I was thinking today about possible origins of the opening 2 moves in the first pinan form. We step out to the left into a front stance and simultaneously execute a low block, then step forward and punch with the right.
Taken literally, it just seems so wrong. We know from Iain's videos, as well as common sense, that it makes no sense that you're blocking an incoming kick from the side, so I think we can rule that out.
While playing with it out in my garden today, it occurs to me that as we step out, if we just exaggerate that step very slightly, it almost becomes a side kick. And if that apparent low block is a bit more exaggerated, it doesn't seem to me to be inconceivable that it becomes either a hammer fist strike or a block and grab. We see exactly that at least twice in later pinan forms.
But this generates a problem. Slightly. If we make that step into a side kick, then it kind of kicks and then just lands. There's no return to chamber. It just lands when it runs out of energy at the end of the extension phase. On the plus side, it does kind of land in something between a front stance and a horse stance, which is where the text book step and block puts us.
So now I'm wondering about the side kick. I know Funakoshi describes a variant of it as a trample kick, and we know that it can be used to strike and then scrape down the opponents leg. From this then, is it fair to say that the old side kick didn't necessarily return to chamber? And if that's the case, also taking into account that Funakoshi said that kicking is the last resort, that the modern, snappy version that has us fire it out, sometimes head height, and snap it back again, is a later, competition oriented adaptation? Equally, is it possible I've gone off on a ridiculous tangent?