James Bostwick wrote:
I love the Aikido is 90% atemi crowd: lousy command of Aiki bolstered by a theoretical reliance on striking. And since most Aikido schools do little or no striking training, congratulations, you end up with nothing.
If I didn't know you are far more knowledgeable than this statement would indicate, I'd assume you didn't have a clue. Barring the fact that the Founder actually said this, which makes him part of the "90% atemi crowd", this statement was recounted to me by Saotome Sensei as part of my training. I can't think of anyone who would seriously maintain that he has a lousy command of aiki. Nor do I think I know anyone who would be dumb enough to assume his knowledge of striking is "theoretical".
Anyway, there are enough really fine Aikido teachers around who do believe this statement is true and an understanding of this area is crucial to understanding of Aikido technique that you might consider being a bit less obnoxious with such blanket statements.
While I am not advocating using atemi as a substitute for good technique, I can guarentee you that if I attacked you and you didn't have at least the possibility of atemi at your disposal, you couldn't throw me. Saotome Sensei taught us that, if you know your partner will not strike you, all techniques are stoppable. My experience confirms this so I'll stick with this viewpoint until someone can show me I'm wrong.