It is possible to become a Black Belt in about 2 1/2 - 3 years. However, it takes most people longer to attain that rank. But remember, Black Belt is just the beginning─not the end─of serious training. Black Belt indicates that the wearer is a master of the basics and is now a serious student of the art. Most people are surprised to learn that there are more forms to learn within the Black Belts than there were to reach Black Belt. From White - Senior Red Belt there are 8 forms to learn. There are 12 Black Belt forms and 17 Black Belt ranks: 4 levels of 1st Degree, 2 levels of 2nd Degree, 3 levels of 3rd Degree, 2 levels of 4th Degree and then one level each for 5th-9th Degree Black Belt. So, while it takes a minimum of 2 1/2 years to get TO Black Belt it would take a minimum of 36 years of training AFTER BECOMING a Black Belt to achieve the level of 9th Degree Black Belt if a student passed every single testing!