Re: weapon training for lower ranks
Weapons training ever is necessary for your progress in aikido. One of the bases established by O´Sensei was the serious training with Jo, bokken, tanto... No are really weapons for us, are more, they are tools, instruments to know the body´s movements in attack and defense, at the end if you want the practice regular induce in you a "spiritual state" that gives you graet developement like a person. Good ki for alls. (And excuse my very poor inglish).