The first of Nick's randori pointers that he dropped on us early this year is, "Don't take a step that you don't have to take." I appended to that, for my own understanding, "...because stepping exposes us to otoshi and guruma, which we are all expert at exploiting."
But, stepping and step-synchronization and footfall kuzushi - those are to a large degree how we do everything we do, at least to about shodan or nidan level. Our first couple of rules that we teach day-one beginners and that we beat to death every class include, "control ma-ai if you can," and "if you can't control ma-ai, get off the line of attack." We are pre-occupied with stepping properly.
But then we grab hold of one of the high-level sensei and we're busted as soon as we touch - seemingly they didn't even move much, if at all! How do we begin to do the no-step randori when we have no drills or examples or exercises between about white belt and shodan?
Here are some possibilities for exercises to begin to build this capability....
Suwariwaza and Kokyudosa...
Stake Standing (or for yoga folk, Tadasana)...
Isometric/internal strength tricks...
Parlor tricks like Morihei Ueshiba and Lulu Hurst used to do...
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