It starts before you even make contact
The moment you slap hands in a competitive match - it’s on. Even before you make contact you should be scheming for advantage. Too often we just lackadaisically reach for grips without thinking and take a “let’s see what happens” approach. This is fine for daily training with friends, but make sure that kind of thinking does not permeate into your actions in a more competitive setting, for it will quickly expose you to problems. Even as you approach an opponent you should be looking for advantage and positioning yourself accordingly. As you approach, you should be FORMULATING A PLAN and POSITIONING YOURSELF TO ENACT IT. If you cannot see an opening, this is the time for minor delaying tactics until you do formulate a plan or see an opening develop. Remember always, THE FIRST CONTACT YOU HAVE WITH YOUR OPPONENT IS VISUAL CONTACT - use that to begin the battle for advantage from the outset.