Cromwell Salvatera wrote:
* To do good and complete aikido: does one need to know the weapons training part of it? *
In Korindo Aikido, I believe the answer to be - Yes.
The curriculum includes many weapons, and it is obvious no one is expected to be proficient in all, each student should select his own weapons of exploration.
All advanced students (above Kyu 1) learn Jo and Bokken. When explaining the 8 Tai-Sabaki movements that are at the base of the system, at least 7 have clearly come from ken (The 8th is more natural for Jo or Nito then for a single Ken).
Each weapon has it's own emphasis on principles that are essential to our Aikido, these give a wider and more complete view compared to practicing only empty hand. Minoro Hirai, Korindo Aikido founder is quoted as saying: "when practicing empty handed, imagine you hold a weapon and when practicing with a weapon, imagine practicing empty handed". Hence the importance of weapons work for empty hand practice.