With all due respect Cheesus Toast, aikido is not an martial art meant for real combat. I have studied aikido for twenty one years and love it from the bottom of my heart, but if you are talking about a martial art which is "meant for taking out your opponent(s) in the most shortest (efficient) amount of time as possible", you are not talking about aikido (Way of the harmonious spirit). No-nonsense arts like kali escrima, krav maga or jeet kune do, for instance, fit that description perfectly.
I cannot concur; of course it is for real combat! Are you saying that it for show? The essence or core philosophy behind spiritual harmony with ones environment is not in question here. The actual techniques of Aikido are meant for combat... end of story. I feel that you are semantically evading the core aspect of the combat side of the art. I fully stand by what I have said but maybe I have incorrectly utilized the word "mean't"! Taking down ones opponent as fast as possible may not be in the instruction manual of Aikido but it most certainly is the philosophy of someone who is about to get clobbered if they do not defend them self in the next 2 seconds.
I am no expert on Aikido itself but I am aware of many of it's basic technical aspects because I did study it for a period of time before moving onto something else. I saw at no time any part of it that seemed "for show" or unnecessary. The techniques are formed around disabling your opponent fast, which is precisely what I said in the quoted part at the top of this post.
The kicking and punching techniques of the likes of Karate and Kick boxing may be formed around the acquisition of points in a scoring system. How do you score points in Aikido? Number of broken bones? It is a very blunt art in that respect. It may not be your intention to fatally or critically wound an assailant but it was clearly not developed to be pleasing to an onlooker or to score points in a competition. It is very practical.