Peter A Goldsbury
So what do you think Morihei Ueshiba had in mind?
Hard to be sure, because he was a pretty weird bloke :-)
But I don't think he meant that techniques should not be tested. A lot of aikidoka obsess over this "non-competition" stuff (aka "not fighting", which was another thread a while back), with the result that uke always cooperates, and they end up doing "happy dance" aikido.
If that makes the people doing it happy, then OK, but it is no longer a martial art, IMO. Going the other way, I also believe that turning a MA into a competitive sport (eg judo, karate, TKD) diminishes the art (and Ueshiba may have thought that too).
The only stuff of Ueshiba's I've read (always in translation, as what little Japanese I once had is long gone) that seems different from what other MA masters of the same period (Kano, Funakoshi, etc) had to say is this "budo is love" business.
I'm not quite sure how to take that, myself (although I suspect it would help to be a highly skilled, weird little Japanese bloke <g>).
I don't think it's the same thing as "not competing", though. All the old guys say the same stuff about not meeting force with force, hitting something hard with something soft, mushin/not focussing on winning, etc as well as character development. I think it's more likely Ueshiba meant (at least mostly) the same things.
 Karate people tend to forget this one :-)
 Aikido people tend to forget this works both ways. And also about the hitting part :-)