There was a similar discussion in the introduction section recently But the way I see it it is more the state of mind. Being in a fighting/combative must destroy my enemy state is not in harmony with aikido principles. At least not according to how I understand Heiny sensei who states that aikido is not a fighting art.
I often use comparisons to horses as my way of understanding what I learn in aikido To me it is similar to a horse who will strike out if he feels threatened and cannot escape a threat in order to protect himself but he will not desire to cause you harm, he is only trying to protect himself, and he will cease retaliation once he has ensured his safety. Fighting/combat to me holds an attitude where the fighters will continue to punish the offender past the time when the attack is neutralized.
A horse can be as deadly as a Lion but unlike a lion a horse does not want to eat you for diner. Something like that. Perhaps I misunderstand Heiny Sensei's words though...
Ahhhhhh, thanks for this clear example of the non-retaliation/non-conquest mindset in aikido.