I agree with the Brian's explanation of techniques. Understanding and training the fundamentals is the first part to applying techniques in different situations.
From a self defence perspective, if I didnt practice the fundamentals in posture, blending, ki extension, hip movement, hamni, positioning of hands, evasion in training I would have been in serious trouble when someone jumped me in the middle of the night while I was taking the garbage out.
Geeze, all he would have to do is ask for the smelly fishbones, rotten table scraps, vege scrapings and I would have given it to him.
So no, no technique no matter how seemingly innocuous or unglamourous is pointless. It all contributes and informs our practice of aikido.
As for kokyunage, I am reminded of a recent demonstration and seminar by a visiting Shihan (7th Dan) that clearly showed the power and application of kokyunage in aikido training and other applications of technique. Absolutely awesome.
Happy training all