Re: Sempai-Kohai relationship
Yeah, lining up and who attacks whom are the least important things, since they're the trappings rather than the substance of the relationship - and they seem to have to do more with rank (especially if they are actually spoken of or enforced) than with any kind of sempai-kohai relationship.
I am no expert on any culture; however, it seems like, in mistaking some of the traditional behaviours that arise from a sempai-kohai relationship, people mistake the reflection for the root.. That is to say, people think "it's the rule for kohai to be uke first and that is one way of defining the relationship", where really a student with kohai-feeling would be looking to their sempai for instruction in a technique and a student with sempai-feeling would be making sure that their kohai was up-to-speed by interpreting sensei's technique for them. None of it would be a rule, or be spoken - but kohai would generally attack first (and if kohai thought he understood better, he would still attack first to avoid presumption) every time. To look at that and say "this is a rule that you follow to be kohai" seems like missing the whole point.