Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.
Anybody done much judo randori? Some really good judoka have better "aiki" than a lot of senior aikidoka. My son and I did a couple of years (back when I was still willing to work out that hard) and I can tell you some of them are very silky. They are able to match and unmatch your rhythm very easily, and time which foot you're leaning on. Kuzushi is always a focus, and there are very few direct throws above novice levels. Kano named it "the Gentle Art" for a reason. High level players are interesting to watch- some of them barely move.
One of the more interesting notions was the importance of the "Shita Hara", a brick-sized area of your lower abdomen that features strongly in some training regimens. Engaging it when you do throws is analogous to Tohei's "One Point", I always thought. Most throws are said to fail, if you don't manage to get your Shita Hara under the other player's. (And a million other reasons our coach was gleeful about pointing out.)