Re: The Use of Atemi (Striking) in Aikido
I try to emphasize that in every technique there are multiple atemi present and that they have effect if they are recognized -- even if only implicitly.
For instance, kokyu nage performed to a punch is often seen as the least "attacking" technique to deal with the punch .. And yet as one moves in past the punch, strikes to the body or head present themselves in quick succession as the striking instrument comes into bear in the right range: the fingertips, the shuto, the forearm, elbow, shoulder -- and this just for the entry. Once the entry is performed and kuzushi attained the throw progresses in reverse order of opportunities for strikes: the shoulder, the elbow, forearm, shuto (or wrist) and fingertips.
Once students do it this way they naturally get in a better position and perform more effective technique -- more concerned with being in the constantly altering range band that allows these progressively delivered strikes -- but not quite hitting uke -- they get proper distance and rhythm more naturally.