The very first move of Karate, as taken from the first Heian or Pinan form, is a step to the side with a low block. But Karate was not designed for blocking. Yes, there are blocks in the art, and it can be adapted to blocking and striking modes, but it was not designed for blocking except by the way.
Karate was designed for imperial bodyguards to guard the king of Okinawa. These bodyguards were supposed to use their art in a room filled with warriors from different countries. Warriors who would have different weapons and ways of fighting, while the Okinawans had to remain unarmed.
Thus, would you block a samurai sword? Would you try to deflect a bullet? Because these were the real weapons that the bodyguards had to face.
Consider also that the first command a general might give his troops, if they were to attempt to kidnap the king of Okinawa, would be to restrain the bodyguards. This means that samurai would step forward and grab arms, perhaps preparatory to tying the hands of the bodyguards, or merely herding them from the room, or otherwise controlling them. And this means that the first defense of the bodyguards, as described by the first technique in the first form, would be to step in, dropping the weight and arm, thus escaping from the technique, and possibly head butting those who tried to grab them.
That’s right, an escape from a grab, then a violent step forward to close with and punch and shove the samurai, or whoever the warriors were. This would cause chaos and confusion. This would allow the king to escape.
Now, examine the form, look at it. This is the only way it makes sense. This is the start of what the bodyguards who created the art had in mind.
If the samurai drew a sword, the bodyguard had to rush the samurai. This is the reason for the big steps in the form, to enable the bodyguards to get close enough to maim and destroy. This explains the moves of forms that, otherwise, don’t make sense.
If a samurai attempted to grab, charge into them, head butting, then push them. This is the secret of the first technique, and this is how the art was designed to work. Thinking about the techniques in this way reveals an art that is true beyond belief, but you are going to have to put aside the way you were taught, and take further steps down this path if you are going to find the true art of karate.