a friend of mine at our dojo had an interesting observation. he's practiced grappling and striking arts for his whole life (mid 40s) and aikido for @ 15 years
he said 2 interesting (to me) things:
1. that the open hand striking techniques like shomen and yokomen, were not dangerous if you got hit, therefore you could practice moving in very close to them without fear of injury. and that this was a good thing in training
2. that he had many times used aikido grabbing attacks, especially ushiro attacks, against non aikido martial artists in sparring because they were looking to defend from the front and he'd go right by them to their back which they weren't protecting, confusing them momentarily, and then choke them from behind.
1. Really? I got knocked the hell out from a yokomen, in practice. I've been hit pretty dang hard in the head to no real effect, but Dave got a yokomen in on me that made me drop to a knee, pop up, apparently say the word "nothing", swing weakly at him and wake up twenty seconds later tits down and drooling on the mat.
Seems to me lots of hard striking styles have their share of shuto and shote strikes.
2. Taking someone's back in a fight is most always a fine idea. But will hard stylists really fall for a typical ushiro ryotedori? Sweet if they do.....