small class training(per month) to have real hand to hand ability. Another 100 hours,plus having taught quite a bit, and I got pretty good, and yet another 100 hours made me truly "unharmable by the untrained man"(assuming no weapons), which is SUPPOSED to be the standard for the first degree black belt. 2nd degree means the same, with TWO attackers. 3rd degree means the same, for 1 man with most types of non-projectile weapons. 4th degree means the same, weapons, with 2 men. 5th degree means he can do all that, and has taught so many people, and become so popular, that he is a serious asset to the furtherance of the training-style. Beyond such levels of ability, "rank" is all pretty much "political" in nature, cause they CAN'T become more able to handle an attack.