Having posted something very similar to this on other forums, I'm interested in hearing what you guys have to say. I've always trained in striking arts and a few forms of grappling. Having done Aikido for about 9 months now (4th Kyu), I've fallen in love with it, but our dojo rarely addressed striking (as a set up, and we've never gone into striking on its own). This has been a little discouraging as a lot of the times, we train with over-compliance and some of the applications presented are both impractical and dangerous.
I've done a lot of research on atemi and Aikido and it seems that most Aikidoka prefer using atemi exclusively as a means to an end (or as a set up). In my opinion, one should at least have some knowledge of striking on its own so that if grappling skills fail, they have something to fall back on, which is exactly why I love watching these guys:
They use striking often as a set up (multiple strikes) but are pretty capable when it comes to just striking alone. Not just that but I feel their style of striking, which includes mostly open hand strikes and a couple of basic kicks, keeps in line with the principles of Aikido. Although it may not be as "nice" in the street, it definitely has it's use.
What is too much? At what point is Aikido not considered Aikido? I get caught up on training strikes with Aikido because I almost feel guilty that it may interfere with the 'flow of Aikido', but I also feel that when trained properly, it matches Aikido perfectly. I believe Aikido to be a pretty open art and as long as practitioners keep close to tradition, even when training things that aren't necessarily part of the curriculum, then all is well.
Thoughts? This may've been covered in other topics but I'm more concerned with practicing in a way that doesn't disrupt Aikido, so hopefully I can get a few things cleared up. Other than that, please feel free to give your opinion of Atemi and it's use in Aikido and how you practice it, if at all.