I don't see myself insisting on this when training with guys during Open Mat/Live Training. But from now on, with the consent of my training partners, no more "starting on the knees".
My training partner and I can start in guard (preferably). Or we can start in half-guard. Hell, I'd rather start in mount or back control than start on the knees.
When I think about the time wasted "pummeling" for position on the knees sometimes, my mind reels. Nothing in competition, nothing in self-defense resembles this - at least not in my experience. Standing gripfighting and pummeling? You bet. That's great training.
But I'll admit that this "on the knees" thing has been something that's bugged me about Open Mat / Live Training for years. And given some of my biggest current (and forever) challenges, now is probably as good a time to maximize my Open Mat / Live Training sessions by treating them, at least in part, as opportunities for guard/pass guard specific training for the foreseeable future.