Phil Van Treese
At 4th kyu, your ukemi should be almost perfect. How can you take a fall and land with "not so good" ukemi??? That's the best way to get hurt---broken arm, broken/cracked rib etc, etc. When you are a beginner, or even advanced aikidoka, your emphasis should be on proper ukemi.
Perfect ukemi by 4kyu? You're crazy.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't have good ukemi. I think the ability to perform most types of ukemi from most techniques done at a reasonable pace is a good aim. What you have said about getting hurt is absolutely correct.
My problem is with the term perfect ukemi. I am currently shodan, but my ukemi is far from perfect. I have trained with many people whose ukemi is much better than mine. I hope to improve in the future. When I was 4kyu, I would say my ukemi was what I described above. It is now much better than that.
I guess my point is that if you limit yourself to what is achievable at 4kyu, then you are doing yourself a disservice. You should be able to keep improving your ukemi until your body starts to deteriorate due to age.
Sorry to be picky. I recently had another rant on the topic of ukemi in another thread, so I guess this is a topic that is important to me.