Re: Ukemi's a little ruff
No disrespect intended, but sometimes I think we forget that ukemi is about receiving your partners technique (energy) and handling that in an appropriate way. Learning to roll and take breakfalls is one obvious manifestation of that but it has developed a life of its own in Aikido unlike in any other Budo. Of course good ukemi is very nice to see, especially if tori is high ranked, it allows for faster, more vigorous techniques, good PR for Aikido effectiveness. BUT,,,,,
I wonder what uke is learning about the real reason (technically) for receiving tori's energy and technique, which is the possibility of reversal, of kaeshi waza. Mostly we get little opportunity to explore this dimension of Aikido without descending into competition fighting.
By the way before anyone jumps on me I don't mean that competitive practice is a descent, but that within Aikido, due to lack of practice, it usually is. If you can find the right partners, half speed, but committed, attacks can be explored in which the role of uke is not fixed. Both of you are trying to feel the other's intent, balance, suki, etc. Sometimes this leads to a fall, sometimes not, sometimes it would lead to groundwork, sometimes uke would become tori even after taking the fall.
IMHO always thinking about ukemi as falling breeds the wrong mindset for continuous development of Aikido as Budo.