We spent the practice working on timing and distance.
Timing starts when you see your opponent move. If there is no unnecessary movement, that is the most efficient technique, and involves the shortest time to the point where you have control. However, there is always some premotion, or telegraphing. This adds to the time you have to respond to uke or, if you are the one doing the premotion, to the time uke has to counter your technique.
If you move too soon, uke can change his attack, albeit with reduced effectiveness unless you are way early. If you move too late, of course you get hit. Somewhere in the middle is where you should be. We practiced sen no sen, sen sen no sen, and go no sen from various techniques.
We practiced ki musubi no tachi, then took each of the movements and related it to unarmed techniques. The first movement, the wrist cut, led to kote gaeshji. The second, the thrust to the throat, led to a very early irimi nage (sen sen no sen). We digressed to look at other timings of irimi nage. The last movement of the kumi tachi was related to ikkyo irimi, entering with the rising arm as uke attacks shome uchi.
None of these, none of aikido, makes sense unless uke is committed to attacking. But then if uke is not committed to attacking, there is nothing to worry about. Aikido is about harmonising with uke’s energy, which is much easier when there is a lot of it.
We finished up with randori, working on the basics: keeping moving, turning, extension, keeping out of the corners, and keeping track of where everybody is.