Re: high breakfalls?
First off: Learning to do breakfalls should be done cautiously for obvious reasons.
Second: People think it is cool when you can do breakfalls, so everyone wants to do it all the time. That is simply bad practise. I think it is useful to be able to do (proper) breakfall, just do not do it all the time. On occassion I have not taken breakfall when my teacher threw me and I sensed he was going for exactly that. Still, no damage, no injury, just a little smile on his face.
But in the same breath I hasten to add that at times I ABSOLUTELY had to take breakfall to save my skin.
Only last summer a very experienced soto deshi injured his elbow (not too bad, but still), because he was a tad slow taking ukemi from my teacher. This was kote gaeshi where you might expect problems in the wrist area, but not this time. My teacher suddenly turned sideways and did not go for a hold/pin, but a throw. Aite was anticipating a pin and not the throw which caught him off guard and was late taking ukemi. Imagine someone floating mid air with a wrist lock being thrown sideways. The stress put in the elbow was simply too much. Pretty awesome sight, but also extremely hard to take the fall....