When it comes to weapons, there are most certainly better ways to train than others. Saying a method is better than another method is most certainly "not a waste of time". IMO, particularly when one has seen consistent results comparing various methods and people in them over the years.
I think stating "All training is equal" is the PC version of "martial art speak," often espoused by those with limited exposure to more sophisticated methods and models. No harm, no foul, it's just simply all they are capable of seeing.
Case in point:
You yourself have made the argument that for ring fighting or one on one fighting, aikido is not the best or most suited method. In your view aikido is best for multiple attacks and for weapons.
In much the same way I would say that for a host of reasons...when it comes to weapons work...aikido foot work and movement and its use of-weapons are most certainly not the best or most efficient method for fighting with weapons as judged by every person who has reached a certain level of exposure and experience I am familiar with or have read of.
I've also never seen or heard of experienced weapons people leaving their art and opting for aiki-weapons and aikido movement as a superior method of effective weapons work...not even once, instead the opposite is true.
While I understand that may be difficult to hear and process, it speaks to the ever increasing exposure aikido-ka have had to traditional weapons work and their oft repeated commentary both public and private. You can then up the anti, to include people who have trained traditional and modern weapons and then also went on to train with armor and freestyle full contact work.
That was quite well said.
Armor, no armor, aluminum training knives, wooden training knives, sticks as fighting knife simulators, steel training knives, folding training knives (my favorites, since folding knives are so common and carrying a folding knife and only training with a 8 inch bladed fixed blade trainer is not a good recipe for success when using that folder), armed versus the blade, unarmed versus the blade, low level and ground work against the blade, working with live blades, practice cutting and thrusting on various targets with live blades, examining the results of actual assaults and combats with the blade (both in my own law enforcement investigations and reviewing those of others for training purposes), being in actual confrontations against blade wielding assailants---being exposed to these methodologies, tools, and experiences while sparring, training, investigating (which is what the tax payers pay me to do), and critically evaluating what works for real in the environments that I work within have shown me that to be good against the blade, you have to train in blade methodologies. I have never seen anyone who was what I consider good when working against a knife wielding opponent who was not experienced in blade fighting methodologies. Aikido provides people with many tools and various benefits. However, Aikido methodologies against a knife attack are in no way equal to methodologies used by systems that are based on the knife. Both World Cup Rally drivers and Formula One drivers are phenomenal and highly skilled behind the wheel. If you took a champion driver from either discipline and had them compete in the type of race that they did not normally drive within, they are not normally going to be competitive in the new discipline without a lot of work and training. I have worked in the aikido/aikijujitsu discipline and in kali and silat systems, along with several other martial disciplines. In reality, when it comes to blade, we are not comparing rally to formula driving, and a better analogy would be basketball versus soccer. There are similarities, such as putting a ball in a goal and the need for aerobic conditioning and speed. However, the skill sets needed to be good are radically different.