Re: Unlearning Bad Habits
If it makes you feel any better, my teacher has been doing aikido for around 60 years and according to him, he still doesn't have it "right." The beautiful thing about aikido is no matter how "good" you get, you always have room for improvement.
Ukemi is all kind of things--it is being sensitive to the environment around us. At a seminar recently, our teacher scolded us for having bad ukemi. Many people thought he was talking about rolls and since theirs were beautiful, he couldn't possibly be talking about them. (I'm almost 60. Mine are clunky--I was certain he was talking about me, even after 26 years of practice.) But he was referencing there being so many beginners on the mat and how crowded we were and how many participants were more focused on showing what they knew than helping the beginners learn and practice safely. That's ukemi, too. Ukemi is being open to receiving and dealing as compassionately as you can with whatever comes. (That includes yourself.) When you fix the thing you're doing wrong now, there will be something else to fix, and when you fix that, something else and then something else and then...
May you have many happy years of training.