Thanks for all the input. Unfortunately I don't think I'll have the opportunity to learn this first hand unless someone happens to give a local seminar on it since no one from my dojo rolls this way. It definitely looks less abusive than a standard breakfall which is why it interests me so much. I'd like to be able to train intensely without worrying about possible long term damage (I'm not exactly 18 anymore!)
What Kevin and Opher said about the back hand makes a lot of sense. I'll have to play with that tonight before class. If any of you have any other insight or specific exercises you could share, I would be very grateful.