Although getting a black belt is not the goal in Aikido, it takes a minimum of at least five, six, seven years or more to achieve that level of proficiency. It is not unusual for practitioners to train for ten, fifteen, twenty years having no particular aspirations for black belt level but just enjoying the training as an important part of their daily life. The best way to approach Aikido training is to simple enjoy each class, each accomplishment, each moment and to recognize one’s continued growth and improvement. The true goal, again, is not to get a black belt but to enhance one’s character while developing a deep appreciation for and understanding of all of the inner and outer aspects of Aikido. Then, as time goes by, one eventually makes their way up through the various ranks below black belt and, as a result of their efforts, may find themselves preparing for their black belt test.