Re: early kyu expectations
Well, there's no such thing as perfect ukemi, or perfect anything else. I think what Phil was trying to say is more like "correctly executed". In that case, maybe we can say that the difference between what is expected of a a 4th kyu and of a much higher rank is:
- Intensity and speed of the attack is less
- Intensity and speed of the technique is less
- Simpler variations are acceptable
- Atemi is a bit mellower
IOW, as a 4th kyu, you'd be expected to do whatever you're expected to do correctly within the context of the test. You're not expected to do advanced techniques, nor to deal with an all-out high-speed attack (or an all-out high-speed response to your attack).