Posting from my phone, so you'll have to forgive me for not quoting, but...
Of course a lot of what I'm posting will seem unclear, because it's being posted out of context of where it belongs in a specific curriculum. I'm not here to "teach" anybody, but I am here to share how we train, and to learn a little about how you guys approach your training.
Let's be honest, all of us have made our commitments to the systems that we feel work for us, so I'm not here to convert anybody, but at the same time I hope that some folks will be interested enough to dig a little deeper and find out where some of the things I'm talking about fit in.
I have to confess myself very interested in Dan Hardens stuff. (if only HE'D post some video)
Re: Rob, just out of curiosity, how long did you train with Sifu before moving to Japan?
As far as your post; I'll say 'its really hard to say'. Straight off I'd say I disagree. At this point I have a fairly good understanding of ILC, and the reason Sifu insists on testing student level 5 and above himself is because that's the point where you really break into ILC's method, where you really begin to manifest the right feel 'on touch'. Not coincidentally, that's also the beginning of 'unifying self with opponent'.
Lot's of systems teach how to unify yourself / build the frame, etc. But REALLY learning how to unify yourself with the opponent, in such a way that you learn to manifest offense/defense simultaneously on the point is something else altogether.