Thank you Mr. Riggs.
Well there you have it: If aiki can be understood as involving the blending with the energy of a given attack and redirecting it in a relaxed and purposeful fashion, how much "aiki" was there in my attempt to throw (or whatever) if it requires strikes or pressure point attacks, etc., in order to be able to fulfill itself? Answer: Not very much.
Again, I hold that one can strike with aiki, its just that this last point seems to be missed by most folks altogether who talk about striking (atemi) and its relation to other Aikido martial tactics. The problem, in my opinon, is that the "will to throw" is the very thing which separates one from aiki, right from the get go, and when I strike in order to throw, or in order to be able to throw, my strikes only perpetuate my separation from aiki as it reinforces my original (and mistaken) will to throw.
Summarizing: Doing one thing in order to be able to do another shows a preference and a predetermined planning that illuminates a dissatisfaction (for whatever reason) with whatever energy and/or openings an attacker or a combative situation is providing. That dissactisfaction (for lack of a better word) a priori makes aiki beyond our reach. Why? Because being able to use an energy (however we would like) requires that we first of all accept it as it is.
Again, thank you,