"That would never work in the street!"
"Try that on a resisting opponent!"
"If it was so good, why isn't it used in the cage?"
And so on. We all know the type, and unfortunately we've thrown the baby out with the bath water as many legitimate practitioners have been lumped in with the trash. Now, I must give credit where it's due and I will say that the growth of Mixed Martial Arts has forced a lot of practitioners to step up and increase the efficiency of their training. As I've said before, every martial art has the potential to be combatively effective and it all comes down to the training methods. But what about arts that cannot be adapted to the cage? If you truly want to know how effective a martial art is, instead of judging it on how you wish to apply it, you must look at it through the parameters of what it was created for. Every art has a purpose, and as long as it meets that original purpose, it's an effective martial art regardless of whether or not you can apply it to another scenario. Surely you wouldn't judge the efficiency of Kyujutsu by the archer's ability to punch and kick, right? The same logic must apply to all martial arts.
Now, the techniques of Oshiki Uchi involved using minimal movement and biomechanics to create structural distortions and instant off-balancing to an assailant. This was an expansion of the principles of Batto Gaeshi, techniques designed to counter someone attempting to remove your sword (or stop you from drawing it). With the abundance of joint manipulation and throwing techniques more akin to what we now know as jujutsu, why would techniques based on internal power be relevant?
Oshiki Uchi was reserved for the Imperial guards, those entrusted with the security of the palace and protection of the Emperor and Shogun. They were also the only ones allowed to wear their swords within the palace. Should a visitor wish to do harm to the Emperor or Shogun, they would likely need to secure a weapon once inside, which involved removing one of the guards. If you're an Imperial guard and you come under attack, you need a way to instantly neutralize the threat. You don't have time to wrestle around and hope for a joint lock or throw.
Everyone criticizes aiki for its abundance of wrist grab defenses, saying that no one in the street is going to grab your wrist. And you're absolutely right, but in this historical context, a wrist grab was the most common attack you'd be facing, next to them grabbing your tsuka directly, as the assailant tried to stop you from drawing your sword. It only made sense to learn how to throw someone using only the connection of the wrist grab without engaging the other hand (which should be securing your sword in its saya) or any other large external motions. You may be fighting within the confines of a hallway or other enclosed space. That's also why there are so many handachi techniques (seated against a standing attacker). There are so many variables, but I'm sure you get the picture.
Now, one can argue that for an art to remain effective it must evolve to be applicable in a modern sense and the principles that make aiki so effective can indeed be applied to numerous other scenarios if the instructor has a firm enough understanding on how to do so. In the video to the left, I demonstrate just one example of Aiki no Jutsu in its original context. I will make another video in the near future showing that same technique in a more applicable setting.
Regardless, as I have shown it is unfair to judge an art's efficiency based upon your parameters. Did it accomplish what it was created for? If the answer is yes, then any applicability outside of that is a bonus. However, just because you don't know or can't see how it applies in the cage or on the street doesn't make it an ineffective or useless art. Many of the arts in question were born out of combative necessity. The techniques that didn't work died with those who attempted them, and in the case of Aiki no Jutsu, if it wasn't effective then why was it taught for over 750 years?