Re: Aikido's Attacks -- Reality and Effectiveness
yes, aikido attacks look unrealistic and ineffective during normal practice but IMHO they are only that for nage and uke to understand the forms, techniques and principles of aikido. Most important are timing, entry and intent.
Initially, the focus is on uke's external manifestation of intent of an attack until a point that nage reaches a higher plane that he already would anticipate uke's intention even before the attack has begun (internal intent).
So I think we should worry about the intent and not the attack per se. I think as beginners we focus too much on the external forms of an attack but as we go higher we need to focus on uke's internal intent.
This progression from external to internal focus holds true for both nage and uke.