Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali
kata and training slowly is very important for imprinting good habits.
That said, you need to eventually speed things up and learn to deal with more resistant technique if you hope to be able to deal witih the multitude of factors that will come out you physically and emotionally if you ever hope to apply things for real.
Both have there place. There is more to training correctly than training slowly, methodically, and repititiously but I guess that depends on your personal goals.
Still not really clear on the higher level thing as you define it. The understanding from my point of view of learning slowly, methodically is that you will learn how to correctly apply principles and theory...slowly and methodically...nothing more. What would that have to do with obtaining a higher level?
What is the end state of this higher level?