I think this is where most of the confusion arises. In every dojo I have trained in (4 styles, 2 countries) there is no distinction between what is taught to people at different ranks. The higher ranks are just better at it, that's all.
If that is indeed the case for the average Aikido dojo, that would certainly explain a lot of the miscommunication (and I'd be grumpy no one told me before now! LOL
). When I was training Shotokan Karate, for instance, it was very much divided up into teaching you what you were expected to get at your specific rank. For each new belt, a new kata was added, for instance. You wouldn't train that before you reached the appropriate rank. Same with some kicks and punches. So if your rank didn't transfer between different dojos, that could cause some annoying "retraining" of techniques and katas you would already have done for ages, and in some cases were no longer of any real use to you.
But correct me if I'm wrong, isn't Yoshinkan set up this way too? I thought one of the main reasons Yoshinkan became, well, Yoshinkan, was that they more specifically divided the training up into segments?