Actually our beginners group got a little correction. He did notice we land on our hip/arse first, then the rest of the body, so we were adjusted to land on the whole body instead. I just bent my knees, and fell and slapped the mat. Felt much better. At least no pain yet
Erik what you describe here sounds more like Ushiro Ukemi then a breakfall. I have been practicing aikido under a very good sensei and am testing for my yellow belt this upcoming monday and I have not done any breakfalls. I bet you are working on Ukemi's but somehow someone said/figured/thought they were doing breakfalls which can be done easily.