Sounds like your confusing issues if you are relating it to maai. Maai is keeping distance first and foremost. It is staying just outside the circle of their reach. That's maai.
So there is maai and there is no maai ie: inside that distance or even further away than 'just outside'.
If you can keep maai without entering and without going too far away from then the other person keeps coming but of course cannot connect. It's quite a skill all of itself but then you meet with the reality of no fight, no combat.
The maai or distance obviously increases if the other is holding a weapon for their reach is to that degree greater.
Combat brings into the equation the subject of entering which is a different subject.
Now the question is no longer about maai but timing and balance and motion etc. As it's also about not getting hit then the subject of angles and distances is involved but they are not strictly speaking maai.
That's my input.
I get your point, since it is the way it is described in most aikido textbooks.
Maybe what I really wanted to ask and the reason why I put it here in the non aikido martial art section, is how other arts handle the concept of maai into their training terminology and how this affects posture and body structure ? Maybe interesting in some aspects maybe not, but something I have been wondering about for some time anyway.
Maybe also related as you say to the concept of entering.