Atemi seems to be a subject of continual interest on aikido forums, but I was wondering if maybe there could be another viewpoint added to the discussion. Most of the arguments I see debate the merits of atemi as valid strikes in and of themselves vs. their use as setups for techniques, but I've noticed that most people arguing for "hard"(for lack of a better term) atemi seem to confine themselves to the kinds of punches and strikes that we would see in, say, boxing or karate. Since most aikido dojos rarely train in such methods of striking, it's understandable that some people doubt their effectiveness.
But recently I read some quotes from Gozo Shioda's books on another forum, which were very interesting. First he said aikido was 70% striking/atemi and 30% throws, no special observation in and of itself, but he explained the mechanisms for an aikido "punch" and an aikido "throw" on exactly the same principles, therefore with proper training one should be able to execute a punch with any part of the body. He further went on to say that there would be a "blurring of the line" between strike and throw at some point. Watching video clips of him demonstrate, I have to say he's pretty convincing; sometimes his uke goes flying, and it's hard to tell if he's been thrown or hit, but he goes down hard nonetheless.
So I guess my question is, have any of you trained in this kind of atemi, and what do you think of Shioda sensei's comments?