My personal take on it, honestly, is that that was an extracurricular special study session, where you practiced some forms that will help you do them better when you are in the dojo, where, being aiki weapons, they are themselves a kind of sidebar study of Aikido.
What if you lost your mat space and all you could do was get together in the park and practice weapons in street clothes? How long before you decided it was pointless?
But that doesn't really answer the question with regards to the subject of this thread. Suppose the ground had been soft enough for us to train taijutsu: would that have been aikido?