I don't disagree with you about cross training, just do it if you have the time and if you're enjoying it.
Peter, remember that in order to be able to run, people had to learn to walk first. Same thing with aikido, we should learn the slow and soft first until we get the picture and form about the techniques then we can do fast and powerful. Also remember that fast techniques done carelessly may cause injury to your uke(do you know that Seagal very oftenly injured his stuntmen?).