But some people don't want to be that good as Ueshiba. Some people don't have the need to reach the top or be the best someday.
Some people want to do Aikido for other reasons.
Like a runner who just wants to go jogging as recreation to get fit, but doesn't want to do it only to be able to run a marathon some day.
I don't mean that it has to be soft, you can still train hard and learn the good techniques, but for me personally it's not my purpose to get a black belt someday.
For some people, Tai Chi or Yoga would be better to practice instead of Aikido.
Aikido needs to stay Aikido. It needs to stay a MARTIAL art.
Ueshiba created his aikido to be a spiritual and a martial pursuit. His son, Kisshomaru, might have placed more emphasis in the spiritual area than the aiki of his father, but it would be a hard argument to say that Kisshomaru Ueshiba didn't view aikido as martial, too.
If you want pure martial there are quite a lot of other systems out there for that, like boxing. I'd also say that other systems will get you martially effective quicker, so all you'd have to do is to add your own spirituality to that training to have a better sense of self defense with a moral purpose.
I have experienced aikido schools that have top quality instructors with very good training systems that produce top quality jujutsu skills. And I don't downplay those skills as they can be extremely effective. I just think that they take a lot longer to develop than other martial arts and I don't view them as aiki skills.
Personally, I think that if we define "aikido" as the way of aiki and we define aiki as the definable body quality exemplified by Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo, etc, then most of the threads here would fall under the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" forum. I don't believe most modern "aikido" has "aiki" but relies upon high level jujutsu skills to mimic the "aiki" of Ueshiba.