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I once asked Shigenobu Okumura Sensei (Aikikai 9 dan) about ashiwaza (leg or foot techniques) in aikido. He looked surprised for a moment and then he said categorically there are no ashiwaza in aikido.
Okumura Sensei had a kind of analytical and systematic approach to aikido. He would ask things like how many ways can you take uke's wrist when you're being held in katatedori (hand inside uke's hand with your thumb up, hand outside uke's hand with your thumb down...). And you would always forget one.
So he thought that if there was an ashiwaza in there somewhere it wasn't aikido. But I don't think we need to be rigid about it. Some teachers do use ashiwaza occasionally. And in some styles they are actually normal techniques. I was invited to train as a guest in an offshoot of Tomiki Aikido once and they used ashi waza as a matter of course (along with ippon seoi nage - another judo waza). So I want to talk about a few of the sub-techniques - the techniques within the techniques - from judo (and karate) we can use in aikido (with some pretty random videos). These techniques are only components of the overall aikido techniques and unlike judo they can often be done without a grip on the uke. The connection (musubi) is through the energy of the uke's attack.
My first teacher Asoh Sensei (7 dan) who had some judo experience showed us a self-defence applied (ouyou) version of shiho nage combined with osoto gari - that's an outside leg reap. The technique becomes very powerful and dangerous for the uke because it is so difficult to protect the head from impact with the ground.
If you're not familiar with judo throws this is a normal judo osoto gari: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-zFicAVezU
I don't think ashi waza are essential for aikido. But if we know what ashi waza are and how to do them and even occasionally train in them perhaps we won't leave ourselves so vulnerable to them. And that's got to be a good thing.