The traditional approach of 'monkey see, monkey do' might be fine in another culture, but it is just not that interesting as a student. It is the difference between memorization vs. understanding.
I disagree with this as a blanket statement. When used by an instructor who does not understand the technique himself/herself, "monkey see, monkey do" isn't the most effective teaching technique -- that's where it fails. But look at the typical Western model of "learning", where the student insists that the instructor prove the worth/truth of what he/she is saying before the student will give it a try. It all sounds very bold and independent and un-sheep-like, doesn't it? The only problem is that if the new student gets the explanation demanded, he/she lacks the experience and knowledge to understand it. The student has thus set an insurmountable barrier to learning that only serves to confirm his/her comfortable prejudices.
Sometimes -- a great deal of the time, in fact, where physical skills are involved -- you just have to get some miles under the tires before you can understand the theory behind what you're doing. It may not be "interesting", but that's just the drill if you want to learn rather than be entertained.