Re: Weapons training leads to good aikido.
I would say not...but then again I do seem to be in the minority in this.
I studied jo/bokken/tanto alot for 9 years while doing Aikido in Canada. I then came to Japan to the Yoshinkan Hombu and since then (12 years) have studied virtually none. Basically only some tanto demonstration katas and futari dori and san-nin dori. A little bit of techniques with taking away stuff.
This does not discount weapons, but it would seem that they are not necessary. My take on this is that the principles that we learn from non-weapon Aikido are the same as if we were doing weapons. They do not *derive* from one another.
So...studying the weapons is not necessary to learn those principles. For some it may help, but I don't think its necessary.
My few yen...