Armbars from guard for me today. Just like last Wednesday afternoon, there were only three of us. Inbetween helping the brandnew guy, the other two of us had mini private sessions. And my session revolved around armbars from guard. If I could have picked a subject, this would have been it.
After being shown the whole thing again, I was sent of with my partner to practice. All he had to do was offer some resistance and stuff me about. That was very frustrating. He was great, because he didn't use brute force, but made it sufficiently hard by clamping down elbows, grabbing my arms, sitting up, try to pass my guard etc that it was a challenge. The really funny thing is that I accidentally swept him three times. For someone who couldn't sweep for love or money, that was amazing. Well, as I said, I have been working on a sweep from the same setup, and obviously, that's coming together :-)
Anyway, the last couple of times I managed to clamp him down and I got nice tight armbars. Only, it sort of happened and I still didn't "get" how it was happening.
I had another stint with the instructor and we troubleshot the whole thing again. My main problem was that I couldn't get a decent cut, the leg across his back wasn't high enough, and I could not get my other leg on his shoulder. I was under the impression I had to angle off more, but while having him locked down on me, I just couldn't move myself across, other than in wriggles and shuffles that were too slow. Ok, it turned out I had it wrong. The trick isn't to angle off as far as possible. The foot on his far hip pushes me away from him rather than trying to create more angle. That bit of extra space allows my legs to do what I want: the near one across his back nice and high, the far one over his shoulder and clamping down.
Once I had this setup, there was so much control, and I can in fact attack either arm. But for the armbar, a little rotation of my hand onto his head, and I can easily swing my leg across his face for an armbar.
I think I might just have figured this out now!
I understand from what I hear that my closed guard is not a nice place to be, so if I can add some armbars to the unpleasantness, that'll be great :-)