Gornall, aside from the fact that in some people's eyes Graham may or may not being some of the exercises well - they are just that, exercises. Why do basic exercises in your opinion need to be martially effective in anyway? Aren't they there to teach principles and correct body movement?
One of my students once asked me during a warm up why I make people rotate their knees and move up and down etc... He couldn't see a reason for it so we spent the rest of the lesson on Koshinage and I think he put two and two together in the end
Is there any martial application in someone attacking me and me holding both my knees and rotating them? Nope... but if it allows me to build some sort of muscle memory and get my koshinage better then is it not an effective exercise?
I guess my point is, that you're from a traditional aikido background (as am I) and Graham is from a Ki based background but his lineage's teacher was at one stage one of the main Aikikai senior teachers before his name got erased so most of the 'traditional' Japanese teachers around today would certainly have had a lot to do with the guy and his principles before 'the' incident. People then had to pick sides and it all went downhill from there with many people dropping what Tohei was teaching. I'm not interested in the why's and wherefores but Tohei used to happily take on challengers from all walks so he had something going for him.
Like I said I am pretty new to aikido. Your exercise was part of the class warm up? I wouldn't expect to find martial applications in warm up exercises and if these were such then I stand corrected. If they're not then in 99% of the classes I've taken a specific movement has always had a martial application, either by itself or as part of a group of other movements/techniques. I assumed that this would also be the case in aikido (which it has been in the classes I've attended) but evidently it is not so.
Aikido has so many different viewpoints and ways of expression I think I was a bit fast to pass judgment. But I want to train in a martial art and if I had wandered into a class and saw what was in the video without any proir knowledge about aikido then my responce would be is aikido a martial art at all?