In traditional Japanese Martial Arts, the level of 1st Dan or Shodan means the beginning level. It is the beginning of a journey.
Traditionally, as a kyu grade, one is learning how to learn. At Shodan one begins to learn. This takes a level of maturity and willpower. In some schools a Shodan was/si unattainable (even by the best) till at least the age of 16.
I personally, don’t view age as a barrier. What is more important in my opinion is for, the individual, regardless of age or ability, to show a level of maturity in their conduct and training.
This in part, equates to taking responsibility for your own training and striving to push oneself, not waiting to be pushed . Showing the willpower to endure when pushed and having the „want“ to excel. Maturity in training means having an of understanding ones level and what it takes to make it to the next.
It takes effort to achieve and willpower to produce effort.
In Budo, the level of Shodan also means the start of adulthood and this comes with certain responsibilities and obligations, to yourself; your teacher; your fellow students and to your art.
If you can’t handle this, then best stay a kyu grade.
(převzato z FB)