I saw the title of this thread on another forum yesterday. Some Sin Moo guy was saying rather nasty things about Gm Pelligrini and about the time it took him to reach 9th Dan.
I have never met Mr Pelligrini, but I must say that his new book on Combat HKD is one of the most honest and refreshing martial arts reads that I've ever read.
My own HKD instructor in Ireland became 4th Dan in Sin Moo Hapkido in '92 after a 4 day course. That's right from no knowledge of HKD to 4th Dan in 4 days. Before that he was an outstanding kickboxer and 4th dan in Kyukoshinkai Karate. He is now 9th Dan. That's right 18 tears training in HKD and he's 9th Dan. Funnily enough, that's the same rank progression as Gm Pelligrini. The only difference is that Gm Pelligrini tested for 1st-3rd dan also. Now I am not slating anyone. My Hapkido instructor is an amazing practitioner. I really enjoyed training with him, so much so that I took private classes 4x per week and every group class. My work mate and I would do all our private classes together and while working nights, we would train there too, we enjoyed it that much. And, due to our constant, everyday (for multiple hours) training and previous martial arts experience, we tested for chodan in only 5 months.
That being said, I can't understand why anyone would have a problem with Gm Pelligrini's rank. He has progressed at a slower level through the ranks that many Sin Moo practitioners. I like what he has done in making Hapkido accessible to everyone by taking out the high, impractical kicks and the meditation/ki development and has left it up to the individual what they emphasize (military combatives, police defensive tactics, ASP ect). I like it so much that I am seriously considering joining his association.
The other complaint about Gm Pelligrini on the other forum was that he is all about the money. Well, yes he does have DVDs for sale, but they are cheap compared to many associations and his association dues are reasonable too. Maybe the complainant means that he is cashing in on the vast numbers joining GmP's association, but if this is the case, surely he is offering a product that people want and are happy with. I'm all about capitallistic endevours.