jim, our requirements are a little bit different in usaf, but your point can be well taken there too...the important word is 'minimum.'
too often we run into someone looking to test because he'll 'have just enough days by the deadline.' not quite getting the message there.
thanx for hammering the point home
Frankly, I'd like to scrap the whole time requirements thing completely. If someone is ready they test and if they aren't they don't. If they think they are and I don't, they could show me I was wrong. But if I was right, well, they will hear about it...
The problem with all these requirements is that it distracts from the central issue which is how good are you. You have someone training like a maniac, 7 days a week, hitting the seminars, staying for both classes each night... the fact is that he can have twice the mat time as a person with a theoretically equal number of training days who only does one class, never attends the seminars offered, etc. Why hold him back?
Time requirements don't mean anything unless they are coupled with a testing system in which people fail their tests. Time requirements are there to keep the number of failures down, not as guidelines for when people are ready.
If the testing system doesn't fail people who don't meet the standard, then time in doesn't matter anyway. You just have an incompetent person with three or four months more training getting his rank.
I guarantee that if the dojo standards are high, no one is in a hurry to test. Half the time, I have to coerce my folks into testing because they want more time to prepare. I liked the old days when it was just Sensei looking at you and deciding when you were ready... But those days are gone.