A very interesting thread is currently underway in this forum that has drifted onto the subject of Atemi. (click on link)
I would like to put the subject of Atemi itself on the stand here. Just what IS Atemi? How do YOU teach it? How do YOU use it? And do you believe you are in line with O'Sensei and his teachings?
Atemi is defined as:
Strike; blow. Used to distract or unbalance the attacker during execution of a technique.
According to the Japan Aikido Association:
The atemi waza in aikido are used to break an opponent's balance, the aim is not to inflict injury with the impact of a strike punch or kick. Consequently, there is no need for any special training to toughen the hands, fists, etc.
As I am a first year student of Aikido, I admit I know nothing on the subject but what I have read and been taught. However, when a debate takes place on a subject I am interested in, I like to dive in and learn as much as I can... strike while the iron is hot. So, if you have a voice on this subject, I'd like to listen! Let's hear it!
PS: I've searched far and wide but can not find what O'Sensei himself has said on this subject, else I would quote it here for you. If anyone has such a link or quote, I'd be very interested in that too.