when we talk about 'punishment' we are really talking about spirit (not the soul-spirit kind, the fighting-spirit kind).

Everyone seems to have different learning methods that work well for them, but not as well for others. The trick is matching how you learn best to an instructor that teaches that way.

everyone knows the stereotypical 'negative' instructors...from the nightmarish to obscene to the rediculous. image: kobra-kai.

but here are some of the different positive teaching methods I've been a part of and exposed to:

There are 'militant' style instructors, when attention to detail, show of spirited respect and 'can do' attitude is what they try to foster. not much time for thinking in class, it's just 'do this and do it EXACTLY this way'. later (after class) you can ask why. during class there are no questions and no talking. dicipline is strict but not unfair. you get hit during class, but not excessive and not out of masocism. sparing is hard and spirit is encouraged over skill/technique.
This learning method is good in the strength and spirit development, but lacking in the mind/tactics/meaning development. In that regard, it's a bit shallow and only a surface of the Art. IMO.

Another type of teaching/learning method is by allowing students to dicipline themselves. The ones who don't show a desire to learn or don't show respect or completely lack self-discipline get less attention and eventually drop out from boredom. This kind of class is a 'lead by example' model as oppossed to 'drill seargent'. It's not passive or less spirited, but the spirit comes from a different place. the drill seargent draws your spirit out by using your fear. The 'lead by example' instructor draws your spirit out with your admiration.

Another type is passive-agressive. The type that don't dicipline by giving tasks (pushups,etc) or yell or embarrass, etc. They can dicipline with a look or a few words of disapproval. even with a firm 'suggestion' you are doing something wrong can snap you into never repeating that mistake again. This attitude in the students can only come from an instructor that has the respect of the student. so the student feels he/she doesn't want to 'disappoint' their teacher. The spirit which can be drawn from this is the greater of the other two I mentioned. again, IMO. but for young pre/teenage years, sometimes the drill seargent can be a perfect fit....and later as the student develops and matures, a more 'think and feel for yourself' approach is best.

just from my point of view.
p.s. does anyone object to me moving this thread to 'Teaching and Learning' ?