HI Andrew we do practice defence against kicks regularly at our dojo's, most schools ive trained with do, Iwas surprised on this forum of how many people who dont practice it. At seminars etc the dan grades defend against chains etc in jiuwaza's. I think the problem is that there are too many styles out there which concentrate on the flowing side of aikido without first harnising the basics of good hard dynamic aikido first, thus their stlye is more like a dance than effective aikido. Gozo Shioda worried about this point, he said alot of aikido nowdayus was ''hollow'' as people were trying to be too flowy etc without first trying to harness the basics e.g. focused hips ..power etc etc-the components which makes aikido fantastically practical.