Tonight we spent a lot of time on ukemi with much of it pure practice where we were not working on a particular technique and sometimes we just worked on falling and sliding while not working with a partner.
The goal Sensei was trying to impart is somewhat shown in some of the ukemi in the video (Please to note timestamps 1:04 & 2:52), but Shiba Sensei REALLY emphasizes the sliding or rather your center moving as you compensate as uke to nage's irminage. This is one of the cool things about practicing this art, in that there is the obvious beauty of the art but it is when you find a teacher who makes it special that really confirms why you spend the time to practice.
It looks like Sidney is simply sliding across the floor more than the rest of us, but by working on it tonight I saw that he is really moving his center and it is just that he lowers his center and goes with the flow. It is so freaking cool to see it in action and the thing is that tonight I may have actually gotten a little bit of the technique down. It felt so great to sense what I was supposed to do, even if I never actually got it exactly right. But I was at least on the right path.
For me ukemi with iriminage is difficult, although if the nage is really good they compensate for my weaknesses. The less sensitive the nage the worse my ukemi is with Iriminage. But tonight I think I got a little bit closer to knowing what to do. I can't emphasize this enough, it is like magic when you find yourself actually practicing magic while practicing Aikido it is...well, magical.
Of course I'm scared it will all be gone by the next class.