I trained with the Combat Aikido boys for about a year & a half. The main difference to traditional aikido is that the striking attacks are a lot faster and have more intent (i.e. on target & not holding much back, especially during gradings and at the higher belt levels). They pratise alot of one on one randori from different types of attacks, Boxing (attacker wearing gloves), Stick (padded arnis stick), kicking & knife (wooden knife). The techniques are basically the same perhaps a little more direct. Yes there are elements of other martial arts (arnis, jujitsu etc..) but the core stuff is definately Aikido. They normally have a yearly competition, each contestant is marked by a panel and the person with the highest score is crowned the champion. The blackbelt event is unarmed randori 1 against 4.
I believe that Master Gavileno was graded 2nd dan in the Aikikia (1968) before setting up on his own shortly after.
Regarding the name Tapondo, They changed it around December 2000 as the education authorities wouldn't allow or sponser them as part of the PE curriculum under the name Combat Aikido.
If I had to define it I would say that it was a hard style of Aikido. Anyway I enjoyed it, learnt alot and made some good friends.