Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi
Arno said, "Kuzushi. Is great. Harmony is great. And I know this has been debated thousands of times, but Kuszushi alone will not be very helpful in a self defence street fight situation."
Pardon the quote, but "Grasshopper, you do not yet understand the floor upon which you stand."
But, your questions are great, and I expect that you will, probably sooner than some. I would guess that, since you put Kuzushi in the same phrase above, sort of, as Harmony, you may not have ever laid hands on a trained judoka? or, if so, he/she was just goofing off? one way to say it is... well, hmm, maybe, Kuzushi is the disruption of the other's harmony?
I take people's balance. I disrupt their position. I destroy their posture. I'm not terribly harmonious when I do it. I leave the harmony to the end, before the things break or the opponent lands on his head/neck, and I try to get them gently to the ground (if possible, which can be situation dependent, right?).
So, you're in an Aikikai school, in which I've no experience, so can't comment. It's just different from my own brand, I think. I train regularly with a guy who is a double 3rd degree in kick-punch (tang soo do and taekwondo) and the guy hits like a truck. We "could" attempt to wail on each other in class, but that much energy flying around is dangerous as all get out in a training environment, so we don't. We go maybe 15% power and 30% speed, and we learn to deal with it correctly, slowly. Speed is there at need. That's my experience after 30 years.