Shito-Ryu's belt requirements are memorizing different kata, combination's, counter attacks and stances.
If he practiced 5 days a week and they had no time limit on belt testing you can very easily skill up through the belts.
Some of the higher belts (atleast in our school) make you fight kumites. Our sensei's sensei is Sensei Tanaka up in Alaska and he has to be flown in or you have to fly out to him for your black belt testing.
I'd say 10 months of constant training combined with good physical intelligence and memory and you could get a black belt. Realize though all that belt means is that you've memorized 20 katas, a bunch of counter attacks and combinations. He has the spirit of what makes Shito-Ryu its specific style but he does not have the combat training/sparring training yet.
That may very well have been true when the thread left off... two years ago. Perhaps a follow-up with some new information on Mr. Hammer would be interesting.
Originally Posted by Ryan423