Re: Scared Sempai
I agree with Anne Marie. Some people really do have a hard time with learning ukemi - I am another one!
These days I teach basic ukemi to the beginners at my dojo. I'm a good teacher because I understand the process, the fears, the frustrations, and the physical difficulties. I break it down into chunks so that my students don't have too much to take in at once. We do exercises designed to help strengthen and co-ordinate the muscles and body parts required for ukemi.
But I think that the real reason I am a good teacher is because I encourage my students and have quiet confidence in them and their abilities. I believe that each student is doing his or her best and I treat them accordingly. This is a great gift to give to someone and it really helps them to improve.
In the 'bad old days' when I was a beginner, I was ridiculed, humiliated, made to feel incompetent and weak, and avoided by others who felt that I wasn't worth training with. I will not tolerate any of my students having to go through this as I know what it does - it makes your ukemi about 100 times worse than it should be.
Understanding and respect are the keys, compassion is the way.