Re: Physical contact vs. "no-touch" policy
When I and another sempai was about to start up kids/youth class in the dojo again, one of the reasons were the benifits aikido (and most budo) training would be to them. The major benefits however was that today many kids grow up with a different world view and the social and physical contact lessens more and more. To us aikido training would be an excellent opportunity for these kids to actually get away from the indoor motionless asocial activity - to meet other kids, enjoy the new physical skills but most of all to be able to train physically with other kids. Take their eyes from there feet and look into the eyes of their fellow aikidoka - to allow someone to throw you, pin you and in generall controll you and therefor putting your trust into someone elses hands.
For us this was a major reason to do this. Physical contact was not a negative aspect of this it was the possitive benifits of it. That include the contact that I and my co-instructor had to have with these kids as well.
Sadly it seems that events like sexual and physical assault on adults and kids has lead to a sort of public hyper vigilance towards these things - making natural and healthy contact into something bad in many peoples eyes. No touch rules, I think, will only establish this more feer for these things, specially for instructors, who in turn molds the new generation of peoples into same and elevated feer. Much like the hyper vigilance towards crimes directed towards self one sees in the US today. People want to carry arms to protect themself from people with arms, all the while the low life criminals arm themself even more to deal with this armed population etc... (oops OT!)
I just think one should be careful for, so that when one think one protect him/herself agains something too much, the effect of this might backlash...
Ps. I have since let other take over the kids training, since I have way too much to do right now Ds.