Offensive and defensive initiative from guard: Whenever you are in a competitive match with a skilled opponent and making use of guard position, there will be times your opponent has the offensive initiative and is fighting to pass, and you are primarily defensive – fighting only to retain your guard with no thought of offense. Then there will be other times where you have the offensive initiative – you are trying to sweep or submit your opponent and he is in defensive mode with no thought of passing. Usually it goes back and forth until there is a score. It is very important that you fight to finish every defensive period with a transition into some form of guard that enables you to enter into an offensive period. You cannot just continually play defense/retention. A good opponent will eventually crack even the toughest walls, and even if he does pass he will surely win a decision. Every cycle of defense/retention must be followed by an immediate switch into an offensive cycle where you carry the fight to your opponent. I’m sure you can all guess my favorite way to do this – pommel you’re legs into some variation of ashi garami at the completion of every act of retention and get straight into counter offense to start your own period of offense. Whatever method you choose – make sure follow each period of defense/retention with your period of offense/sweep/submission – that way you will carry the fight To your opponent rather than just worn down over time by continuous defense.