Thanks for the reply!
For me it is not sufficient to be able to 'dodge' an attack and allow the attacker to try again, and again, and again until he gives up. In actual combat that would not make sense.
For the most part I agree. Simply avoiding attacks is certainly a useful skill, but it doesn't necessarily allow for a direct, purposeful resolution, which should probably always be one of the primary goals. The longer the interactions are drawn out, the greater the risk for unexpected developments to pop up, the more conceivably dangerous things can become.
In my dojo when we practise we always try to understand the technique in a martial context. So simply moving around fluently with your partner is not enough: that off course is a good start, but not enough. No openings, good control, situational awareness. When walking around I sometimes conveniently stand in the way: see how my students react. Some are distracted and point their attention to me and forget about their aite... others ignore me completely and I gently tap them on the head/shoulder/back...
I like that. I think this kind of spontaneous interaction is crucial. It's so easy to get fixated on our partner, or some other "smaller" aspect of our situation. When I trained seriously I remember making extra efforts to focus on the other pairs around me while I was trying to focus on my performance with my own partner. It was mentally exhausting to split and focus my attention like that, but I think it was one of the more valuable things I gained from my training. I'm very out of practice, but that ability to "passively" track peripheral events while working on some central one comes in very handy now that I have a 2-year old who is constantly trying to get into the various brightly colored, glittering, pointy or poisonous "treats" that seem to always spring up from nowhere.