See what I was talking about, Bill? Waza is the least part of Aikido's contribution to surviving physical conflict.
Violence is the most toxic environment known to man. Aikido is not a mechanism for enabling its adepts to participate in violence. It is a method of reducing other people's power over you to absolutely nothing (Chris' translations discuss this at great length) so that they cannot stop you in any way. There is no violence in this and there are no techniques involved. The techniques are just an environment for you to stress test this skill and thus improve your ability to bring it to bear under adverse conditions.
What he said... Aikido waza are for me like the little foot outlines they put on the floor to teach someone how to do a dance move. Foot here, then right foot there, then turn a bit. That ain't dancing, it's attempting to get you to move in a certain way to hopefully feel and develop a certain thing that can manifest itself no matter what's happening. And doing the dance moves over and over again does not mean you can dance. That's something else entirely. Yeah, you've got to go *through* those steps, *through* that process, but there's no guarantee you'll ever dance well as a general proposition.
So I just focus on doing things that I feel I don't do as well as I should. Because I'm "failing" that stress test in my mind and it reveals a hole in my ability. So I train more. And more. And frankly do whatever the instructor is teaching or whatever my own students request. Because it's all of it that matters.
But then again there are levels involved in this as well. Frankly prior experience in things like Judo and Krav Maga I find would be easiest to teach someone to be able to handle themselves asap. But I've been at this way too long now to worry about ASAP -- that ship sailed a long time ago.