So I think that with enough practice a body can learn how to handle the sudden forward fall and turn even that into a back roll. But ufortuatly I suspect this takes a lot longer and probably more vigerous practice than your group would be up for.
Funny you say that....I have had a situation affecting my forward rolls on the left for some time. I find that I also can often easily turn them into back falls (not rolls but falls, as I don't "do" backrolls) and the more I do it the easier I get.
Aside: I have for some time felt that the difficulty I experience was not "psychological" but neurological - almost like a Parkinsons movement disorder - and according to an excellent long piece in a recent New Yorker, research on "yips" type of issues in golf + similar issues for baseball players, musicians, etc indeed ARE a form of dytonia and often involve the nervous system calling for the firing of antagonistic muscles so close together they mess with each other.