Perhaps, what makes people think aikido doesn't work is because of the many teachers who don't really "understand" aikido.
The following statement is by Shioda Gozo sensei in an article by S. Pranin.
"Today's aikido is so dimensionless. It's hollow, empty on the inside. People try to reach the highest levels without even paying their dues. That's why it seems so much like a dance these days. You have to master the very basics solidly, with your body, and then proceed to develop to the higher levels.... Now we see nothing but copying or imitation without any grasp of the real thing...."
[Edited by jvdz on December 12, 2000 at 08:19am]