Peter A Goldsbury
The fact remains, however, that despite the accomplishments of both men in Aiki skills, what they showed, even to their closest students, was waza--in Takeda's case, hundreds. Budo Renshu (compiled in 1933), by comparison, contains about 160, with an introduction dealing with possible attacks and how to deal with them. So it seems to me that Ueshiba, at least, combined aiki skills with waza and used waza also when dealing with people like Tomiki and Shioda.
In the last few years, it has become more and more apparent that in earlier times the basic ki/kokyu skills were present in Aikido, Judo, Karate, ju-jutsu schools of various sorts, koryu of various sorts, iaido, kendo, etc. Not to mention just about every Chinese martial art that I've encountered and read about. I.e., these skills weren't relegated to 3 or 4 people in the old days. If you have these skills and your opponent also has these skills (in a roughly equal level), the determining factor shifts to the skill in the martial art. I'd say things go sort of like this, all else being equal:
1. Both combatants ignorant of ki/kokyu skills, the better martial techniques win.
2. Both combatants with equal martial skill, the person with ki/kokyu skills wins.
3. Both combatants with martial training and equal ki/kokyu abilities, the better martial-technician wins.
In other words, waza/techniques are not some minor factor in a martial art. Ki/kokyu skills are prominent if few others know them. If everyone knows them you really need to have superior technique/waza. Considering how widely spread these skills are in Asia, the clamp-down on not showing everyone seems to have an effect mainly on low-level practitioners.
My 2 cents.