Because people know that I practice Aikido, I get "tested" on my awareness from time time... For example, a Karateka who was a classmate of mine would suddenly appear in front of my face and launch a mock punch to my stomach. One of my office colleagues would suddenly throw a ball in my direction to check my reflexes... Needless to say, I didn't see them coming...
I was wondering whether one's awareness improves the longer one practices Aikido. In other words, can we develop a type of sixth sense? A former Sensei used to say that he could "see" us when were bowing to the shomen even though his back was facing us. In other words, he could sense our movements clearly even though he couldn't see us directly.
One way of developing my awareness is perhaps through meditation - e.g. closing the eyes and focusing on the sounds around me. Another is trying to practice with my eyes closed - although I'm quite likely to get hit!
Really appreciate everyone's comments on this.