Maybe it is just the awakening of Mr Howells mind when being introduced to Mr Pain that awakened him to the more obvious prods of movement than the subtle gentleness of Aikido?
There is hidden meaning to many of the basic movements you do in Aikido, but most of the practitioners are so enamored with the results they attain they do not look any farther than what they are taught.
Let me tell this, it's in there!
For many, many years kata's were not used correctly in either training or in application, but the secrets of martial arts were in there.
Should we crank our ukes into submission for each step of a technique, or should we leave a little room for less pain or use stretches to replace throws? Babyish, or safety in learning martial arts, you decide.
I do agree, that we all should experience other martial arts, even if we choose Aikido as our greatest love, and train primarily in Aikido. However, the touting of any particular art should be our own personal choice of practice, in that we must seek to attain a gratification of our own wants and needs.
If that is not to be a warrior, but have a practice that is fun and educational, then so be it.
Every generation has to adapt to bring other types of defensive/offensive capabilities in their training , and although some arts may have more than others, as of today, I know of no one art that encompasses all the training you will ever need to be soldier, statesmans, politician, or peaceful civilian. We take what we need and leave the rest to training.
Hopefully our training will also allow us to be more inspirational, and kind towards all of our fellow human beings, be they training in martial arts, or not.