you to grab with your free hand, establishing a good anchor point. You then want to swivel your body, in order to get your leg-grabbing side foot to the outside of their other thigh.

I tend to push off their non-grabbed leg side thigh with my same side foot, to help me move my other foot over. Once you've got that foot locked in place, you want to keep it there to block them from trying to turn into an escape. Along with your initial grip on their leg, that hook with your foot gives you better leverage to move into the main choking position.

To get there, swing out your non-hooking leg. You want to end up with your opponent's head on the thigh of that leg you just swung out. Tuck the elbow of your choking arm back by your hip, as pulling on the elbow is one of the main escapes. To finish, pull your hand down, pressing your forearm into their head. If that doesn't work, you can try increasing the range by gripping with less fingers (though this does make your grip weaker). Putting a leg over their shoulder and then crossing your feet can give you more leverage, as you can then thrust your hips up into the choke.

If that still isn't getting the choke, try bringing the hand that was gripping their leg behind their head, driving it through to push their head forward as you lock in the choke. For even more leverage, you can bring it under their arm. That then sets you up for yet another follow-up submission, moving your leg over their head to switch into an armbar.
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Teaching Notes: I've said it before, but as the club is Artemis BJJ, I tend to think that the bow and arrow should be our signature choke. Couple of things that came up during this first lesson are firstly the importance of not gripping too high, or it can become an air choke due to the forearm.

People were also having some trouble with that swing sometimes, especially if size difference makes it hard to hook the instep around the outside of their leg. It's important to grab the leg, makes a big difference to that swing. On the other hand, it is possible to do it when hooking the arm instead.

I really like that tip from Foster BJJ, makes me wonder if it would apply to some other chokes. I'll have to have a play with it some more.

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