wonder if anyone has improved their aikido by engaging in a forum discussion?? Not their 'understanding' of aikido as I believe that that is an entirely different thing to their 'practice' of aikido.
I'd have to say that reading other points of view has given me areas to focus on in my practice. Sometimes just to check out the truth of a statement, sometimes because I had ceased to focus on something my teachers had told me, sometimes a totally new perspective, that had benefits when I tried it out on the mat for myself. So I do believe that these fora can provide fodder for our keiko.
They have also provided a way for me to meet people and train with them on the mat. There are several people I have yet to meet that way, but I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity. You are one of them.