There are alot of good replys and I agree about the different learning styles (visual, auditory, feeling), but IMO those are valid for sharing the new technique and knowledge so the student can replicate it.
But, what I have found after 2 1/2 yrs. of teaching is that to often a student will go over a technique but they don't own the technique. They understand on a mental level the concepts it's trying to show and accomplish, but as you said about the Japanese they don't "feel that it's right". The only way to accomplish this (sports psych.) is through 3,000 to 5,000 reps of the technque to put it into the subconscious mind. That is why they wanted the student to do more and talk less. By talking about it only they "think" they have the technique but they don't on the physical level.
Hope this helps out some.
"There are many who talk about the path, but few who walk the path."