Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
I've seen some punching and kicking in Aikido demonstrations but punching and kicking weren't part of Aikido (as I was taught it). Any punching and kicking that was taught was purely from the point of view of giving uke a few more arrows in his quiver. Kicking and punching were used in my old classes public demonstrations where uke would punch/kick tori. Tori never punched or kicked, they only reacted to those attacks from the uke.
Since this is related to my initial comment, I should perhaps clarify the point regarding kicking and punching.

Consider this:
1. What if Aikido is simply a method of training the body to move in a specific way? Moving from the hara, keeping the weight underside (i.e. sinking the qi), relax, etc...
2. What if this specific way of moving allows one to generate and transmit power efficiently - by using the other person's force against themselves? (i.e. musubi, awase)
3. What if moving this specific way can be directly translated to your "everyday" movements?
4. And what if your "everyday" movements now become your "natural" movement.

Q. would you punch and kick "differently", or would punching and kicking simply be an extension of your body and the way you move - as part of your now "natural" movement?