Perhaps I should pose this question, (particularly to David and Chris).
How would you react if your teacher promoted someone who had never set foot into an aikido dojo, or examined the physical side of the art for a minute over you in your own dojo? Do you think that that person would be capable of preserving the art? How would you fell about that promotion?
You mean, like Masao Tonedate
? It doesn't much matter to me what rank anybody has.
If you're talking about instruction, I wouldn't expect somebody not trained in certain things to be instructing in those things, no matter their rank. Just as I don't like it when Aikido people not well trained in a weapon teach that weapon, regardless of their rank. Other than that it really doesn't matter much does it?