Re: Weapons training leads to good aikido.
Thanks for chiming in. I definitely agree with these two elements being a part of weapons training (I'm assuming with "sword spirit" you are meaning some kind of charged intensity of a martial type). My earlier post was not meant as a argument saying that such things are not in weapons training and/or that they are not important to our overall cultivation as an aikidoka. These things, and many others, are there in weapons training and they are indeed important to things like body art. My only take, however, was that these things are not made mandatory/monopolized by weapons training. For example, it is true that facing shomengiri with one's own bokken response tends to be quite different, especially in terms of intensity, clarity, and purpose, than facing shomenuchi with Ikkyo Omote, but it just doesn't have to be. One should eventually come to have their body art practice be charged with the same intensity, clarity, and purpose. It is true many don't, such that many for example attempt to do things like affect shomenuchi at the wrist on the way down, but this isn't because they don't do weapons, only because they don't strike like it was a weapon (i.e. with intensity, clarity, and purpose). On the other hand, as for becoming sensitive to the Ki of a situation involving weapons - you either do or you don't. If you do, your technique is good and you survive. If you don't, your technique is poor and you possibly face injury or you compromise your practice so much that the failings of your body art come to also occupy your weapons art.
Anyway, great input. This sword spirit is important - even if there is no actual causal relationship, statistically it remains extremely relative - such that it almost acts just like a causal relationship.