At the beginning of class tonight we took a microscope to tegatana, what did we see and that sort of thing. Each student had(has) something different on their turn but tonight my problem was where I was going while doing the kata. I seemed to be moving through a much wider space going through the moves than some of the other people as I was somehow taking longer/further steps. Sensei brought up a point that people have the idea that while doing pushes we have a tendency to step further out because our brain is in "attack mode" but even with a shomen ate all we need to do is take that one average step forward instead of a lunge. Tonight I also realized I have that problem in reverse as well, I'm stepping further out of the way than I should. The same average step applies to that as well, I don't need to back all the way to ma'ai or further just to dodge an attack.
That led to a discussion of attack ranges and ma'ai spacing. At a distance of 15 feet or more an attacker can do almost anything to attack and the defender can basically move anywhere to get away. But as the encounter distance closes into ma'ai the attacker's choices of things to do to you decreases, i.e. no more throwing things or lui kang bicycle kicks and more down to the normal kicking and punching. But at the same time i suppose it lessens the things tori has to defend against to the point to where whatever attack is executed there really IS only a minimal amount of moving or defense that tori would need to do to counter.