if you are training for lethal combat, you had better not do a lot of freeform practice at the beginning, you'd be better off doing it like the guys in the first video you posted.
But you have to do freeform practise anyway.
OTOH, maybe the people who said things like 'in order to really reach an understanding of mortal combat it is necessary for both adepts to don men, kote, and other pieces of protective equipment and forge oneself through the confusion encountered by engaging in daring unrestricted training'*
or 'just doing the forms and saying to yourself, "I did it," isn't enough. I always tell my students they have to practice the forms and they have to actually strike people in competitive bouts to be able to understand the art.'**
* Yamada Heizaemon
** Sawada Hanae