Re: training in the long haul
So after reading the first post in the google link I stand by my guns on this one, with a caveat. I think these days when we say the word stretching and when we observe most people doing it (particularly in the context of aikido) we are talking slow dynamic stretches.
I don't see people forcing the muscles trying to get their splits. I have not observed the grab toes and hold position for 30 second type of activity for over a decade. That sort of thing is reserved for increasing range of motion. I have daughter who trains in circus arts and is currently taking contortion classes. They, once they have warmed everything up push and bend using, what seems to be a lot of PNF type work. They do some grab and hold, but I don't see it in any dojo I've been in as normal warmup.