Let me give you some secret applications.
Opening move stepping forward can be interpreted as a clinch (grabbing behind the head/neck) dropping down followed by knee strike jumping up.
When being grabbed by the vest (lapel) put both hands on top of one of his hands and drop down backward, puts a lock on his wrist while pressing down, take over on fingers and break them. (I have used this succesfully in free sparring with resistance but not the breaking part).
When hands go upward, can be release of a wrist grab, but more important is the forward or backward step to disbalance (forward, opponent standing in front) or throw (backward, oponent grabbing from the back). Could also just be blocking with harai uke and positioning with body shifting to the side of opponent. Could also pull opponent forward (you stepping back) while first pushing his arm upward, grabbing his wrist, and pulling down in harai motion while stepping backward putting stress on his shoulder. The shiko dachi could also be a knee press into opponents knee from the outside (very nasty thing, but only works on static opponents up till now).