Re: Weapons training leads to good aikido.
Regards to post 56-59:
David and Ron both touched on my point. Training is what you make of it as an individual. Form training is different than contact training is different than combat training. You can't compare them and you certainly can't judge them without considering the strengths and weaknesses of each as they relate to your strengths and weaknesses.
As an instructor, why would I deprive my students of training that could help learn aikido better? Shouldn't the student decided whether s/he wants to develop their weapons training or incorporate weapons into their aikido?
At a recent seminar, Saotome Shihan made the observation that maybe aikido is forgetting about their weaknesses and only developing their strengths. I think this may be the case for the practice of weapons in aikido.