Nice article by the Daily Collegian.   One of the few times I remember the reporter actually spending an adequate amount of time and effort trying to understand the terminology, spellings, and subtleties.  Maybe it's because the journalist was also a fencer on the varsity team?  We had an interesting sidebar conversation about the similarities of fencing for points/touches to tournament sparring and the limited application of both for "real" combat. 

It was also somewhat different in that it was one of the few groups where everyone was actively engaged, most were in shape, and they could actually apply the movements.  Very encouraging and motivating from the content provider perspective!
There are at least two, some say four, perspectives used with imagery and visualization. 
The first two are probably the most commonly used: 
1) Internal, or First Person perspective - where you imagine what you actually experience during the scenario (hear, taste, feel, see, smell).   
2) External, or Third Person perspective - you image as if watching yourself on videotape, like a spectator. 

I find both of these techniques useful when learning new movements or skills.  By using both perspectives and mentally rehearsing the kata movements or knife disarms (for
example), it can accelerate learning and retention.  First I image using the internal perspective.  If there’s a part that seems unclear or not fluid, I’ll often switch to
the external perspective and rehearse what it should look like.  It’s also a viable technique if you can’t “see”yourself doing the move: “remember” what it looked like when your instructor, sensei, or coach did it, then “see” yourself doing the same movement externally.  Then move back to the internal perspective to really lock it in.  
The final two perspectives mentioned by Asken, Grossman and Christenson are: 
3) Other - how your adversary will view you and your actions
4) Top-Down view – as if you were observing from above your actions, like from a blimp. 
This is said to allow for an evaluation of tactics and strategy and to step out of the action for analysis.

Bottom line is that some of these work better than others depending on individual preferences and learning styles.   If you’re not familiar with all four, why not try a new one and see what happens?

When practicing your kata, try to visualize your opponents when performing your techniques.  But don’t only “see” them; try to incorporate all of your other senses as well.  What would you Hear during the confrontation?  Are there crowd noises?  Is he shouting at you?  Can you hear gravel on the ground as your/their feet move?  What can you smell?  Sweat?  Fear? Gasoline?  What can you taste?  Is your mouth dry (also a feeling).  Can you taste sweat?  Smoke? What are you feeling? Fear? Excitement? Cold?  Someone grabbing you or pushing on your body?  The authors (Asken et. al.) indicate that using all of your senses during visualization promotes the best transference of imagery responses to the real situation.

One way to practice this skill is to sit in a quiet place and mentally practice your kata(s).  Try to incorporate all of your senses, whether it’s for a series of moves, or even individual moves. Anytime there’s a change of direction in your form, this is a great place
to add or change details in your visualization.  Did you just hear a sound that captures
attention? Turn to look, what do you see? Bring the details to mind, down to the individual colors in garments or surroundings.

This, like any skill, can be developed with practice, so start working some of these sessions into your training progressions.