Re: Boxing type punches
We practice these fairly often, and have found that there are some basic Aikido techniques that are possible against jabs and hook punches. The thing that we've found with jabs is that they are typically not full-out power punches. They are many times used to setup other punches with a lot more power (i.e. the hook punch).
FYI - We don't practice full speed jabs until our students get up to the 2nd kyu level. Usually, it takes that long for the student to become used to doing the basic techniques without thinking about them. They can start working on moving quickly, but not fast and flailing.
Nage needs to remember that there is almost no way that they will be able to catch the fist or wrist of uke. The jab punch is extremely fast, and doesn't allow for much time to try to grab. The best thing we've found is to turn tenkan (avoiding the punch as much as possible) and come heavy down on their elbow. Since the jab isn't done with much force, uke is very often fully in balance during the entire punch. By using a heavy down on their elbow, it brings them off-balance, and then you can work more standard Aikido techniques (usually a good kokyu nage right up the front works well).
As I said earlier, we don't start our junior students with fast jabs, but we do work with them as they get more senior. By the time they get to 2nd and 1st kyu, we use full speed jabs and we've added in the follow-up hook punch. This really challenges the students, but makes them sharp.
In reality, we hope that our students won't get into this kind of situation and learn another way to deal with the situation, but... The biggest thing these techniques teach the students doesn't seem to be dealing with a real boxer jab, but moving from one point. We've found that without moving from one point, there's no way you can move quick enough to get out of the way of this jab. By moving from one point, you stand a good chance of at least getting out of the way of the jab punch. From there, there's a lot of good Aikido techniques and principles that can be applied.
Just some thoughts,