Edwin Spoonfagle wrote:
Does anyone know whether this is traditional Japanese or just a personal teaching style?
Based on my limited experience, the older generation of Sensei I've encountered tend to teach in this way. They don't explain so much and expect the students to 'copy exactly'. In this way, students 'internalize physically' the movements. It's a bit harder to learn from these Sensei because you tend to miss the subtler parts of the technique. I guess you can call it a traditional Japanese way of teaching, where students are supposed to 'steal' the technique from the Sensei.
Having trained in Japan under different Sensei, I find the younger Japanese Sensei tend to explain the movements more fully... so, the traditional way of teaching (even in Japan) may be slowly fading...