Michael Stuempel wrote:
It might also be worth noting that those adament about needing weapons as part of their training are those that trained with weapons and those that are adament that they are not are those who haven't had them as part of their training.
Which just goes to show...something
In my case I went from thinking they were necessary and the answer to all of the little mysteries to thinking that they were interesting but didn't duplicate the empty hand scenario well enough.
I used to be indecisive about this matter, but now I'm not so sure....
I think if someone does weapons to a reasonable point (for instance if they actually competed in fencing for a number of years), weapons begins to affect your techniques and strategies on a functional level. If you don't really use weapons, I think most of the talk is just theoretical.
On a body-training level, I think the various forms of suburi are indispensable. There is an old saying about "extreme hardness comes from extreme softness" that is very applicable in Aikido and probably the most telling method is from the bokken swinging. In that way, the weapons training could be considered "indispensible", if not in the techniques and strategy way.
My 2 cents.