Of course they apply. From what I have seen so far, practice may be time consuming, even entertaining, and there are no "weapons" but teaching tools.
This doesn't really answer my question to Elis Amdur of how his criticism applies. If you agree with his criticism (e.g. one person in the kata was learning how to ‘lose' to the other
), it would be useful to see a more detailed argument. Please also say something about your own weapons experience so that I can understand better the context of your argument.
In Aikido, the Jo is considered to be a weapon - not sure why you put double quotes around weapons
You alleged that the Iwama weapons system were closest to the one practiced by the founder.
Do you really know what the "founder" actually practised?
I didn't think this would be controversial, instead of making the argument, I'll direct you to this interview
with Shoji Nishio. Some relevant quotes:
Saito Sensei is the only person who can hand down O-Sensei's Aikido exactly as it was
It is the role of Saito Sensei to hand down O-Sensei's art exactly as it was.
Finally, for some reason, you put double quotes around founder. This is just Ueshiba Morihe's title ( Kaiso ).