Re: Why Aikido has such strange strike defense.
Chris, thank you for a good discussion on the pedigree of the "standard strikes" we use in aikido. I was particularly happy to see you talk of a tsuki as a thrust.
What would also be interesting is a discussion of whether these strikes actual form a good training foundation to eventually deal with a wide gamut of attacks towards the centre-line and from the side, be they from punches, kicks or weapons. Which I think they do, though others may suggest they are part of an arcane system the bares little relevance to modern combat.