I played a lot of defense when I first started sparring. I don't know why but I wasn't too confident in striking. I was a really skinny kid so I didn't really think I had much power. Instead, my first spars were mainly me blocking kicks and punches, dodging and evading. If I was grabbed or brought to the ground, I was slippery enough to often get out of holds, but many times that's when I'd also be forced to strike back. I won some and lost some, but I usually ended up a lot less winded than my opponent...because he would be the one doing all of the attacking.