While we are on the subject of this drill, let's talk about Awase (blending), it is the Nage's initiative to blend with the attacker, off-balance the attacker and then take control. The Uke once knowing that s/he has lost his/her balance should THEN blend with the Nage (and NOT BEFORE) to avoid any injury to him/herself
Oops, I forgot to add that blending together from point zero as demonstrated in one of our class is totally against the essence of aikido. Why? many reasons.
The intended target (side of neck) has now changed to the nage's extended arm. Upon contact of the uke's strike arm with the nage's extended, the uke is told to hold back the attack, turned and faced the nage who was now at the same side of the striking arm - 1)there is no energy behind the attack anymore. As a nage, there is no longer a perceived threat of attack and there is no longer a need to defend. 2) By turning to face the nage, the uke intentionally "blend" with nage by off-balancing him/herself voluntarily even when the nage's arm to jam the blow was not fully extended. 3)In eyes of an experienced martial artist, this performance is so unrealistic and the chereography is par excellent. Sometime, it is good to sit with the crowd and hear their comments about an aikido demonstration.