Re: Backward Roll - Risks and benefits
We regularly practice backwards rolling out of techniques, however I've personally found it takes time to know when to roll and when to break fall. The backwards roll is almost always from a more gentle and controlled technique whereas a breakfall is used in faster or more aggressive technique.
There is a risk of hyper-extension to the neck as well as associated muscle problems, but they can also happen from forward rolls.
I've had concussion from being accidentally dropped from head height backwards on to someones knee. I bit through my tongue in several spots and chewed my cheeks up pretty badly too. Not really roll related, but goes to show that anything can happen.
I wouldn't suggest backwards rolls are for everyone or every situation but they do allow you to regain your feet very quickly and to dissipate energy when being drawn backwards.