IME, if you get good instruction and feedback, it should -not- take many years to develop basic or rudimentary skills. I've seen people start to be able to "do stuff" within 6 months, under the right teacher.
Yes, you have to practice, and practice mindfully. And, there are infinite layers of skill that we'll spend the rest of our lives striving for as we refine and build on what we have. But that is not the same thing as being given the tools at the outset to start building your foundation. If it took years and years to get a foundation in, we'd all be living in grass huts.