"...... getting the hands back to guard to protect the head as quickily as possible, but being required
to pull the punch back to ready thrust at the waist high position did not sit well with me."
Someone more scholarly than myself is probably better equiped to respond with the 'general knowlege ' answer for this requirement
. If I had to pass judgment on why TMA's do this it's because in their basics it is taught this way as a training aid to force hip rotation .
Off with the 'Training Wheels'
In fighting maintaining a built in defence is paramount to survival. Maintaining the neutral guard 'hands up'position protects the rib area and the head while allowing for quick countering (closest weapon, closeset target) Thus, you live to fight again another day .......
If this teaching methodology is the norm and not the exception it is probably the symptom of a non- fighter teacher .....(not that there is anything wrong with that ).What is wrong is if ya tell me your teaching me fighting ....... it'd be nice if ya knew how to fight yourself !!!
Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining !!