February 27, 2020 Israel
One of the questions that comes up often is: How long will it take me to earn a rank in this style?
In most styles the answer is simple. Tests are scheduled at regular intervals, there is a manual with what you need to know for each rank and the required number of lessons or time period between ranks. All quite simple, industrialized, organized.
It is like a well oiled machine. We can accurately tell a customer how soon we can have his order of 100 phones ready. But now let's go back to an earlier period, to the time everything was made by hand. How long will it take to make a Persian carpet with a particular design? How long will it take to write a novel, compose a song, paint an original painting? Now this is more difficult to answer. It depends.
This is how it is with IKI Krav Maga. It depends, it is very individual. Thus, when prospective students ask me, how long will it take to earn a black belt, I simply respond; it depends.
On what does it depend?
On you. How talented or athletic are you? What kind of pervious experience do you have? (some will help you progress and some will slow down your progress), How much time do you have to train? Do you have an open mind or will you resist what I am trying to teach you?
There are many factors. I have students whom after many years have not attained a level I am happy with. There are other students who after a relatively short period of training look like veteran black belts. Simply put, they get it. They understand how IKI works, they understand what I am trying to say, they see the thread that runs through all the techniques, they understand how all the techniques are related. If you get it - It should not take very long to reach a high level, and that is precisely the point.
I want a system that is easy to learn and use effectively. I don't want it to take five years to earn a black belt. It should not take that long to attain skills that can save your life.
So why do other systems insist on a certain time frame? The answer is usually either tradition or business. Tradition is the idea that a student must mature gradually, develop patience, character etc. Business is quite simple; if you can earn your ranks quickly you also might leave quickly, and the instructor wants you to stay, and pay.
So the program might call for a five year period to earn your black belt. You must sign a contract and hand over bank details. You see the point.
Our goal is to teach a system that is easy to master in a short period of time, not so you can have a new piece of paper to hand on the wall, but that you should be able to defend yourself. The diploma is merely a statement of recognition of what you have attained. I do not give you a black belt, I simply recognize that you have attained the level of black belt.