Re: To Test, or not to Test
At our dojo, we join with others in our area about 4 times a year for testing.
The requirements are fairly straight forward: Number of Days required between ranks, specific techniques and skills for the rank.
We have our students sign in and keep count of their hours. When it is close to testing, we review the sign in book, look to see if anyone is close, and if they are.....and if they can do the techniques required, then we allow them to test. That is the way my original dojo did it. That is the way we do it.
I wouldn't allow someone to test if a) they can''t do the techniques on command. or b) if they don't come regularly to the dojo (meaning, they need to ramp up for the test...)
On the higher tests, however....including my own....I believe that you have to have more than just techniques and time. 1st kyu, shodan, nidan...sandan.....those tests are so similar that you have to ask yourself how can you differentiate yourself. What do you do differently on your nidan test that you didn't do on your shodan test? A little less tangible in terms of deciding 'when' to test.
As far as to test or not....well, I'm not a rank hog, but testing provides some level of measurement and qualification (...some...)....they show you and your teacher where you are physically, and emotionally....so not a total waste of time