Hello Prizewriter:

Having experienced some ridicilously experienced instructors of Aiki, even for brief seconds I would offer that spend enough time at ANY ONE THING, you can be very effective with that practice. Cooking, Aiki, Karate take your pick they are the same

The whole problem with the "kicking as a mistaken" idea argument is two fold. Kicking or moving in any manner have the same problem, you are by definition unbalanced. Can you kick or move effectively of course, but the fundamental concern is similar. Can we be effective doing so?

Read an article not long ago which proposed the martial arts "magical feats" have very little to do with magic and have everything to do with millions of repetitions under all manner of circumstances, nuances, subtlities.

I too am not a fan of many flavors of Aiki for similar reasons (ie dizzy, rolling too much, joint suffering, etc.) but technically it is a very high level and subtle art. To be effective demands insane time. No different from any other practices IMHV.

I like the IMA's as the top layers of the proverbial practice cake. Start with something far simpler mechanically, Judo, wrestling, with time head to the karate, taekwan practices, then later on explore the neijia, the internally geared practices. Begin with the nuances, subtle practices, its risky one could become etheral, "love bead" practitioner.

Are they effective of course, but will anybody understand it, if you begin with the universal energy(ies). Very unlikely IMHO...