Your quandary is explored and answers are immediately relevant at each and every Ushiro Sensei seminar. Most Aikidoka would be incapable of dealing with the nature and kind of attacks that Ushiro Sensei's students offer up. If you want to see how to make waza work with committed, sincere, genuine attacks, come on down Szczepan and experience it first hand. Then again, you will then also have to deal with the kind of stuff that you don't personally believe in as well
One thing I noted about Ushiro in the limited time I spent with him is he has a good understanding of OODA. When he attacks, he takes away your ability to move or escape and you are constantly trying to re-orient to get to a place where you can get out from under his attack. In most cases, even if you attack first, as you know, he has already placed you at a disadvantage before you even launch...you hesitate because he has already disrupted your attack, if you continue you will run into a brick wall for sure.
So, for me, a what we typically call a "committed attack" is committed, but unalive. that is...it lacks any substance to do anything of great consequence. an alive attack has something behind it and it has nothing to do with the speed or force or strength of the attack. an alive attack changes the situation and forces you to have to do something different than what you might have intended to do. This is why you need structure...good structure.
In all my experiences training for alive attacks, they are very hard to get out of the way of and you pretty much have to use your frame of structure to absorb the attack and disapate the force in such a way that you can use it to gain control of the situation.
The principle of OODA really dictates this. The irony to me is if it is a good attack and an alive attack...you simply cannot "move off the line" or side step it, or blend with it...you must accept it and the energy in it and then attempt to gain control.
Again, this is if the attack is alive or real. For me, I am either in control of the fight and uke is backpedaling, or I am not. If I am in control, uke is behind me and cannot launch a good attack, if I am behind and uke is attack...then a good attack means I am NOT in control and uke can effectively attack me. A good attack means I must deal with what he is going to me first.
Hope this make sense.