We began with the fundamental movements -- called kata. There were a couple of dozen in all. When you combined them, endless combinations & permutations arose -- but all were based on the fundamentals.
Once you absorbed the basic forms, which took years, you could begin to practice "free style" -- wherein you learned to react spontaneously in unpredictable situations. Our senior sensei’s -- Kanai, Chiba, Yamada -- would emphasize the need for "freedom" within your technique.
What do you think they meant by that?
How does all this relate to Lean transformations?