Josh Mason wrote:
I am a beginner, and we have yet to do any Ukemi. Like an above poster said, some sensei do not believe this is necessary. I haven't been in Aikido long enough to know what will happen in class in the future, but for now we are learning to take balance. When i am Uke for Sensei, he will apply Kotegaeshi, and I'll drop just from the discomfort. I don't think that a throw is necessary for an Aikido technique to be effective.
By using the name "uke", any practitioner implies that they are taking ukemi during a technique. When your balance is taken, how your body reacts is ukemi. So in the example of kotegaeshi given here, the ukemi is the dropping due to discomfort. A throw is a demonstration of many things, such as proper posture, a spirit of sacrifice, the movement principle associated with the particular technique, connected-ness, and (to some extent) the beauty of human movement. Not all aikido techniques are throws, and ukemi doesn't mean to just take falls.