Yes, to answer your first question, randori is a valued component of our training.
With regard to your second question, "How without real Atemi waza?" I blend with the attackers energy (yokomenuchi, tsuki, grap, ect.), control my oponents center, and redirct the attack using the uke's engery into a throw or hold. Throws have their value, especially when its into the next assailant! Holds can be of value as well, once you have an uke's center, you can control him at will, and you've got yourself an nice shield and a weapon.
Randori is far for complex then what I've described here.
Ok...you have done some randori! Cool!
But, if the uke is truly trying to attack (as all good uke's should do!), they will "give" you their energy, accept it, use it, and you will never have to atemi again.
However, off the mat, with my life in danger, I would not know what my true budo would look like. My actions would depend on the attacks. Strikes do have value as however, they get people who don't know what they're doing on the ground in a hurry.
This is true, however it souds like you would/might use atemi waza if the situation warrented its use?
Honestly, on some of the inside (which are therefore more dangerous), Aikido does in fact require a physical atemi. So, Ueshiba was correct when he mentioned atemis of the physical variety (every Aikido move does require a ki atemi to be done correctly, whether you believe in ki or not). However, if you use an atemi on every move, how will you ever learn circles, softness, extension, sensitivity, and all of the other qualities that are inherant in training with the techniques correctly?
Thanks for reading!
I'm glad to see you practice randori. It appears there is some truth/budo in it. And your view point is right on depending on atemi waza to much.
It just that I've had some experience in a diffrent art other than Aikido. Thus I've learned skilled attackers doen't commit to attacks in ways that the unskilled do. Atemi waza greatly inhances and ease our ability to conduct ourselves in such situations when faced by skilled attackers.
Sometimes a good fierce punch in the nose in order to shomen-irimi-nage is our only option.
I understand that this isn't how some people view Aikido. But if confronted by a skilled aggressor who knows when to and when "not" to attack, atemi waza opens many options against this type of foe. Nothing says you have to actually strike them.
Chuck Clark deffinition of Atemi waza is great!
We all know Atemi waza is great for multiple opponents who attack at the same time also. How many times in Randori have you seen one attacker stoped by an atemi waza while the other is dealt with first?
What happens if we are confined to a small space unable to move?
There are just too many reasons why Atemi waza "SHOULD" be practiced in all Aikido Ryu to metion.
The same could be said for learning ground fighting skills.
These are just points of contention and nothing else.
What's important is
Aikido offers many things to many people. Hence, it means many things to these said people.
It's been good talking to you Chad.