I'm wondering which "ruleset" are you using. MMA or a more restricted one?
No ruleset at all, except safety.
I have been proceeding as follow in the last year:
1) My goal is to develop an aikido that may work in a really real situation. My idea of a "real" situation is that of my boxing background - over 20 years ago. An incoming attacker fast on foot, throwing punches, and not intimidated by an atemi.
2) Despite it may sound unconsequential with what stated above, behind the surface I am pursuing a spiritual goal: i want to dominate a fight using something that excludes any possibility of hitting my opponent. I consider this a challenge.
3) I gave up for the time being any hope of getting a belt. That's just not my goal right now. I will allow myself to pursue belts only when I feel ready - if ever. My idea of the 6th kyu is that of a 1st kyu, so I know I just will never
get a belt. - *shrugs*
4) I don't attend one dojo. I attend several, i show up for a month to learn new approaches, then I disappear for 3 months. I don't really care whether they think I am just a lurker or someone not entirely in his good wits. I learned to keep a low profile because dojos don't like pupils who are too inclined to overanalyze the _failures_ of a technique.
5) I then train with 3 gusy out of the gym, two are ex friends of the times I was boxing long long ago. Another one hopped in seeing us training.
I do a lot
6) Till now, evidently, my aikido utterly sucks because I find using Aikido against a determined attacker exactly as difficult as this dan found it when he tried for fun with a friendly foe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMg1OuKWcgI
(ps I don't consider that iriminage, but as said I have my onw rules
It's an hopeless pursuit probably, and done all in the wrong and most unacademic manner. But at least it's gonna be my way, right or wrong.