Chris, my two penneth.
...movements tracing back through samurai times etc. would rule out much high kicking as there is nothing more tasty to a sword wielding samurai than a nice extended leg....
As much as I like to kick, i would not kick high to a felon wielding a knife, a bat, or a knife, etc., and I've learn not to try that to amateur UFC MMA "fighters" either, or to anyone really a threat. Kick are good for feints or as closing the distance, esp,.when aimed low and hard, ex. round (mawahshi) shin kick to knee or a fast turn-back kick to groin. First you lean the tools than (hopefully) you learn when to incorporate.
Would be nice to find an Aikido dojo that can integrate some practical karate, that has the intensity and ernestness of MMA, but I know I am dreaming.