I don't believe in Shu Ha Ri. I don't believe we must first be encased in form, then break out of it, and only then be free. We are always simultaneously within form and free of form.
This description of shu ha ri doesn't remotely jive with my understanding of it. First off, I agree with Mr. Goldsbury that shu ha ri really describes a relationship with a teacher and that for most students without that personal relationship, shu ha ri is not a model that they will be able to follow very well even in a dojo with instructors present.
To me, shu is not about form, it"s about learning and obeying the fundamentals of the art in question from your teacher. It's about working on what you're told to work on even if you don't want to work on that. When you learn scales, you don't question why at first, you just do it and you trust that your teacher is teaching those scales for a good reason. If the teacher half to the relationship is any good, these fundamentals include form, but they also should include all the principles with the form taught as tools
to explore the principles.
I've more not fully developed thoughts, but it's late and these budo twins I'm hanging out with tonight are telling interesting training stories, so hopefully I'll stop back later.