I'd like to add two more thoughts to this.
First the humorous one
I have an acquaintance that is a high-ranking judoka. In his house, by the door, is a very prominant baseball bat. I found that odd so I asked him about it once.
"Oh, that. That's for the bad guys."
"Makes sense...." I sez.
"Yeah, see, if they're armed, then I don't have to hold back".
Secondly, I get the feeling that aiki folks poo-poo the idea of "sports competitions" / sparring et al. IMHO I view this type of thinking as a distinct detriment to the study of Aikido. Why is this opinion held so widely today?