Lessons in grappling (and life in general) repeat themselves until learned. Sometimes there are techniques or principles that you learn, take for granted, teach to others and then slowly forget – before you know you have forgotten what you originally took for granted, and then have to relearn it all over again. I am having one of these moments in my own training right now.
A while ago I was having difficulties passing the closed guard of one of my training partners. He was constantly tying up and attacking my arms. All I ever did was defend, and never really got to mount any offense of my own. What is always the first level of defense, and the first step of passing the guard?
Then I was sparring another longtime training partner. Once again I was in trouble, continuously defending omo platas, armbars and triangles. Why were his attacks so easy to set up? What was I NOT doing?
After that I entered a local tournament and got caught in a guillotine choke. Tap, tap. What is the best preventative measure you can implement to avoid guillotine chokes?
What are most white belts taught on their first day of class?
What do coaches spend half their time yelling at tournaments?
Posture! Posture!! Posture!!!
OK, OK, I get it now. I know what I need to work on. While training I need to make posture my first, second and third priority. Lessons repeat themselves until learned.