Good posts and vids...Having practiced a weapons based form of Aikido for many years I would like to add that maai and irimi are essential in learning 'intention"...The only thing I noticed with Sensei Ledyard's video is that We never wait for Uke to strike 'first" The intention is practiced so that as the second Uke opens (for example attempts to enter by stepping forward) Nage strikes..We invite Nage to strike by opening up in other words using the "stance of no stance" (ie no Aggressive/Defensive postures) giving Uke no position to judge and or counter...I understand the video was to just show the basics of "intention" and I am not too good at articulating our view... but Shoji Nishio believed that showing any kind of defensive stance weakens your response to any attack by Uke. Here's an excellent clip of Kenji Yoshida Sensei one of Nishio Shihan's senior students controlling Uke's "intention" through the use of a non-aggressive stance. This is more in line with Nishio Shihan's view of Yurusu Budo (The Budo of Acceptance) for Aikido We always accept and indeed invite Uke's intention/attack. By doing so Uke doesn't even realize they've lost control of the encounter... so the fight is over even before he strikes. And yes it does take allot of practice and learning how to transcend your own fear but I'll be damned if I am going to telegraph my intention by taking any kind of aggressive or defensive posture. With all due respect...That is conflict personified.