Re: Test Grading, Curriculum, & Frustration
It sounds like a sensei problem and not an organizational problem to me. We are an Aikido of America (AAA) dojo and have published test requirements for each rank from mudansha to yudansha. A test candidate is required to perform specific techniques at each rank, to include those of previous rankings. A Second Kyu candidate would be expected to know second kyu requirements and those of the lower ranks as well. Variations of each technique are taught by the different sensei and there is often a slightly different flavor from dojo to dojo. The candidate will generally pass his test if he can perform the basic technique called for in the requirements. If he can also do variations, so much the better. I will note that at the higher kyu ranks and dan ranks, variations are the norm and I can't remember a test I've seen that didn't include them, not as a specific requirement, but as a demonstration of skill.
Without seeing your test requirements, it seems as if you should be prepared to perform the basic technique and should show whatever variations your sensei teaches you. If your sensei doesn't have any variations to teach you, the leadership of your organization will probably discuss that with him.