Phil Van Treese
I am glad I don't have to pay for promotion exams. I don't even charge my students. It seems ridiculous to pay $900 for a godan exam---or for any other rank for that matter.
Man, I should have checked with you first
It's actually not so bad if you break up the price over a period of the years that it takes to get the promotion and then compare it to the annual dues of other professional organizations.
The real problem is that the Aikikai does not function as a modern professional organization - it provides no services and no benefits, apart from being "in the club". Even the ranking is questionable, since there is no oversight or control.