Wynand van Dyk wrote:
In Aikido, because of the lack of competition in most schools, there is no official "pecking-order" based off of skill, often this manifests as a competition for who can brown-nose sensei the most, who stays the latest and practices the "hardest" etc... The lack of clearly defined skill levels between ranks often comes up in the much maligned passive-aggressive behaviour of Aikidoka. There is no need for this kind of behaviour in a truly "non competitive art"
People often bring up that old chestnut of osensei whereby he declares competition absolutely verboten and taboo. I am utterly and completely convinced that osensei's notion of competition has nothing to do with "sparring" or "randori" and everything todo with the behaviours described in the previous paragraph.
For more information on the founder's thoughts on shiai and "competition," please see Peter Goldsbury's informative post here: