Tegatana is a great exercise for ma ai - now try it with your eyes closed.
Your comment about kata is also right on - what many people who are not used to kata training fail to realize is that everything is involved, not just a series of moves.
Drew - you misunderstand ma ai. Ma ai is combative distance - nothing to do with training except you train for combat. Your training should encompass the same feeling of ma ai as you would in a real situation - if not what is the use.