It is very unfortunate that, to train in a formal way we have to go through repeated techniques of one type, whereas ideally we want to be changing our technique every time to respond to that particular uke and that attack. How do we simulate this? Possibly a lot of it is attitude? Possibly just later on we have to develop the fluidity.
I spend some of my evenings in the other extreme. Virtually every night we do free form practice. Check that, virtually every minute of every night is free form practice. I think we do the flow/feeling/listening/blending thing fairly well.
But we have other issues. For instance, I was working with a 3rd kyu recently who moved her body to blend with my grab and did so exceptionally well. The problem was, she didn't know what to do after she moved. I think many of the world's 3rd kyu's would have known in the context of that event but that most of them wouldn't have been where she was.
You gain in one, you lose in the other. Something about balance.
PS: I don't think you just gain flow through years of work in form (I think it can be a base in the right environment). You've got to practice flow but the paradox is that you can't do flow. Otherwise, it becomes version 16, 3, 97 and 214 masquerading as flow which is more commonly what I feel, and do, for that matter.