From a beginner one can expect the following reactions: they take a dive in fear of the technique, stare with blank eyes at your atemi which results in many bloody lips and noses, or resist it which leads to much screaming and groaning...
Ouch. Maybe 'from an insensitive advanced student one can expect the aforementioned treatment of beginners.' I think that it's possible to bring beginners 'up to speed' without the need for bloody lips or noses or groaning and screaming. For instance, if you are interested in figuring out how to make atemi work without hitting people, beginners are the perfect people to work with. If you can get them to respect your atemi without hitting them (or telling them they have to), then you've figured something out.