No competitions. The founder of Aikido, O Sensei Mreihei Ueshiba, felt strongly that competition was incompatible with Aikido (but Tomiko Aikido has some comps) Takes longer to learn and apply. A year in Karate/Tae Kwon Do/Kempo will help you fight better. Like any martial art, the journey to achievement is a long one. Whenever I move, that's Aikido. As O Sensei (Moreihei Ueshiba) said, this martial art focuses on movement and dynamics.
"Takes longer to learn and apply. A year in Karate/Tae Kwon Do/Kempo will help you fight better. Like any martial art, the journey to achievement is a long one."
I disagree with this part. I did karate for about six months several years ago and all we did were katas and stationary attacks. My parents were even very clear that I wasn't allowed to use karate in a real fight because I had an "unfair advantage," but looking back on it, they were pretty delusional about the usefulness of what I was actually learning in class, as there was no way that even after six months, I could have possibly used anything from class to defend myself.
I also did wrestling for three seasons in high school and wasn't very good at it, but I would have definitely wrestled my way out of a confrontation before ever attempting karate.
By comparison, I joined an Aikido club shortly before graduating college and we learned three easy and practical techniques on the first day. Over a year later, I probably still have less than six months of total mat time but I would definitely say that Aikido is actually the easiest and most practical of the three styles that I've tried.