Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
I'm with Phi and Janet. The more you practice anything, the more you become aware of the details, whether you're consciously aware of them or not. You don't need to come up with magical, mystical or esoteric explanations for it -- physical cues explain it well enough. It comes with practice, it does not come through any way other than practice (no chemicals, no book-reading, no "crosstraining"), and it's really "data-driven". By that I mean that you really can't theorize your way into understanding it; you need the "data" of the practice. A little theory is not harmful and may be helpful once you've accumulated a lot of data, but as with other aspects of martial arts training, I really think that the theory-to-practice ratio should be kept low, low, low. That's why I don't read a lot of books about aikido. It's not a "scriptural" practice.