Re: high breakfalls?
breakfalls are a mandatory and necessary skill to protect yourself. some senseis/partners jerk techniques and you often don't really have enough time for a soft roll otherwise your wrist, elbow, shoulder gets left behind leading to serious injuries. it also saved me once after a table I was standing on gave way( I was reaching for something).
we got taught high breakfalls while we were still learning the softrolls. The thing with breakfalls is that confidence plays a large part in it before even trying. How I think we did it to learn it as beginners was that we had intensive front, back ukemi drills during warm up back then like 40 front rolls 40 back rolls non stop. Aside from these drills, we practiced a lot of ukemi by ourselves without nudging from sensei or anybody. I think its only when you get comfortable with basic ukemi that you start thinking taking more risks in starting to try breakfalls. no point in trying high falls if you're not yet competent with the basic rolls.