All my martial arts friends laughed when I told them I was starting Aikido.
"Man, nobody uses Aikido on the street. You'd get your ass kicked"
Three years later, I can say that they were both right and wrong. They're right, because if you "just train," I don't know that you will achieve an applicable level of proficiency. What do I mean by "just train" ?
Well, it struck me that Aikido will be whatever I make it be. Once I have a technique down, instead of practicing it statically, even if we're not doing randori, I try to begin the movement immediately, to make it dynamic. I stay after class and practice iriminage against various attacks, which come at mixed intervals, so that I can't prepare for them. I have those who have practiced other martial arts show me how to "really" punch, and get them to show me their counters and attacks in a non competitive environment.
Remember high school? Remember college? Maybe you can get a "B" or a "C+" by going to class, but you won't get that "A" unless you do your homework. Likewise, with Aikido - I really believe that the "after class time" is what will tune your Aikido to an effective level.