My instructor said to us recently that there is no 'soft' style and aikido is not a 'soft' art, it is a compassionate art. This means that we deal with any given situation with the minimum force to resolve it. This may mean nothing more than a tenkan to avoid an attack, right up to a huge guy bearing down on you and you executing a technique swiftly and harshly to end the fight so the guy won't get up again and smash you.
The art allows for compassion, I think this is important. But to call it soft is misleading.
Only my opinion.