Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
Just my 2 cts:
A good aikido technique is rather psychological than physical. That is why they look so simple and feel so smooth.
Uke needs to have two goals: to perform his attack and to protect himself. So if he tries to grab or push and he never reaches the point he aims for - but he must be always so close, tha he thinks, he would get it in an instance - , he would follow his target. If uke is facing a response (atemi or anything else), he would try to either stop it or evade.
So the trick is sensoring and timing. Uke must always have the illusion that his (re)action is the best possible and all the little changes lead to fall. You do not need hands an even no direct contact. If uke and nage know each other very well, it often looks like fake and at demonstrations you never know. But if uke has to take some hard atemi before, because he did not react correctly and timely, he might do the right move without playing.
Usually those great no-hand techniques are not the first in a series, but the demonstrating shihan just waits, until his uke is attacking fast enough and seems to expect something else. Then there are the right conditions for an extraordinary throw.