Sounds interesting. May have to look into that. How, in you opinion, can atemi follow Aiki principles?
For the first part of my post, here you go (sadly, there are almost no free videos or demonstrations online, as it's not very widely practised).
In Gozo Shioda's book, Aikido Shugyo, Aikido is in many ways described considerably more harsh than we hear it these days, with a lot more resistance, more "alive training", and a lot more pain.
When he tells stories of various fights, atemi features in all of them. And not merely "distraction" atemi, but often using punches (as it is described anyway) to finish a fight.
For my opinion (and purely, my opinion
), I would say the core principle of Aikido is more of how to use body mechanics, how to use your opponents force against them, and how to blend with their movements, rather than a set core of grabbling techniques. This, again, is bound a bit in what Gozo Shioda says, when he (not a direct quote) said that Aikido techniques were more there for teaching you the Aikido principles, not to be used exactly as they are taught.
Occasionally, in the advanced adult classes, we will have free form practice where the Nage has no knowledge of what type of attack will be presented.
If Aikido is taught as self-defence, don't you think it's quite late ("advanced adult classes") to be using such training techniques?
Quite obviously better than nothing, but I would feel such training should be thrown in there from the second the person has any valid chance of defending themselves.