my question was why are top level aikidoka's i.e. O Sensei Ukes on youtube with their own Uke not even shown to be receiving any kind of relevant attacks
Looks like you didn't 'get' my previous reply, so I'll try again (ever the optimist
think you are seeing is unlikely to be what you are actually seeing. As we learn, our eyes get peeled like the layers of an onion, so as you progress you see and understand better. I know when I watched Aikido being demonstrated by senior instructors 15 years ago, I wasn't seeing the complexities and subtleties that I see now..
Also, bear in mind that older film wasn't quite up to capturing all
the action in the way that modern equipment does! Add that to the distortion you get on YouTube videos and you won't be getting the best picture
IMHO the best way to improve your Aikido is to go to class and practise. Watching stuff on YouTube won't help you much as a new student.
As for the ukes with springs on their feet that everybody else is talking about, yes that happens and no it's not good, but that is a slightly different issue than the OP brought up in the first place IMHO
Back to you Chris, if you want 'realistic' attacks, then there is no one size fits all! The type of 'realistic' attack I can expect as a 30-something year old woman is quite different to what would be expected by a 20 year old man. The good thing about Aikido is that it teaches you principles which can be applied sucessfully to all of these attacks