Nobody in our dojo really addresses breakfalls and how best to train for them. It's assumed that, by a certain rank (that's foggy, too...) you should know how to do them, do them correctly, and attempt them on regular intervals or when the technique calls for them.
So, the questions I have:
1. What is the best way to train for them/learn the correct way to take one?
2. When (at what rank) would it be "appropriate" for an aikidoka to be "proficient" at them? Also, what would "proficiency" entail?
3. What about people who have mitigating injuries (I've had spinal surgery and have had no end of trouble trying to absorb the shock of a fall, especially with enthusiastic nages!)
4. What happens as you increase in rank (shodan, for example) and you can't take a breakfall for medical reasons like above.... does that mean, no shodan for you?
Thank you for your answers!