I teach fighting based on 2 main ideas - momentum/energy and position.Momentum is perhaps the most critical key in all of fighting. Whereyour opponent is relative to you and the direction of their attack ordefense (relative to your attack/defense).
For example, lets look at stand up striking. You can either interceptan attack with a block, redirect, avoid, or launch a stop attack. Thereare times, depending on what you wish to do and what is going on, whenit is better to block, times when it is better to get out of the way,and times when it is better to redirect. Position is the major variablethat must be taken into account. Note, when I talk about position, I amnot just talking about where you physically are, but also where yourbalance is. If your off balance, your not gunna be able to easily moveout of the way!
Grappling (Tachi-waza and newaza): Both you and your opponents momentumis perhaps the most critical variable that you must take into accountwhen defending and attacking. if you simply meet a forward force withyour own forward force (a direct clash), the stronger person is goingto win, be it on the ground or the feet. If you are stronger/faster -then this will usually work out to your advantage, if positions areequal. If you are in deficient, then your gunna be in trouble. If yourable to redirect or avoid, you then create opportunities to defend orattack.
I am very big on teaching my students to be aware of these principals.How does this manifest in the class? I tell my students that I am notteaching moves, but concepts. If you learn how to throw a strike, asubmission, escape, etc as just a move in space, your not learning howthe move works and works for you. If you learn how your weight,momentum, position affect how you can apply yourself - you no longerlearn a punch or armbar, but you learn how to choose your attack,execute it, and finish. All of a sudden, your not just doing an armbar,your learning how to isolate a limb and apply pressure via a fulcrum.
"your game for you, not mine for you" this is a bedrock of my school. Istrive to teach my students how to play the game they are able to play,not just adapt my game to their needs. Create situations where you canuse your strengths and minimize situations where you are weak.