Whilst re-reading the ebook "The application of the Pinan/Heian katas" I have had the following thought and would like others opinions.
In much of the research and thinking displayed here, it is agreed that the order of the first two Kata were reversed at around the same time they were introduced to the school syllabus. Probably, and in support of my point, after they had been in school for a while.
Here is my thought. A childs experiences of physicality are different from an adults and the re-ordering of the kata reflect this.
Many people are confused into thinking that physically and mentally children are simply short adults. Doctors giving medical dosages, police officers making arrests, coaches insisting on flexibility for kids who can tie themselves in knots. It happens all the time. In the case of this forum/website the confusion might take the shape of thinking that children experiencing the need for self protection is simply a weaker/slower version of adult confrontation.
Firstly most childrens No1 concern is not mugging, rape, murder or attacks by drunks etc it is bullying; mental and physical. As such giving a child "peace of mind" requires dealing first and foremost with this issue. Bullies do not seek to injure, this will get them into trouble, they seek to intimidate. Grabbing, squeezing, head-locking, pushing etc are their weapons. The child being bullied needs to be lulled into a false sense of security, or worse is already so intimidated that defence is not an option, and so the whole pre 'fight' exchange is missing. The result is that a child using self protection needs to deal with the 'establishing of grips' FIRST. Hence once Itosu and Funakoshi where dealing with children they reversed the order of the first two kata.
Secondly the founders of the various school were not faultless supermen, but they did understand the psychology of violence. If, as I think we all agree, these men were able to dissect the physical and mental aspects of violence for adults, then is it not equally acceptable that they soon recognised that childrens experiences are different from adults.
I think this makes sense for the vast majority of childrens fears and 'fights'. Yes I know children are capable of appalling acts of violence, but these are not the every day. As Iain has pointed out on many occasions Karate was not constructed as a battlefield weapon, it is for the mundane. For most children most of the time it is about getting peace of mind by keeping the bullies away.
What do you think.
p.s most of my thoughts are based around the writing on page 4 and 5 of the introduction, and my experience working in schools.