Re: Yukiyoshi Sagawa's Aiki, a true portrait of Transparent Power - Interview with Tatsuo Kimura Par
Ever done suburi? Being able to cut decently is a pre-requisite for doing meaningful sword kata, wouldn't you think?
Same thing with empty hand work. Being able to structure your body decently is a prerequisite for any kind of empty hand technique.
I've never visited Sagawa Sensei's dojo, but every aikido dojo I have visited does a variety of basic footwork and stability exercises. (Though not all of them recognize the aiki-relevance of such exercises.) And there's video of Ueshiba Sensei engaging in that sort of practice, too.