"A Black Belt only covers 2 inches of your ass. You have to cover the rest."
Every martial art is a system. Because of the nebulous realm that is human intraspecific physical conflict, some sort of organization is required for beginners to start to learn the particular theories and principles that work in the certain circumstances relevant to the origination of the art. The system is a really a just learning tool. A pathway to learn enough that someone can then apply the theories and principles. In most systems, a rank of shodan means that you have passed through that system to learn the basics well enough that you can now work on learning the application. That's all. You now know enough to start learning. I've heard it said that earning your shodan is the equivalent of graduating high school. Or in an even more demonstrative statement, Allen "Big Al" Carroll says in Xing Yi "Congratulations, you just graduated kindergarten."
|Martial arts is also useful for when Ninja try to steal your car|