Re: Weapons training leads to good aikido.
I cannot speak about his past training, but when I trained with him he did no weapons at all nor expected us to: Kazuo Nomura (of Osaka Aikikai).
On the other side of this, however, is the also easily proven fact that a lot of folks do weapons just like they do body art or just like some are critical of how some do body art. Meaning, a lot of folks do weapons with little or no intention, with no sense of lethality, no "sword spirit," etc., and in this way there is also no difference between body art and weapons art (as far as these things are concerned). My own subjective experience would lend itself to the position that even out of all the folks that do weapons, most do not do weapons as some are suggesting here - as a manner that is inherent to weapons training. So one has to ask, "What is really helping their body art?"