Hit them with shomen or yokmen attacks, see if you can break their posture or maybe even try to block you. if they block you, try a technique. Might only work the first couple of times.
I did try shomen attacks and frankly that the only thing that works. People never expect to be attacked like that, they do block it and it hurt them, not me (yay to striking with the palm!) and sometimes I can pull an ikkyo on them. Problem is, since I'm the one doing the grabbing AND trying to pull the technique at the same time, I feel quite uncomfortable. Probably I'm not at the level to control and redirect energy yet when I'm attacking. They would try to yank and pull their arms out of the way, and I would lose the technique. I'm fine with people pulling or pushing me, but the opposite?
oh ya! did i mention irimi?
lets see if i can paraphrase Saotome sensei. "hands feet no enemy. enemy enemy" *with the accent* when you go after a snake, you don't go after the tail or the body, you go after the part that controls the body and the tail, i.e. the head or more correctly, the mind that controls. have you thought of sparring naked?
Well, that's exactly the problem... How can you Irimi if there's nothing to Iriminage into???? Like in Aikido we always have distance between uke and tori, but in sparring, I would be face to face with the guy and his feet is like, right next to my feet (but instead of holding my hands he's trying to jab the crap out of my face) There's no room to taisabaki or irimi. I would try to back side way to tempt them to charge, but instead they simply close the distance to sparring distance. No attack from a proper distance to channel a technique...
And I'm not so sure I'm ok sparring naked with my buddies
They can save those parts for their wives