Everywhere you look at Modern Aikido, it is known by what? Look at that kotegaeshi? No, it is rather, look at the breakfall the uke took from a kotegaeshi. The uke being flattened out in midair from an irimi nage. And by what method are these ukes doing this? They are *taught* the ukemi. If you don't believe that, why is it that brand new people training in aikido rarely fall like people who have been training for years? Why is it that a boxer or a BJJ or a judo person rarely react/fall/roll the same as someone training in Modern Aikido for years?
The ukemi training model of Modern Aikido is holding back the development of aiki. That form, or shape, of Aikido does not equal the function of aiki. Training aiki would change the form, or shape, of Modern Aikido significantly.
Overall, great post. As far ukemi is concerned, I agree that too many are too quick to jump into the dive. I see this at many seminars mostly from young yudansha who just love throwing their bodies around the mat - the older ones seem to have learned to not do that though
However, I still think ukemi has a roll in training. Granted, newbies are not that prone to take a fall, but that should not be viewed as resistance to a technique, just simply an indication of not knowing how to protect themselves. In this case if nage turns up the technique, the newbie gets hurt. I think ukemi teaching needs to stay in the basic training, but I also think there needs to be more application of resistance by uke based on the appropriate skill levels of both nage and uke - this should create an environment where both nage and uke can ramp things up in a somewhat controlled and safe pace.