Debushi, I like your term "whipping" as a descriptor.
Kicking for SD is not that smart. If you do it needs to be low, fast and at the minimum a lead for a unbalancing move, trip or throw entry.
I also use it as an entry to hand techniques. A close in (not really close, but whip-kick close) kick aimed low is a good entry for strikes and punches as well as throws etc. But if you are going to use it, you should be snapping it back very fast! When I was a teen I used to "playfight" with a family acquaintance in his mid-20s who had grown up on the streets in South Africa (I'd usually end up with a bloody nose, split lip or bruised eye). He was untrained but he was tough as nails from a rather rough violent upbringing. He always used say: "snap back faster than you snap out". I've never forgotten this practical advice.
I agree that Machida uses his shotokan very much like shorin karate should be used. Good to see! I certainly respect shotokan and Machida is a good exponent from what I've seen of both his MMA and karate videos.