I'm responding to Chris Moses' reply in the "Making Kote Gaeshi work with resistance" thread here as it seemed more appropriate to discuss this in the context of this thread. [Original post here
...most people think of atemi as simplistic strikes added on top of or around an aikido technique. Our movements simply *are* atemi. By that I mean that the movements we do are basically all strikes and most impact into uke's core to some extent. The way most people use it is a kind of pantomime of a strike, often at the beginning of a scenario, again to "soften" the attacker.
Precisely... when most people talk about atemi, they're mostly referring to the initial overt go no sen
or sen no sen
response... as in... uke attacks, nage responds with a "softening up" atemi, or as uke begins to attack, in the same moment, nage enters with atemi to forestall. Or as some sort of "tacked on" adjunct to the technique - as in... now your body is here and this target is open so you can hit it - without neccessarily considering how a strike to that target may create a different dynamic to the intended technique. Atemi waza is not indiscriminate and must follow a logical progression, in line with the 5 points I listed above, that naturally results in the completion of the technique.
This is why I refer to it as kindergarten level atemi waza - not in a derogatory way, but to point out that there is so much more potential in using the entire body
as a striking weapon.
The other point I'm getting at is that there is a far deeper level which involves a much more subtle use of atemi, such that, to the casual observer, it doesn't look like you've hit the attacker. Not that it's done so fast that the eye can't see, but rather so subtle that an observer would not have realized. Sorry to use David's video, as good as it may be, or even Saotome's iriminage - not that's it's bad as a demonstration of sorts, but it's still too "external".
As regards to the discussion of using atemi to "stop" the attacker, in the sense of giving them a "choice" to do so, or other forms of "one-hit wonders", I offer you this in reply:
Now THAT's stopping an attacker cold.
PS: I can't believe that the original intent of this discussion was for a game character....