George S. Ledyard writes in Aikiweb the following while discussing whether there is any offensive move in Aikido or not. I'm absolutely with him on this one.
Every response you execute when grabbed can be done when grabbing. Every atemi you execute when attacked can be used when attacking. We need to lose this whole uke / nage dichotomy. We also need to stop attaching pseudo moralistic value judgments to things like who initiates.
Peace is something you carry inside you. It's not something that has to do with who moves first. It is an attitude.
The misunderstanding of what the attacks really are that we routinely do in our daily training causes us to attach all sorts of baggage to the whole uke / nage relationship which shouldn't be there. This is caused by allowing two different mindsets and two different physical skill sets on the part of uke and nage. Nage is supposed to be relaxed and "defensive" in attitude, executing techniques of great technical sophistication while Uke attacks like an idiot, typically either is too tense or fails to really connect effectively. What would an attack look like if the uke knew what the nage knew?
If Aikido training was about BOTH partners having the same access to "aiki" skill sets we wouldn't have the need for discussions like this because people would understand what they are really doing, or choosing not to do, depending on the level of practice. A katatetori would break nage's balance instantly on contact and set up the atemi with the off hand. No one would be under the misconception that an attack has anything to do with not allowing the nage to move but rather to compromise his structure and make it impossible for nage to defend against the atemi.
We need to get way past trying to impute some sort of moral, right and wrong value judgment to the term "aiki". "Aiki" can be used for good or evil. That's why O-Sensei felt it was important not to teach technique to people not of good character.
I spent a number of years teaching law enforcement and security personnel. LE officers are required to initiate technique on subjects who are e-gressive, not just a-ggressive. I can assure you that "aiki" works just as well when the person initiates as when he is being attacked. Virtually every technique in the Aikido repertoire can be used as an attack, not just a defense. The circumstance and ones personal mindset determine whether this is "violent" in an immoral way or not.