The benefits to slo-mo training? ... cascade as follows:
=== Getting Your Inner Grok On ===
Let's say that in a self-defense dojo, they're going to teach you a defense to a drunken knife attack (ha!).
Most places, the instructor will "demonstrate" it in full speed with a cooperative student, mostly for the sake of impressing you. Then, he'll give you two or three checkpoints about the defense, explaining with a fair amount of drama why you want don't want to block this other way, 'cause you could have it hit you in the face, or whatever. Then he'll say, be sure to turn the wrist back THIS way, cause if anybody gets cut that way IT WILL BE THE BAD GUY!, and etc etc.
In aikido, likely a student will attack in slow-motion with a wooden blade, and the sempai will shift the back foot and back hip, in slow motion.
Stop. Why move the foot that way? Why move it that particular distance?
And so on.
Here comes the energy, in slow motion. The sempai's forearm glides up, smoothly, as the sempai's back knee dips a bit and the sempai exhales. The forearm makes a "cross" under the attacker's forearm, at a very particular place on both forearms.
Stop. Why do the forearms touch there? What happens if they don't (which, in practice, they will not)?
Okay, the contact between forearms takes place. The sempai's forearm begins turning in a corkscrew motion, and the back foot begins swinging around, as though the attacker is pushing open a window. The blade seems to be "engulfed" in the attacker and the attacker's forearm is very safely riding on the outside of the sempai's forearm; there is NO chance of blade touching either party, or a third party. How exactly do these movements relate?
It's beautiful to watch, and happens to be a movement I can execute myself pretty well at parties and whatnot. But try it with a Shotokan green belt. :- ) He doesn't even get his wrist UNDER your blade, much less under it at the right point. He doesn't "grok" the way in which the attacker's leading hand "pushes" him out of the way.
Watch the average American hitter in the on-deck circle -- high school, college, more often than in the majors. If he's swinging, he's swinging in time to the live pitch on the diamond, as though he were hitting a home run from the on-deck circle.
In the majors they do this usually with the first little bit of a bat launch, but then check their swings.
Contrast Ichiro, who is doing what? Rehearsing his swing -- in slow motion. And stretching out his lower body, so that he can engage his weight in the movement. And meditating.
In aikido, there is a saying: "Before you can take another person's balance, you must first learn to control your own balance." Ichiro is not out on the on-deck circle visualizing home runs. He is making sure that he himself is well-organized, that his own responsibilities (within the sports moment) are taken care of.
It's the difference between "greed for success" -- skipping all the boring vegetables to get to dessert -- and being "in the moment." As Bruce Lee said, "It's not about winning. It's about perfection."
The first thing that slow-motion training does: it gives you, for the first time in your life, an understanding of everything you are doing. Then, and only then, can you repeat it at will, and modify it at will, and accomplish it at will under crisis.
First understand, then predict, then control. First learn walk, then learn fly. Nature rule, Daniel-san, not mine.