For many years the disciple must avidly seek to 'steal their teacher's art'. This involves being exceedingly cunning, diligent and earnest.
The aim is to pass belts rapidly and skilfully; to race through the syllabus.
The apprentice must work much harder than they expect to. Harder than every other student in the school. They must outpace all competition.
They must meet the master's standards, not their own.
The apprenticeship stage lasts for the equivalent of 7 years full-time study: approximately 10,000 hours of quality tuition and practice.