Re: Frustration about testing
Welcome to Aikiweb David
Only one simple thing to say: you are putting way too much importance on rank. Instead of thinking of skill and knowledge, which are the more important issues.
The Belt is only meant to hold your Gi. The color of the belt is not important. People respect the person they train with, and his level of skill, not his belt.
As a somewhat veteran BB, the thing that frustrates me the most is a new person seeing my belt color and responding to it, rather then to my actions. Once a student stays for a few months, I will find the opportunity to show him I can fumble too, and he should act to my actions and not the color of my belt.
So, do not count the number of years you practice and compare belt colors, that is a child behavior.