I think an important thing to consider regarding backward rolls is that you probably never really have to do them in Aikido practice if you don't want to. I know that some sensei are categorically against them, as some very serious injuries are reputed to have resulted from them, especially in crowded training situations.
Personally, I'm not sure if I have ever taken a backward roll from an actual throw in over five years of Aikido practice. In the vast majority of back falls, the energy is mostly downward, and nowhere near as horizontally directed and near enough to the ground to necessitate them.
Learning how to do a backward roll may have some utility, in that the body position is virtually identical to a forward roll, and it might be a good movent pattern to have available for a rainy day - like if you fall out of a moving car or off of a motorcycle- but, for the most part, I think they are an overemphasized beginner practice.
Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 11-06-2002 at 06:39 PM.