The quote I've read from Ueshiba ranges from 99%, 90%, and 70%, so...there is a little insconsistency with the statement to begin with. The idea of 70% atemi to 30% technique seems about right to me. I don't pretend to be an Aikido expert here. It's just from what I've observed from research, demonstrations, and the like. I also did Aikijiujitsu for 2 years and they are quite similar. Even though it seems that Ueshiba is saying Aikido should be almost all striking in that statement such is definetly not the case. If it was, why are all the demonstrations from Ueshiba showing Aikido's throws and pins? Why isn't he demonstrated all the atemi strikes on a heavybag or sparring partner? So, there is enough evidence in there to suggest Ueshiba wasn't suggesting that Aikido should be strike dominated and all the grappling is secondary. From what I see, atemi, is an important part of Aikido. It sets up all the different grappling moves and makes them "easier" to perform. All grappling arts have this concept of strikes in them (BJJ, Judo, Japanese Jujutsu, Sambo, etc.). The idea is to use the strikes to set up your grappling. If you get a KO from the strike, then great, extra bonus. But, the idea is to set up whatever grappling moves your system has. This is the idea of Aikido and all those other grappling arts I mentioned (watch Royce Gracie in the early UFCs. He uses atemi/strikes and then immediately goes into BJJ grappling. This is the idea of the atemi setup). If you just did Karate/Wing Chun/some heavy striking art, it's still not Aikido at all. Aikido is still about defense, evasion, restraint, escape, submission, etc. It's not about smashing your opponet to unconciousness. The idea of 90% atemi isn't suggesting that. It's just a gateway to Aikido's throws and pins. It's still Aikido, not a striking art. That atemi is just a gateway not a means to end like a Karate reverse punch would be. Aikido has it's own uniqueness to the world of martial arts. Why people choose it is diverse as choosing any other martial art. People are different, with different needs. Our main goal is self defense (usually) and what path we choose is unique as humanity. Aikido is very unique. It has it's own special strategies. It stilll has unique advantages (and disadvantages) over Karate, Wing Chun, any other martial art.