I shall add a point at my previous post, to make it clearer ...
If I remember well, the "requirements" to upgrade are :
- in one hand, the technical qualities of the A´kidoka ;
- in the other hand, the way he/she behaves on the mat (it was already written, I think
So, the question of belts, or any marks of difference, may be irrelevant
. Practicing is personal ; I don't need others' admiration to improve