Re: Poll: How often does your aikido instructor discuss the philosophy of aikido during class?
In my experience those who want to talk philosophy on the mat tend to have pretty strong ideas already developed - perhaps Xuzen's sensei was reacting to his own experiences.
A few short points that might add something.
Mat time is precious and really should mostly be used for training the physical component of our little thing.
Shodokan Honbu Shihan does give short lectures during sessions. How often seems to ebb and flow with these days more frequent. These cover technical, historical, philosophical issues and are part of the Aikido education. This really isn't discussion though and there isn't much room for questions at least during the session. You are interested in further delving there is opportunity elsewhere. A minor contradiction to my first statement but he is Shihan - just as Ueshiba M. was lofty enough to go where he wished with his classes. I guess it really boils down to at what point should you introduce lectures to your classes - and for us lowly dan grades anytime is too soon.