Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking
This question arises on a regular basis in varying forms. We always have to realise that the concept of shodan is not a well defined term across all styles, dojos or persons. Not in terms of hours on the mat, not in amount of techniques practiced, not in level of proficiency (how ever you expect to measure that) etc etc.
Shodan is simply an marker - a concept empty of value until you yourself put into it what you think is right. It will have meaning in the social and organisational context where you are training - and with relevance in other settings varying from zero to something close to your own conceptual idea.
Phillip: you've been asking a lot of questions. I would recommend you leave you computer and go practice. I am a web-junkie myself, but in my point of view all the research and all the thoughts and well formulated posts have no value unless they reflect actual physical training. Get some mat time and start developing your own understanding instead of approaching Aikido from a purely theoretical point of view. It will surely be much more rewarding and better for your mind, body and understanding of this martial art with its many interpretations.