What does the kata "need" to do ?Basically it needs to complete itself and this is done by 99% of movement being displayed as forward movement.
It needs to define the correct angle of your body facing his in relation to his forward attacking momentum.This is done in the kata by moving on 45 and 90 degree angles in the kata and to complete the form it is always shown as moving forward or in the case of naihanchi//tekki sideways.
A 45 degree angle shown as moving forward generally assumed as moving directly into an attack can be interpreted as stepping back on a 45 degree angle thus redirecting his force enabling other opportunitys than simply slugging it out kuzushi or unbalancing prior to a lock or throw or enhancing the effectiveness of a strike come to mind.
Once you accept the fact that you are only facing one opponent at a time and not training to defeat multiple opponents interpretation becomes easier .
Once you remove the technique from the "need" for the kata (and from the kata itself) to complete itself many possible directional maneuvers become evident .
Because a kata can not make the unknown evident it can only attempt to show basic entrys and evasions not what your opponents likely reaction will be to these entrys and evasions and that is where a fully resisting partner comes in .
KATA also seems to imply all movements are responses to punching or kicking attempts .At the very least 50% of the techniques are grappling reversals to a grabbing or grappling attempt .To deny or ignore or worse deny these possibilitys makes your art less than a total combative method.
I think it was Machiavelli in his *Art of War* that said "The greatest reward for a fighting man is simply to trust him." That resonated. I'd worked for a ...