Re: Why no tsuba?
Actually, I had a couple of points. Rather than let you put words in my mouth, why don't I just tell you what they are?
* First, the claim that "all" Japanese martial artists of a given era have sword knowledge is not nearly as obvious as you seem to think.
* Second, even if they do have (or are willing to claim) "knowledge," that doesn't mean they have any degree of competence whatsoever.
* So exactly what is the point of bringing this large collection of martial artists with "sword knowledge" into the thread? That randomly waving sticks around is okay because lots of people do it?
I'm also having trouble with this whole notion that aikido principles are so unique among the martial arts that, when demonstrating them with a bokken, apparent incompetence can actually hide total mastery. You may believe that, but that's not what any of the teachers in my lineage claim, and it's certainly not what I've felt in their classes.
Yes, I'm completely ignoring the whole "using bokken to demonstrate principles" line of argument. Balance is balance. Openings are openings. If your "demonstration of principles" allows someone to lop off your head, your principles are unsound.