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Hakuin, a famous zen master of the 18th century would brush the following poem for struggling disciples:-

A quality greater
Than any precept
Or virtue
Perseverance makes people great.

Similarly perseverance is the subject of this poem from Morihei Ueshiba:-

To those who
Train and train(shugyo)
Reliance on secret techniques
Will get you nowhere

neither will quitting!

In fact the whole ethos of Japanese Budo was based on perseverance as the key quality. Traditional Ryu such as the Daito ryu deliberately taught their techniques in a vague manner with insufficient explanation. In this way those students after the "quick fix" soon became frustrated and gave up. The students with persistence remained and although progress was slow the essence of the art was gradually revealed. Thus the quality of the Budo is retained through successive generations.

This, however, was not the real reason for prolonging the learning process. As we all appreciate Budo is not really about learning techniques to become a "lean mean fighting machine", it is about the development of spirit which may ultimately lead to Satori ( a glimpse at and therefore a greater understanding of the true nature of reality). Whilst a quick learner may pick up technical aspects of budo very rapidly, spirit can only be acquired by repetitive "forging" (tanren) over a long period.

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