Re: testing.....or just train..
I appreciate exams and ranks. That kind of structure does not exist in horsemanship, and it's kind of hard to tell where you stand sometimes. I've been at that for many years, but with no structure for what to learn, in what order, and how to tell if I've really achieved it. I think I would call myself and advanced beginner, but there's no gauge for comparing or evaluating progress. In Aikido, testing and being awarded a rank doesn't make anyone any more competent, of course, but it does provide some feedback and direction for study. I'm sure there are two camps. I'm in the one that likes a little structure to work within.