How about training aikido as a martial art, practicing and testing its its application to more realistic and authentic attacks? Is that too radical a concept?
Not at all radical, I have trained that way. Before anybody screams, this was in the past, so don't worry I'm not invalidating the current insurance requirements!
At 4th kyu I began training against attacks with a 'live' ie sharp blade. It used to be compulsary for testing, back in the 'old' days
I learned a lot from that. By 2nd kyu I'd had experience against a live sword blade. At shodan I was introduced to the concept of defence against attack with a (real) metal chain. During the course of my training, I've had some tuition in police Aikido, and against the sort of attacks one gets in the street, eg. hidden blade, sudden grab by someone you thought was walking past, pinned against a wall, glass to the face, slash to the neck, strangulation and rape situations.
All of the above have been learned in different dojo under different instructors of different rank belonging to different organisations. I would never have found all that in one dojo
The reasons why most folk don't do any of the above these days is because a) we are unable to get insurance to train that way now, and b) most folk are unwilling and / or unable to take the ukemi (or even make the attack) required in those situations.
Perhaps I was lucky that I started training when I did, that I went to train with the instructors I did, that I attended the classes I did, that I was willing to take part in this kind of training because I too wanted to see the real life application of Aikido. It's not for everyone, I know. Perhaps you have not been so lucky, or perhaps you haven't 'been around' as much as you'd need to in order to get this kind of training?
Perhaps this is why I can see the martial applications of Aikido and you can't?
I hope that one day you get the opportunities I had, but bear in mind you may have to travel far and wide to find them