#22: Near-Side & Cross-Face Cradles
The Cradle, like the Parallel Leg Ride, is one of those situations that you never want to have to defend. It's one of the hardest things to get out of, which also makes it very nice when you get one offensively. You'll have your opponent's head hooked with one arm, a leg hooked with the other, and your hands locked in between. Try to go for a nice Butterfly Lock, as all of the others are subpar in comparison. Once you have a Cradle locked up you should be able to at least score some back points, if not ride the guy out until time expires or a stalemate happens. Try to keep your lock positioned towards the head so he can't kick through your grip easily.
Near Side Cradle
First we have the kids chop their opponent down to expose their ankle so we can lock that up with our right leg. That will control the guy a little bit so you can grab his head with your left hand and pull that down as you reach behind the leg with your right arm. Try to pull the head down to the point that you can get your hands locked up. The next goal would be to try to push the guy to his hip. You can put your head into his side (in Folkstyle) and drive with your legs to get him there. Once he's on his side, you can use one of the first two moves in this situation. Otherwise, you'd be looking at trying to use the third.
Your left arm will go across his face (Cross-Face) and grab the far elbow. You'll then fold the arm towards you as you break him down a little bit and slide your left arm a little tighter around the neck. You can keep the near leg locked up like the Near-Side Cradle, as you reach behind the far leg and try to get your hands locked. Try to keep the elbow controlled the entire time. You can grab your wrist instead of locking your hands in an effort to keep the arm controlled. If you lose the arm and it slips out and across your back when you're on the other side you'll be in a very bad situation and might have to completely bail from the top position.