Don't know about cutting - this is striking, with the body and a blunt weapon. Or, another way, a striking exercise to develop body skills, using a blunt weapon.
So, David, I wonder what you think of the following questions.
- In view of the general belief in the Iwama community that Saito Sensei came the closest to full transmission of O-Sensei's aikido, do you believe that O-Sensei viewed the bokken primarily as a striking weapon, rather than a cutting weapon?
- Is there any training exercise in the Iwama curriculum that is understood to be using the bokken as if it were a cutting instrument?
These questions are very interesting to me, as my own feeling is that the experience of aikido as uke is very different if tori has the intent to cut, rather than to strike.