I would like to say that I don't know what cultural differences you're talking about. Bullying is currently alive and well as an American tradition. It happends with teachers watching from the time kids are in grade school until well past college. Often it's the primary mode of organization. Only the most formidable teachers I've ever seen are capable of making their students see past this.
This extends throughout the political, academic, intimate, and Aikido world as well as many others. I have ugly example from each one. Let's not forget why there are so many of us (west and east and north and south) who believe that bullying is wrong.
I have no problem with pain itself, it's a signal, I can read it. My practice is perfectly honest. I can elaborate, but that's not my point in this post.