I respect your opinion, but I think the worst thing to do for any martial artist is to try to understand techniques cerebrally.
The japanese way, I might call it the natural way, is to let your body understand while your mind stays passively receptive, if you see what I mean. Trying to analyse techniques into details will not make you do them better.
Originally posted by Jorx
I personally think you have to try hard to understand. IMHO trying to understand and thinking everything through to concepts which you can understand is a crucial part of Aikido. That's why older beginners are in some period much better than younger ones - they think more. Ask, try to think which one of the answers makes the most sense, put them together as pieces of a puzzle - one senior teaches you that you have to be like a wheel, another says your arm must be strong, third one says if you move at a greater speed it's easier. It's all true. You just have to be very careful to pick out the knowledge which will help you.
Oh yeah... and last but not least - practice, practice, practice. Ukemi cannot be tought. It only can be learned.