As for getting the basics and doing aikido, you will be able to participate in every aspect of aikido class much faster than you do in kendo. There isn't the same hanging out in the back of the room doing suburi like you see in kendo.
Well its not that bad im generally doing kirikaishi with other people and it is only that strict because our sensei's are all from japan. But im glad to hear it'll proceed a little faster than that. Is there anything else i should know as a newcomer or anything special i need to do?