By digging ourselves a deep hole (letting our opponent really consolidate their position) and then finding our way to escaping – we develop strong ‘last-chance’ escape skills. I like to call this ‘survival training. My coach Rigan Machado used to have us work this way on a regular basis. He also used to put us in an opponents guard and just stay there and ‘survive’ while our opponents did his best to attack or sweep us. In doing this, we were able to focus all of our attention on what was going on, rather than spend any of it thinking about what we wanted to do – in other words, it kept us ‘in the moment’.
Survival training can be just that – just survive – don’t let the opponent submit us or improve his position. Or it can be taken to another level, in that we can not only survive – but we can try to improve our situation while doing so (escape, etc).
One thing for certain, survival training improves our confidence in bad situations. This can be a very empowering experience – more so, in many ways, than learning to improve our attack capabilities.