I feel it is important as many concepts are explained in the history. Understanding history on any level is very beneficial in general. Ok, ok, I know I sound like some college puke writing a brown-nose essay for his history prof. But think about it. Maybe tonight's newby won't understand why he needs to know that O Sensei got his ideas from Daito Ryu or Tohei sensei was influnaced by Nakamura or he was Uchi Deshi, ect. But one day it will all come together and it will make more sense. By knowing these things, Aikido becomes more than just a new way of throwing people around.