Not necessarily.  If you earned a kyu or dan from the Japan Karate Association we will not dispute this.  At Simba Dojo we follow the guidelines set forth by the JKA concerning rankings.  This practice better prepares the student for testing with JKA for dan (black belt) ranks.  If you earned belt rank from another Shotokan school, we do not take that from you, but we will have you start at the 10th kyu with us.  We will then allow you to test out to your kyu potential at your first grading.  So then, you have not wasted time and money at another school if you transfer over.

If you were studying something other than Shotokan Karate, you will find there are some differences in the kata and training, but may seem to be somewhat familiar.  This is because each family of karate systems have adopted certain kata from older systems and have changed it over time.  After generations, the separate families who have trained in karate have evolved karate in slightly different directions.  This is why we start everyone out in the 10 kyu though you may have intense experience in another school.  Your previous training should excel you in the practice of karate at Simba Dojo and should never be considered wasted time and money.