Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?
So far, I'm hearing that other arts address the issues of compassion, unity, mercy, etc. Which is what I said, adding that Ueshiba actually tried to act on those high principles, with the implication being that this attitude imbued his art. Or at least tended to; this is a martial art, and I don't expect absolutes of sweetness. Likewise I wholly agree that, at anything like full force, Aikido does not take it easy on uke. But if we are talking differentiation here, then I think the answer has to do with how the founder's intention was manifested, to whatever degree. By contrast, Takeda studied esoteric Buddhism, but he also drew a knife on his son. These were two very different people, and their arts reflect that fact.
As for the number of techniques, I'm hoping someone will be dropping in to confirm or deny, but what I understand is that, while most Aikido correlate to Daito Ryu, the opposite is not true.
Finally, I am painting in broad strokes here; considering how close the roots are, and how much the styles of both vary, I don't expect to find much in the way of absolute distinction.