I like that so many are open to cross-training other arts and experimenting. I also like the lack of BS responses. Sometimes you just have to get down and dirty and like I said before, I have no doubts that the older senseis did this to prove their art as an effective one. In Ki Aikido, we don't have much, if any atemi. Our only applications seem to be as a distraction, which I don't believe is effective one bit, personally.
On the topic of clinching in Aikido, you guys may find this video of interest:
I love that there's full resistance. Most people who I show the video to say that it's not Aikido because there is resistance and it's not 'smooth' enough... obviously, they haven't been in or seen any real scraps. I think that in such close distance, even though you can't see it, he's definitely using very small, subtle movements to manipulate his opponent without having to wrestle him too much. I also like the inclusion of simple striking.