Re: covering your openings
I've struggling with this thread a little. Are you saying that in a "real" fight you would never get hit? If so that in my experience is a nonsense.
Also counter to this that or the other attack cannot be planned.
Aikido's effectiveness is limited by the skill of its practitioner and also by circumstance.
Example I was once uke for a Shihan who "cocked up" his technique and left a huge opening. Reflexly he simply knocked me to the floor.
Was it Aikido or not?