Ok I know the above quote doesn't automatically concern sword fighting being about wrestling however it chimes well with thoughts I've been having recently about improving my performance.
I, like most people I imagine, historically have done a lot of my training at half speed. Partly this is to train mechanically correct actions but partly this is habit, it's much easier to get everything just so at half speed. The reality is that this must skew my training as badly as other bad habits, by repeating my actions at slow speed I'm learning to respond at this slow speed.
The solution is simple, ensure my training profile has 10 or so reps of the action at slow speed and then ramp up the speed. The theory is that the first set of rep you aim for "full speed" and with practice this will quickly become your middle speed rather than your true full speed. If you then aim to increase this you will move your average to a higher and higher speed.
The challenge will be creating drills that allow me to learn speed within a context involving an opponent as there is little point learning to be fast against thin air.