Originally posted by PeterR
I can't help with what Ueshiba exactly said but since you mention kanji - from the Shodokan FAQ
We do not think of Shiai (competition) as aggression or fighting against an opponent. If we really think about it the (Japanese Kanji) word 'Shiai' (competition) is made up of two parts. The first part 'Shi' means to test and the second part 'Ai' means together with someone.
Sticking with the language part of this discussion (as this is
the language forum), it's basically the same in English, too. The term "compete" comes from the Latin competere
together + petere