Larry Camejo wrote:
...The reason that kata training does not develop these things so much is because certain elements such as ma ai, metsuke, mushin, sensitivity and ability to respond to subtle changes in motion/intent/power of an attack are either already present (i.e. pre-set) or non-existent (not addressed) in the practice of set forms...
I guess my understanding of kata is different. All things you mention are addressed when I practice kata.
Ma ai: Various techniques and ukes have different ma ai's. By practicing various kata with various uke, you develop an inherent understanding of ma ai.
Metsuke: If you make a conscious effort to be aware of it, you'll be practicing it. I think it's the same awareness as a previous poster said you should have during these drills.
Mushin: It's all about perspective. If you step up to the line to perform a technique, stay aware of all directions and maintain a conscious, yet non-committed, awareness of the technique to be performed, I think that works on mushin.
I think sensitivity and ability is the result of the type of practice I describe above.
Just my thoughts. I'm not trying to say the stuff is good or bad. I just don't see how you'd benefit from it anymore than you would kata.