I agree and i really don't understand this critics about the game.
As far as i know Shenmue III was never supposed to be a trilogy, Shenmue was never supposed to end in the third game, so is not a flaw that Shenmue III ended on a cliffhanger.
In Shenmue II Ryo was not able to defeat Xiuying in a fight.
Xiuying said this to Ryo... "You won't survive if you can't even defeat me."
it wasn't a surprise to me that Ryo couldn't defeat or hit Lan Di in Shenmue III, it was the first real fight and it makes sense that this was the result of the fight, it makes sense and i enjoyed the fight.
It is clear to me that Ryo is not ready to defeat Lan Di. Probably one day Ryo will be ready both mentally and physically but is not time yet.
With this fight i can see that Ryo improved as a martial artist, before the fight even Lan Di recognized that. It was not enough to defeat Lan Di, but Ryo is improving little by little with the things he learns with the people he meet along the way, and to me this is beautiful, i enjoy the slow pace in Shenmue about these things, i love that Ryo's journey is a slow pace journey, i love that Ryo's journey is this way.