Damion, I think you hit the nail right on the head. You have voiced what I have been trying to voice to myself. Thank you.
Ed, I believe you asked about accidents, as of yet, the only aikido accidents I have seen are the occasional cuts on the feet that come from nail scratches. It seems to be fairly common, having happened twice in my dojo in a one month period, is it common for others? Other then that, this ar and this dojo is probably the safest pairing I have ever been exposed to. Our sensei is great, cares for all his students, and as a result all of the students are relaxed, happy, and seemingly without ego. Previously in other arts I have seen many bad things, breaks, dislocations... one 'accident' in kenpo has damaged my left hand to the point where I can dislocate my fingers with little challenge.
What I am wondering is how important is the neck in keeping ukemi safe? And what steps can one take to strengthen the neck muscles?