"I personally feel that astudent up for shodan or higher should be in good physical shape and able to defend themselves."
I agree with the defensive end of things, but not the "in good physical shape" part. A person's physical composure shouldn't be a part of the test - it has nothing to do with their ability.
"and at shodan and above handgun and long weapons disarms i.e.shotguns and rifles."
I didn't realize that was a part of aikido, not something I want to know how to do. I might foolish enough to actually attempt it. Best defense against a guy waving a rifle at ya, 911 and good sneakers.
"I believe that there should be no favorites in the dojo as there will be none in the street and in life."
Agreed here, to quote one of my favorite movies... "Here, you are all equally worthless!" -FMJ