John Riggs wrote:
P.S. I'm a strong proponent of atemi to pressure or vital points as being the transition between art and combat. My article on the topic is supposedly scheduled by Black Belt Magazine to come out in the August issue.
I agree. Pressure points are a good transition between art and combat. I learned pressure points (and still study them) when I use to do Kung Fu. I've also been in classes where a white belt, unknowingly, was doing ikkyo, and happend to place there thumb on a pressure point on my hand and really got me moving. Keep in mind that they did not realize it and their grip was not even strong, but when it comes to pressure points, you don't need much strength, unless you plan to do some serious damage. I was also once told that Aikido did have strikes, but that they were severe and could only be taught after reaching shodan.