I have had both a similar and a dissimilar feeling, especially coming from a karate background.

I like karate, but grappling seemed much more natural in the feel of the movement since you can sense the body weight of your opponent shift. However, the problem is the listing of techniques...five or so for class (from my experience) with variations on these. This is for everyone from beginner to advanced and then getting a feeling for application.

Those with a lot of experience can follow along, while some like me take a bit longer to get aclimated to all the variations and variety. So, what do I do, just the best that I can....

I think John is correct, and I think this is applicable to stand up as well. Learn positions and control from those positions...and then look to apply techniques.