when you work with weapons, your senses usually heightened. that meant you discerned various minutes body language of your partner that signaled his/her/it intention to attack. you would be surprised to see how much folks giving off their intention to attack before the attack materialized. also, you would see how much tension the other person had as well. the other side of the coin, is how to not giving off the intention to attack so the other person won't know when/what coming. for me, at the moment in my practice, i usually smile and let my body relax; not noodle but fill with energy like an inflated balloon (for those IS folks, you know this reference, right?). in my mind, my weapon already connected to my partner body, but i have not released my body yet. i would let my gaze goes soft and encompassed my partner and the spherical area the radius of his/her/its weapon. if you watch some of Kuroda sensei video, you will see that he goes from 0 to 60 in split second. i would love to face him. the experience would be very educational on my part; if i don't soiled my short first.