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Blending, continuous and adaptive, combined with continuous repositioning, eventually followed by extension and "throw or wristlock".
That's the only way to deal with an attacker. Playing the macho "i'm tough" game or "who outsmarts whom" game is a path to defeat.
O Sensei was right on the money, as always, when he said something akin to "When you're not on the path, you're far, far away from the path".