Considering a lvl 1 monk with improved grapple, can he perform a Grapple only until the step 3?
For example, a small size creature against a medium size human with improved grapple, the monk would have a +4 bonus on the grapple roll against a -4 penalty of the small size creature, being able to deal damage in the process.
A touch attack roll followed by an easy opposed grapple seems a lot better to me than having to deal with natural armor/normal armor.
Thing is, on step 4, the one attemping to grapple moves and provokes attacks of opportunity, which is the part that I want to avoid.
SRD says that:
Maintain Grapple. To maintain the grapple for later rounds, you must move into the target’s space. (This movement is free and doesn’t count as part of your movement in the round.)
Moving, as normal, provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents, but not from your target.
If you can’t move into your target’s space, you can’t maintain the grapple and must immediately let go of the target. To grapple again, you must begin at Step 1.
It doesn't explicity says that you can just stop at will at that point but, if you can fail with no more consequences than having to restart the grapple, can I use grapple like that without breaking the rules?