Re: Aiki-Ken vs reality
I feel like Threadgill sensei's important question still stands-- but in light of Ledyard sensei's points, it could be expressed in another way: functionally, rather than experientially.
What is aikiken, when there are:
-Aikidoka doing legitimate kenjutsu for kenjutsu's sake
-Aikidoka doing legitimate kenjutsu as a way of exploring aiki concepts
-Aikidoka doing movement that falls short of fully solid kenjutsu, but are legitimately exploring aiki concepts
-Aikidoka whacking sticks, claiming to practice aiki concepts, but not being able to elaborate on that claim
...among the other obvious combinations.
Lots of aikidoka (like me) would probably be not qualified to determine which category he is in.