John Roseberry-Shihan started Sho-Rei-Shobu-Kan in 1971, and we now have affiliate schools in at least seven different states and two foreign countries. All organization students who test for black belt in Karate do so at Hombu Dojo here in Lincoln, under the authority of Shihan. Over the past forty years, from all these different schools across the world, Shihan has only awarded about three-hundred Shodan certificates (mine is #287). That works out to around seven a year. It seems as though some other places give out that many in a month, at one single school.
Roseberry’s is not a black belt factory, we don’t sell our belts. If you’re just interested in buying one, Sensei Dave said he will sell you one for seven dollars and then you can go away and stop wasting his time (but it doesn’t come with authentication). My family and I are the most recent people from Hombu Dojo to achieve Shodan in Karate. That was in 2009, and it will probably be another year or two before anyone else from Lincoln tests for black belt. At eighteen, I believe my daughter is currently the second-youngest person in the entire organization to hold the rank of Shodan in Karate.
I’ve heard it said that the difference between our blacks belts and some “other” black belts is that if you lined up ten of each, only one of theirs would actually be able to fight, and only one of ours wouldn’t ;) All I know is that when it comes to collectibles, the lower the number you have, the more valuable it is. As far as I’m concerned, #287 is priceless.