Re: Aiki Ken and Ken justu
I often find these discussions baffling. First of all because many individuals seem to assume that there is some universally agreed upon definition for the term "aikiken" and they know what that is. I find this difficult to believe because Aikidoka's usage of the (generally) bokuto based art when used at all, is usually only uniform to a particular teacher and there is tremendous variety among teachers. So the more practical question seems to me to be, is "so and so teacher's ken" as viable as ken jutsu. Once again though this question artificially lumps all Ken Jutsu into a singular category. Schools of Ken Jutsu run from soup to nuts.
Then there is the the assumption that Aiki Ken and Ken Jutsu could be compared qualitatively via some sort of combat venue disregarding the variables of the nature of the combat venue and the variability of participants. This assumption simply doesn't make sense. I individual on the edge of death who studied Ken Jutsu all their life could conceivably be defeated by a strong healthy person who had no training in anything . . . and we are to assume then that no training is better than a lifetime of training because the in individual on the edge of death decided to "check out" at that time?
A common assumption is that if I just join the World Champion Football team I will become a world champion . . . and I think we can see the flaw in that reasoning. I may not be World Champion material AND the World Champions of last year may not be the same this year. (Sure there are trends. That seems to be a more reasoned approach to look at.)
Finally, and most contentiously, we read about the Aiki masters WHO HAD SOME KEN BACKGROUND (not ones with zero ken background) being lauded by some as masters of ken. But then those same individuals were lauded by some as masters of Jujutsu as well.
Who do we know TODAY with Aikido that is lauded by those outside the art as masters of Jujutsu? Perhaps we no longer hear of masters of Ken within the art for the same reason. Perhaps even though there has been some technical knowledge handed down (And I realize that there is a unbelievably broad continuum of what has been handed down.) for both taijutsu and buki waza, perhaps the difference that MADE the difference is now predominantly missing.
BTW, I am unaware duals taking place with swords recently, but then again that is assuming that one plans to use their ken in a dueling situation . . . there are many other situations in which a ken might be used and there are arts that generalize and arts that specialize in individual or various situations.
To me it is an overly broad question receiving overly broad answers.
Just some lunch time thoughts.