Practicing classical Japanese karate in a safe and collegial setting.

You Do the Math

“Karate wa kunshi no bugei – Karate is the martial art of intelligent1 people” ~ Gichin Funakoshi


  • A full time university student takes 5 courses per academic year.
  • Each course runs for 3 hours per week for 13 weeks (plus labs and study time).
  • A three-year arts degree is delivered over 6 terms.


  • 5 courses
  • 3 hours per week
  • 13 weeks per term
  • 6 terms

5 * 3 * 13 * 6 = 1170

A student getting a three year arts degree can expect to spend 1170 hours in class per year.


  • It is reasonable to say that the average karate class lasts 1.5 hours.
  • A karate student can expect to train 3 times per week year-round – give or take (plus seminars and exercise time).
  • It takes 4 to 6 years of steady training to achieve the rank of shodan (black belt)


  • 1.5 hours per class
  • 3 nights per week
  • 52 weeks per year
  • 5 years (average of 4 to 6 years)

3 * 1.5 * 52 * [(4+6)/2] = 1170

A karate student can expect to spend an average of 1170 hours in the dojo to get a black belt.

Conclusion: it takes the same amount of time to get a black belt as it does to get a university degree.  This confirms what many of us suspected about karate and university: you don’t have to be smart, just have high pain tolerance (but it helps to be smart).

You are invited to spend your 1170+ hours at the Charles Fink Karate Dojo.


1I think “sophisticated” is a better translation but “intelligent” makes my point.

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