Nothing is better than practise time on the mat to improve your skills in Aikido.
No amount of video watching or book reading can substitute for it, however when you
have gained a few skills and an understanding of the concepts, then a good book or
video allows you to move beyond the basic building blocks and to incorporate other
peoples idea’s into making your Aikido unique. Providing you adhere to the true Aikido
principles, of which there are relatively few, then you can improvise, play and create
new techniques or sequence of existing techniques to suit you.