Re: To Slap the Ground or Not
I want to contribute, but I am not exactly sure where this thread is/was going...
1. Ukemi is protection of the body. To artificially slap the mat during sutemi without need is poor ukemi. To refuse to slap the mat during sutemi when slapping is needed is poor ukemi. Ukemi is an appropriate response to protect the body from injury.
2. Many older shihan have expressed disappointement in the ukemi of today's aikido. We are unresponsive to our partners and uneducated about the purpose of ukemi. I think Ushiro sensei may have been directly addressing the danger of ukemi in a situation when falling is not appropriate, or when a studeent falls in ignorance of a better reaction.