Is Aikido really soft?
If you kick and punch you are playing cat and mouse with your opponent.
If you lock and then strike (Atemi), you can make the opponent motionless. Here is a site (Shotokan) but it demonstrates the same principle I have said (in previous post) makes Aikido effective.

Like Shotokan, Aikido is a combination of Atemi Waza and Kansetsu Waza.

-Shotokan

http://www.karatejitsu.com/katas.html

[This message has been edited by Shotokan (edited 09-10-2003).]