Well, that's my point. To which, I have two answers.
Our weapons should be based on aiki. Our empty-handed should be based on aiki.
We have a history of aikido that convinces us our attacking methodology is based on weapons work. Yet, we have difficulty finding sword people who admit aikido sword work is good sword work. So, for me, there seems to be a sword style we practice that is not functional and not traditional; it's educational.
From what I have seen thus far, I think somewhere along the line we confused Aiki with Kata. We saw seniors with good Aiki and misunderstood what they were doing. The point I am trying to make is to reinvigorate kata with aiki.
To clarify, that is not to say there are not good sword people in aikido; only that good sword work is not representative of aikido in its entirety.
This thread is based upon a video comparing empty hand with weapons. As the logic of the thread establishes empty-handed is derived from sword, I think it is fair to question the origin of aikido sword. The answer I have seen so far seems to indicate an aggregate exposure to a variety of arts. From which I believe aiki exercises were derived to facilitate our training.
I apologize because I am on a mobile phone so my text may seem disjointed.
Our empty-hand attacks are based on real sword attacks, not on Aikido weapons....I think that's fair to say, it is not really a chicken or egg problem.
Aiki weapons...well just my opinion, Aiki weapons are based on various shallow studies of classical sword arts by Ueshiba and his students. Little pieces taken here and there and not fully understood and used to demonstrate principles. Seems like the times when Aikido shihans really went whole-hog on a classical sword system, they didn't mix it in as much.
Aiki weapons should either be a study of how to use a weapon - but that's a bit cheesy since Aikido is gendai - or a use of weapons to study movement, initiative, kiai, etc - the stuff that is actually not aiki that we should think about every now and then.