Re: dojos with no kyu advancement or promotion?
Often dojo will offer several levels of classes. A beginner's class for new students who hold no rank, a general class for all students, and advanced classes for yudansha. From what I've seen, the beginner's classes are tailored to introducing brand new, unranked students to the art and focus on ukemi, dojo etiquette, very basic technique and various kinds of drills. The purpose is to prepare them to join in the general classes safely. Some dojo don't offer beginner's classes, preferring to integrate new students into the mainstream from the outset. You see both styles, apparently because both have their merit.