The Armpit Hold is a pole hold that requires some getting used to. Even though it can feel like your skin is being traumatized, the more you practice using different holds with different parts of your body, the skin tends to toughen and bruising and the 'pole burn' fade away.
This video demonstrates both an elbow hold as well as the Fang (both hands holding the feet).
There are basic steps to performing this hold:
1. Climb the pole.
2. Choose which side you want the grip to be on. Your arm and your torso will be on this side.
3. Grip the pole between your arm and your ribcage. This is where the 'hold' will take place.
4. With your free arm, grip the pole, hold your weight and release your legs.
5. Using the hand of the arm that is holding the armpit grip, grasp your ankle/leg behind you. Holding your weight, with your free arm reach back and grasp the other ankle.
6. Arch your back and look up so that the lines of your hold will be clean and pretty!