Haha, perhaps when considering that the person is still on the verbal stage, counter attacking physically would overkill, as that is escalating the violence, and not very aiki.
If he does start getting physical, by all means retaliate, as that is what you are taught: defend yourself. But I guess it's fine since you have lots of support from all your dojo-mates and teachers.
In my situation, I was essentially isolated and vulnerable, so I had to thinking in a survival sense. I guess it wasn't really sound advice to tell others to lash out, so that's something I'll have to work on during training. Gotta mellow out
... If I meet another bully again however... things are gonna end very... VERY... differently