Re: speed: good question from kohai
I remember when I started playing around with nunchaku. At first, all I was concerned with was not hitting myself over the head or on the inside of the elbows or smahing my fingers. I went slowly and smoothly. After the movements started to feel natural, the speed increased exponentially on it's own, I really had no thought of "I have to do this faster", it just sort of happened. I would expect the same phenomenon with Aikido. Longer wait perhaps, due to the more subtle nature of aikido v. nunchaku.
Plus, when i'm swinging nunchaku, i don't have to worry about injuring the nunchaku, only myself. So the speed is a function of my own reckless abandon. When practicing aikido with a partner, i feel reluctant to go full speed for fear of injuring my training partner. For me, slow/smooth training with a healthy partner beats no training because of an unfortunate injury. A slow(safe) training partner on the mat is worth two fast ones in traction on the sidelines.