I've never seen anything, ever, to suggest Ueshiba was a renowned martial artist at this point. He trained for 20(?) years in the Daito Ryu. When his Omoto-kyó mentor (Onaisaburo?) persuaded him to open a dojo and give classes he began to build a reputation. Many years after meeting Takeda.
He trained sumo and kenjutsu before even meeting Takeda.