Phil Van Treese
In .... Never saw him again either. There is only 1 attitude to have in aikido---a good one willing to help others. Rank means zilch but skill and character are everything. Rank doesn't back up your knowledge-----knowledge backs up your rank. Your character speaks the loudest of all.
I agree Phil, that character speaks the loudest. Too bad yours made this guy leave aikido (as I read your post). He might have learned something valuable.
It's difficult not to look down your nose at somebody for having the 'wrong attituted'. I do it myself all the time. Hope to be able to let it be one day.
Back to topic: I believe in the white-black system with the hakama at 3. kyu. It works fine for adults. For kids klasses colored belts are a great thing to keep them going. For adults though.. if you need the colors to keep on the journey I believe chances are you are in it for the wrong reasons.
Also belts with colors tends to create those situations where one tend to feel superior to others. It is not a healthy way to practice. Hakama and black belt are not 'diplomas' or 'medals' to wear as a sign of your achivements. It is signs that you are ready to take the responsibility of a higher level of dedicated ability. The hakama tells your partner that you are able to take care of your self during practice, and that he can expect you to give an honest and dedicated attack and effort. The black belt indicates that you should be at a level where people can seek you out for help and guidance. Understand this and be humble about it.
Anyway.. that's how I see it.