Following the recent thread on spot promotions I've become curious as to when testing became a common practice in the Aikido world. It seems like everyone just assumes there should/must be a formal test but I'm thinking that wasn't always the case. My understanding from afar is that O'Sensei was rather casual about the whole thing. Or, am I completely wrong about that and formalized testing goes far back into our short history?
As a side bar, I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on testing, pro or con.