2. my attack does not affect what he is doing, in fact, my attack actually contorts around his movement. I am connected to sensei, but he does not connect to me - I cannot feel his center, nor move his body, but he can do both to me.
Jon, thats interesting. All the opening movements we do, most of which I learned from Shoji Nishio, are what I've come to call "universal openings." They've been tested out over and over. These are body positions and angles - relative to the attack - that work regardless of the attack by uke. Same opening movement by nage, and uke can do anything - grab, hit, punch, right side, left side, haymaker with a stick, knife, jo, sword.... doesn't matter. With the irimi movement of nage, uke is offbalanced and unable to continue the attack.
And this isn't just compliant aikido uke's. We've had boxers, MMA'ers, Karataka, Kung Fu players, Silat players, and just big guys.... worked every time in every case.
Messisco's going to be in my area soon, and I'm going to try and swing it. Cheers...