Re: Aikido and kicks
Working with kicks is important to training, and should not be neglected. That said, I do feel that kicking is considerably more dangerous as an attack then many of the practiced attacks in aikido. I feel this way for reasons:
1. Most dojo do not have a significant amount of proficient kickers. This creates danger for the student kicking (strains, tears, skeletal damage, not to mention an unplanned fall) and for the student receiving the kick (i.e. getting kicked). As a result, many dojo remove kicking from their curriculum.
2. The ukemi from kicking is more difficult. Hand techniques usually place the fulcrum of the technique near uke's head and vital organs. The closer uke's head is to the fulcrum of a technique, the less energy that body part has to disperse. Kicking techniques usually place uke's head and vital organs farther away for the fulcrum, so there is more energy to disperse.
To address the original post, I think that there are good reasons to exclude kicking from dojo curriculum, especially if the instructor or students are incapable of kicking and taking ukemi from kicks. Does that give those individuals permission to exclude kicking from aikido? No. But, sometimes instructors are afraid to admit that kicking is beyond their capability and guise that inability in the form of, "there is no kicking in aikido."