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?
Yep, my example was slightly different as it was just as warm up movement but I think it still applies all the same - those particular warm up exercises are used in some koshinage. If you read what Graham said about what those exercises are meant to achieve then I'd look at it in terms of walking in on the wrong end of a conversation, all of a sudden without the original context it makes no sense.
If I walked into a dojo and they were practicing what's in the video I'd ask questions, if the teacher explained the what, the why and more importantly, the how, then it would go someway to me realising what they're doing and the reason behind it. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with what was in the video.
I had a few boxers stop by one night who were convinced that what we were doing was all fake and a lot like dancing... One of them said he did jujutsu but couldn't tell me what type of jujutsu he did, just that it was jujutsu. Well, to cut a long story short I invited them onto the mat to test my dancing skills out (in a friendly tone) and just advised them that I hoped they knew how to fall well (it was a beginners class). They all declined and couldn't get out of the door fast enough. Shame really, it could have been fun