~~I came to Aikido with 10 years other MA training and so didn't want to distract myself for the first 5 years with testing, dojo politics, soap opras; just wanted to focus of what the heart of this Aikido might be. For me this meant the study of movement, basic principles of motion and developing some notion of 'ki'.
~~After 5 years I was signing up to test 5th kyu and my sempei said she wanted to discuss it with Sensei. I was later told that the dojo policy was that no one skips tests and so I went ahead and tested for go-kyu. I've missed a few testings for different reasons and so at 6 years am ranked yon-kyu.
~~Does this affect how I train? No. Does it affect how I conduct myself on the mat in regards juniors and seniors? No. Does it change exactly where I am in my training at any moment? No. Do I move like I'm yon-kyu ranked? No. Does anyone train with me at less than my ability? No. So, whatever...
~~Truth to tell, I really only started testing to 'stir the pot' as it were. Expose myself to a greater range of observation and feedback; to commit to my dojo; to lay myself at the feet of the full process and see what might be wrought. If I ever reach sho-dan I will one of...how many thousands? HA-HA!