Kat: sometimes its better to find your own answers than asking them directly.(not that you can't ask them here
). What i mean is that, when you try to find your own answers, you will get more...maybe that's what your Karate Sensei was trying to do, developing a sense of ,observation? Well...for eg. During training(for me), no one asks questions, no one talks. Reason: Observe to get the answers.
Anyway, hope you know what i'm trying to say.
And about the breakfalls, trust me, you will learn to love it, it might be a little difficult at the start, but once you learn the feeling of following through, you will earn your 'wings' and you will be flying soon.