Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
However, I have rarely resorted to the back roll in my own aikido training with partners and consider that it is virtually unnecessary. So why do we do it? I think it is a useful training exercise, but in actual aikido practice, I think there are very few waza where the back roll is possible.
This has been my experience as my senpai have progressively been using more and more force with me. When they are really challenging me I don't have the time or position to do a back roll - it becomes a back fall.