Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 15/04/2015
You've managed to move into high mount and get underneath their elbows. Reach your arm under their opposite forearm, past the crook of their elbow. Grab around their arm, so that you're gripping the tricep. Lock the arm to your chest, or secure it by grasping your own collar. You're then going to move into s-mount, in a motion that has some similarities to the technical mount switch. Pull the arm you've gripped across, creating space to slide your knee forwards. If you need additional base, post your free hand on the ground as your knee comes up, swivelling your torso to face their other arm.
Scooping up their other arm can be useful here too, if you can. Your other leg is then going to curl around their far armpit, clamping in tightly. Some people will grip their curling-leg ankle from here, reaching under their opponent's head (which has the additional advantage of cross-facing them). This will depend on your leg length and flexibility: you'll want to be comfortable with the position first, which is an awkward configuration.
Keep your legs squeezing into them, then lean sideways towards their stomach. This is to lighten your knee-leg, so you can bring that over their head. Slide down the arm you trapped at the start, staying close to their shoulder. From here you'll be looking to drop back for the armbar. However, that moment where you're bringing the leg over their head is also where you're at risk of giving them too much space.
To prevent them turning into you, leaning into them may help. They need their elbow to turn, so make sure that's trapped tight against your body. They will also try to bring their head into play, trying to get to their knees so they can start stacking you. Use your leg to twist their head away, so they don't have the posture to recover a strong position.
Finally, you will most likely find that they clasp their hands together in some way. There are numerous options for breaking the grip. The simplest and most universal is, I think, bringing your leg into the crook of their elbow and pushing the grip loose, combining that push with a pull from your arms. It isn't foolproof, but it seems to be the one that works most often for me. Drop back, squeezing your knees, then pull down on their wrist and raise your hips for the finish.
Teaching & Sparring Notes: I have never been a big fan of armbars as I find they leave space for your partner to escape. However, this particular variation feels relatively tight and follows on nicely from the high mount material I've been teaching. People were having problems where you'd expect, first with that curling of the leg (I tried adding in a drill for that), as well as dropping back too quickly. If I can help them with the first problem, that should resolve the second, as then they'll feel more stable.
Basing on the hand seems like one useful solution, as then you can move into position more gradually. Next time, I could emphasise grabbing your ankle in s-mount a bit more, as that isn't something I covered in much detail. Also, there's the option of locking up their far arm as well, something else I could play with next time.
It was odd numbers, so I could get in some sparring. I need to spar more often, so I'm going to have to come up with a solution when it's even numbers too. Perhaps have one group go in a three? I don't like to cut into people's sparring time, but that could work. I'll see how it goes.
Anyway, I was escaping under mount, but while I can create space, I often get into a situation where I'm chasing legs as they try to scramble back into a top position. I need to cut off that chase. So maybe a matter of sitting up as soon as I can? Scooting back to aid that sit up? This is another reason I need to spar more, to test out that kind of thing.
When I got on top, I was in good position for the choke, but didn't manage to finish. I think I needed to get my weight heavier on the other side to make that stable, or perhaps try different leg positioning. The more sparring, the less rusty I'll feel. ;)