I've always thought stretches are to stretch our ROM slightly more than we normally do so that for example when our partner apply a technique/pin on us, our muscles and joints are not too stiff?
Modern exercise physiology holds that prior to activity, one should do warming up of muscles via large movements through range of motion and that stretching of cold muscles is not helpful and may be harmful in promoting microtears in muscle fibers, so stretching is best done after activity.
And based on those of us who have arthritis, it is indeed movement through normal range of motion that gets us past the stiffness that comes with waking up in the morning or after other prolonged inactivity, not going directly into stretching.
There are folks who really are used to the stretching and swear by it. Doesn't do a thing for me. YMMV so if it works for you, go for it!