Negate first – attack second: A big part of my philosophy whenever you are in neutral positions (neither athlete has a distinct advantage over the other in terms of basic position), is to BEGIN BY SHUTTING DOWN YOUR OPPONENTS ABILITY TO ATTACK YOU, and only then, ASSERTING YOUR OWN ATTACKS. Nothing is more hazardous than trying to attack someone while they are simultaneously trying to attack you. The match quickly becomes like a Wild West shootout where the first cowboy to land a shot wins. Instead, position yourself in ways that subvert your opponent’s offense and when things have calmed down a little and under greater control, then switch focus to attacks. Now the attack can be performed in a more relaxed fashion as you are no longer fighting for survival as you are trying to mount your offense. Here I am negating much of my partners offense by positioning – this will make the subsequent passes and submissions much easier to apply. When you are in these common neutral positions, ask your what your opponent needs to attack you, and begin by DENYING HIM THOSE THINGS. Only when you feel you have done an adequate job of this and you are under less pressure should you now apply your own offense