There exists an incredible amount of information within kata and form. Any number of teachers from Japanese to Chinese will talk about the precision required to understand certain things; from angles within your own body, to angles to contact other bodies, to some very important lessons with weapons. All require you to absorb those lessons through rote training in order to-bind- your body and mind to a way to move. It's like rewiring your brain. And all of that is to attain? Freedom, and newly attained (educated) natural movement. From there you move to individual expression which now "expresses" an art form.
There is no other way to understand an art for what it
is, not what you
will make of it-or simply just butcher.
You can include the latest interest of some; individual internal training/ aiki. Although outside of any single art, even then, there is precision required to get things right to control the mind/ body, that is inescapable as well.
FWIW, you can train with any number of BJJ or MMA people who will scoff at Kata and traditional training. Sooner or later you will hear as they go through moves...."Okay, now lets drill it!
Do it ten times; first slow, then faster."
I think the arts are plagued with too many people trying to represent them who are utterly bereft of any real ability to do so. Instead what they are representing often is a very real incomplete understanding. If you are trying to preserve something like an art, than all individual expressions are not equal.
P.S. If you have an interesting and well educated budo teacher there may be a richness to the experience, involving both them and some of their contemporaries as well.