What I said was that punches and blocks are often unrealistically applied (and I know that is a thread in itself) compared to, for example, Karate. If some students choose to train in punches in order to be more effective, great! If they choose not to, that's also their choice. But If you don't have a good punch, you could be in for a shock (of your life) if faced by an attacker (after, you try to talk your way out of the situation, of course).
I totally agree with this paragraph, but I have to disgree with one thing. I know this is going to "sound" defensive, but are you forgetting that Aikido uses what is called "atemi"?? This practice is usually started around the "Dan" ranks, some even earlier. I'm not saying one shouldn't have a good punch, but punches and kicks are "offensive" tactics. If you meant to say that an aikidoka will be shocked when faced with a good, solid, strong punch or kick, I agree to an extent. But I have to point out that the lack of committed attacks in the dojo is sometimes a problem, and sometimes not. But then again, a good aikidoka "hopes" for such a punch, as it makes it that much easier to throw the attacker. My sensei always points out that strong, sincere, committed attacks are important in training, and NAGE is not simply learning technique at UKE's expense. UKE has to be sincere, they have to try to show NAGE his/her weakness in whatever technique, so that they BOTH learn. Non-committed, insincere attacks do not help Nage, at all. I agree with that. "Timing" and correct distance is of utmost importance when dealing with such quick, strong attacks, and it takes years to develop good timing in these techniques, which is why in the beginning, static movements are more important at first.
Anyway, gotta run--