Morihei Ueshiba, of course, didn't hold a "master level" rank when he created Aiki-Budo. He did have an assistant instructor's certificate in Daito-ryu...
Remember that Aikibudo was before Aikido. Aikido was derived from Aikibudo, upon the religious conversion to neo Shinto religion Omoto-kyo. Morihei Ueshiba practiced Daito-ryu, but his art at the time was called Aikibudo. Aikido is a result of his deeply held religious conversion, Omoto-kyo, it teaches non-violence, peace and harmony.
Aikibudo was designed for combat and contains the atemi waza. Really he has returned to the roots of Aikibudo, removing the religious concept, and more concern with self-defense. There is nothing wrong with removing religious precepts and applying the advantageous methods of self-defense of Aikibudo.