Re: significance to testing/belt rank?
I have seen people fail tests (both kyu and dan) at the Yoshinkai dojo where I train. I just completed my nidan test on the weekend and won't know the results until Wednesday. I personally felt the test was fair in some spots, mediocre in others. Several senior students and assistant instructors felt it was fine. I think the significance to testing and/or rank at our dojo in particular has mostly to do with how far you wish to push yourself. In many cases, the test is merely a formality. My sensei knows how well I instruct other students. He knows how often I train. I work with students who should have tested to sandan or up long ago but just haven't had the time. There are some students who couldn't care less about testing or ranking. I tested because I felt it was time to test. I wanted to see if I could make it through the test and I did. To quote someone from the past.."Rank is in your head. I keep my certificates in the garage."