It totally depends on why you are taking martial arts. Aikido is, at its core, the Way of Harmony, a very spiritual undertaking, relying heavily on the practitioner's development of ki
. I don't believe aikido is of much use to someone interested in competing in martial sports, it's simply not why the art was devised (if you can even say it was devised).
Taken from an article on the founder Morehei Ueshiba, on the inception of aikido:
Morihei was on a spiritual quest and was transformed by three visions. The first occurred in 1925, when Morihei was forty-two years old. After defeating a high-ranking swordsman by avoiding all his cuts and thrusts (Morihei was unarmed), Morihei went into his garden. â€œSuddenly the earth trembled. Golden vapor welled up from the ground and engulfed me. I felt transformed into a golden image, and my body seemed as light as a feather. All at once I understood the nature of creation: the Way of a Warrior is to manifest Divine Love, a spirit that embraces and nurtures all things. Tears of gratitude and joy streamed down my cheeks. I saw the entire earth as my home, and the sun, moon, and stars as my intimate friends. All attachment to material things vanished.â€
The second vision took place in December of 1940. â€œAround two oâ€™clock in the morning as I was performing ritual purification, I suddenly forgot every martial art technique I ever learned. All of the techniques handed down from my teachers appeared completely anew. Now they were vehicles for the cultivation of life, knowledge, virtue, and good sense, not devices to throw and pin people.â€
The third vision was in 1942, during the worst of the fighting of World War II and in one of the darkest periods of human history. Morihei had a vision of the Great Spirit of Peace, a path that could lead to the elimination of all strife and the reconciliation of humankind. â€œThe Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood as a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek competition are making a grave mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst sin a human being can commit. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent slaughter - it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.â€ Morihei secluded himself in the country and devoted every minute of his life thereafter to refining and spreading Aikido, the Art of Peace.
If this sounds like a path you are interested in walking, a direction you want to take your life, then you should.
"We are all ready to win, just as we are born knowing only life. It is defeat that you must learn to prepare for." -Mr. Han