Was just thinking while doing kihon the other day. I dont think stepping backwards shows up too much in Shotokan kata that is taught up to 1st dan (i know in Bassai Dai there is one sequence where 3 knifehands going forward and 1 backward). Is stepping backward emphasized in basic kihon (EG rising block step backward into front stance, downward block, etc) because when Karate was introduced at the university level, due to space limitations, easier to go backwards and forwards in a straight line as well as it seemed to fit the militarized style of calesthetics? Is going backwards not in kata because as I heard one well known karate instructor say "theres no future in going backwards"? in otherwards its not a good idea in self defense? Seems like there is a lot of going forwards, getting to certain angles, pivoting for throws, etc. ive read iain's article on stances, but I would just like to get everyones thoughts on going backwards.