Of course you can learn Aikido without taking ukemi. How many people here who beleive that you can't have actually tried? Many Aikido teachers take little or no ukemi. Does this mean that they have stopped learning since they have stopped taking ukemi? No. So if it is possible for them to still learn without taking ukemi, then it is possible for anyone to do so. I won't buy the argument that they are only able to continue to learn because they once took some ukemi in the past. It's bogus.
While you certainly can learn Aikido only by taking the role of the nage, I doubt that you will learn it as fast. Also, you will have problems finding people with which to practice. Even if you paid someone to be your full-time uke, you would probably have a hard time finding a teacher willing to accept you on those terms. But if you had enough money to pay exclusively for private lessons, you could probably find someone willing to do it.
It's not clear if everyone in this thread is making the distinction between taking ukemi and falling. Jun was careful to word the poll as "taking the role of uke," yet still there seems to be some confusion. Even if you practice without falling you must take ukemi for the rest of the technique.
On that subject, this past weekend at an open mat I was practicing with one my sempai who wasn't feeling that well. We just explored a couple of entries and looked for what techniques were possible from each entry. Neither one of us took many falls, but it was one of the best practices I have had in recent weeks.
Last edited by G DiPierro : 09-25-2002 at 12:55 PM.