Re: should there be an age for black belts?
All that means Rebecca was that yours wrists were taken care of by your dojo mates. Might have been the normal care taken for a beginner but care all the same.
A little incorrect. Shodokan has 12 year old black belts - but these are referred to as student grades. When they join adult class its right to the bottom but they can advance quite fast. There is at least one guy with Dan grade now who is not 17. There is some restriction to people joining the adult class with no Aikido experience before 17 or so but we have people as young as 12 in the adult class that are given permission based on how they perform in the children's classes. Every now and then an even younger child is allowed to join a single adult class.
Shodan for us really does indicate beginning level - not Mastery.