"...Yes there is kicking and punching in Aikido.....In the 1950s/60s all Kenshiro Abbe Sensei's Aikido classes began with 30mins hard kicking and punching exercises. and 200 pushups on the back of the wrists..."
wow, what happened to Aikido? Old Aikido sounds a lot like Hapkido.
200's push-up's pretty good, but on wrists! cool.
my teacher was there, and was Abbe Sensei's first Aikido student in 1955. He still sometimes refers back to the hard training that he went through. I'm not sure that every class was so focussed on hard kicking and punching exercises (I'll ask him directly next time I see him) on the warm up.
I do know that at 80 years of age with 2 artificial hips and an artificial knee, both of which he puts down to the severity of the practice, he is not so inclined to agree with you that it is cool to wreck the one precious body we have unneccessarily, through overly hard training.
As good as Abbe Sensei was (and from all accounts from those who had first hand experience of him, he was very good). His teaching method was not the best. He left the UK quite unhappy that many in both Judo and aikido did not 'get' what he was trying to teach them. He had his own philosophy "Kyu-shin-do" borne out of his own exposure to and study of multiple arts and his own spiritual leanings. Not many who trained with him got anywhere near incorporating this into their practice. Some even went off and started attaching the name to an art itself. Which is just plain wrong, but I'm sure that it happens all the time in many different spheres of endeavour.
Anyway, teaching and training methods change over time, hopefully they get better, but not always.