Aikido is a path of self-development. Created by the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, (respectfully called O-Sensei by Aikidoka), it evolved from his many years of profound study in various martial disciplines. He sought to create a practice that encompassed the martial principles that he felt were essential to the healthy growth of the individual and the human community.
With its focus on personal progress, there is no competition in Aikido. Aikido is not a sport. The goal of Aikido is not to destroy an enemy, but to improve oneself.
Some thoughts on the unique nature of Aikido can be found on the Hombu Dojo