I am about to join my universities' Iaido club (I live in Japan). Having seen demonstrations several times and tried it once before, I know what to expect, and have no doubt that I will appreciate the experience. Still, there is one thing that I have been wondering about Iaido: why are the transitions between movements relatively slow. The swings/thrusts are done at full speed, but in videos I have seen of high level practitioners, transitions are still done in clearly visible steps.
Now I know that Iaido is no spectator sport and need to be flashy. And I appreciate the precision that goes with every move. But I can't help but wonder if there aren't other practical reason, that I am missing. Perhaps the movements are so deceptively difficult that it takes a lot of effort to get the form correctly even at any level? Or perhaps experts do practice at a higher speed and demonstrations are purposely slowed down? Or perhaps it depends on the style?
Or is it a simple case of that is just how the art is.