Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi
Good points, Ellis. Not comparing myself to Takeda or Ueshiba, but frankly I cannot teach ki/kokyu things without feeling what the person is doing, so I have to be on the receiving end. If it was just tecnique and not the inner workings of the skills, I could simply watch.
In terms of being "unthrowable", that's a situational thing. Granted, here in the West where these skills are virtually unknown and "magical" appearing, it's a good trick to show-off; the same skill is not so unknown in Asia at all. I'm completely and calmly sure beyond any doubt that Ueshiba, Tohei, and many, many others could stop a throw with their jin if they wanted to.... BUT they were smart enough to know that such skills only work against amateurs and therefore learning Ukemi is more important than not.
When I was at Shaner Sensei's workshop last weekend, he used a general description that I enjoyed (I'm interested in a lot of the different descriptions of the basic principles because each one helps in developing a fuller appreciation of the concept). He said that when he was in contact with an opponent (Uke), he envisioned that he was the controlling part of a 4-legged animal. That's a good description, although like most of the descriptions, it's not complete in itself. If you are in contact with an opponent, connect up mentally so that you are the one controlling the whole animal and respond to the whole animal's attempt to move.... you'll find that you can't be thrown very easily, with a little bit of practice. It's one approach and I think it's a good one.