A theme that runs throughout all the combat sports is that of ADVANTAGEOUS ANGLE. The human body is constructed in such a way that it deals well with threats from directly in front, but poorly with threats from behind. Any angle to one side that gets us closer to inherently advantageous rear positions is generally a good thing. Defensive positions that seem impervious from the front often prove quite easy to attack from an angle. This is particularly true of leg lock attacks from bottom position. Typically we begin encounters facing square to our opponent. After an initial engagement to secure grips and kuzushi (off balancing), LOOK IMMEDIATELY TO SECURE AN ANGLE TO FACILITATE ENTERING THE LEGS AND THEN EMERGE WITH THE LEG UNDER YOUR CONTROL (via ashi garami) AND AT AN ANGLE WHERE YOU CAN EXPLOIT THAT CONTROL WITH A STRONG ATTACK. Here, you can see that I have elevated my opponent and forced him to carry his own weight on his hands. This frees me up to turn to an angle that makes entry easier and creates a dilemma between straight and cross ashi garami attacks (he can only avoid one by giving me the other). In addition this greatly reduces the need for flexibility and athleticism on my part to lock a tight ashi garami (that’s a good thing for a fifty one year old with a hip replacement and soon to be knee replacement). Make ANGLE a serious part of your study of submissions. Identify which holds require it and make a study of how you can attain it under the conditions you can expect when hunting for it - you will soon find situations that used to frustrate you bring success.