1. What goes on at the seminars, and who would it benefit most, in other words as a "newbie" would it be worth attending?
In aikido we don't have tournaments, with the exclusion of Tomiki Aikido, but we do have seminars. Normally a seminar is when a dojo brings in another sensei to teach for a day, weekend or week. The sensei can be from another local dojo or a higher ranked sensei from your own organization or from another organization. Typcially, when a dojo hosts a seminar, it will advertise the seminars and other dojos will attend.
It would be worth attending as newbie whether you just go to watch or you actually get on the mat and train. A seminar is a great opportunity to see another perspective of aikido, to train with different people, to meet new people and to experience that you are part of a greater aikido community than just your dojo.
Now, whether you will actually get on the mat and train as newbie, you first need to ask your sensei. I usually tell newbies once they feel comfortable with rolling then they should get on the mat. But, your sensei will know what the seminar will entail and he will know whether you are ready for one or not.
2. I read an intro book and was confused by the testing, for instance, your first test is after 45 days or so of trainaing, your third test is 60 days of training or so after your second, etc. Does this mean days of training, say I go twice a week does that count as two days, or do they mean calendar days, if i go tues and thurs for a month is that 30 days of training, stupid question I apologize but thank you for any help!
Okay, one day of training means if you show up for class on that particular day you have accumulated one day. You only count the actual days you trained over the course of time. So for instance, if you go Tues and Thurs for a month that will be about 9 days of training for the month not 30.
So if you take every Tues and Thurs class, it will take you 5 months to accumulate 45 days. Once you take that test, you start your count over to accumulate your 60, which will take you 10 months.
Also, might I suggest, if available, to take a third class each week? I have found three classes a week really helps the learning process and gives you enough time in between classes to give your body a break.