I think you are mis-interpreting the posts Don...be that as it may, I suspect you and Graham have more in common in your training methods than you think...
Ron (butting out now...)
yes I believe that also, don you are focusing on the technical level and graham is talking at a more conceptual level.
Whether your aim is to defend against guard by fighting it whilst in it or fighting your opponent so it does not happen, you both need to train against someone taking guard to make it efficient.
Awareness passes by recognising and differentiating circumstance end the environment
For example, if you practice a weapon you awareness will extend to the threat range of that weapon.
That will just tell you that someone has entered your safe space making it unsafe. That does not mean that you will recognise that he is going to try to the guard on you or is going to shoot you. I think that is what don is saying.
However the more you train the more generic solution you find. So the more that generic awareness can be turned into something useful.
If you want a written example of that take medieval German fencing you have only 5 strike that you use in defence and in offence, it takes cares of all the attacks possible from you opponent.
Ultimately all attacks with a long sword will have 5 possible trajectories and 5 possible great finishing or starting position.
When someone comes at you with a new guard that you have never seen, you can deal wit it as if it is one on of the four positions.
I have spared with people doing Olympic fencing, kendo arni/kali ghatka, xy z school of kenjutsu.
The medieval German simple rules never let me down and not following it got me spanked. I did not need to know exactly what guard they were using or the intricacies of each of their attack.
I think that is graham is referring to.