You know ..... I would like to hear how this situation resolves itself?
Having gone through a change of leadership in my former Kempo Karate practice, it is not too unbelievable for me to believe something like this happens everyday. Still, I have found that everything in this life has a reason, and maybe this event will show the lesson that is to be learned, in time.
I have met so many people who practice in different disciplines, and they must progress through the ranks to reattain the recognized ranks they wish to achieve.
In the realm of knowing what you know, and learning how to apply that knowledge, it all seems to be a empty threat of putting off someone who might attack you in seeking that piece of paper?
"Hey, look! This piece of paper says I have this rank, in this discipline! You had better watch yourself."
This is a bit over the top, but then again, it is the down earth truth that the little piece of paper is but a recognition of skills that you appear to have mastered when measured at that skill level.
Maybe because I have encountered any number of people who have had some type of martial training, and they gain a temporary advantage, but their attitude betrays that training, in time.
After thinking about this situation, I would think that Yamada sensei will opt for the student to go to a USAF dojo, and be tested for a level of proficientcy, which will be a retest of either the last rank attained, or the previous rank to establish a base.
If it were as simple as learning the terminology and challenging all the shihan to show their superiority in practice to attain a take their black belt, we would have chaos as many young practitioners would be lined up to challenge every teacher to take their rank like some wild west showdown, but that is not our present day society, is it?
It isn't the belt, the rank, or the teacher who makes the training applicable ... it is you who makes it applicable.
Think about how the application of techniques works for Aikido?
Tireless practice. Training mind and body to work together to adapt and overcome, even when we are lending ourselves to someone elses practice, we are always aware, seeking the closeness of the moment between being controled and taking control at any given moment. This is all surrounded by the happy spirit that gives polite thank you's, because practice is the learning process that lets us see the variety of depths our practice can take us.
That piece of paper .... it is something our teachers give to us to mark a level of proficientcy they see we have attained, no more, no less. It is just gonna be another frame on the wall, something to dust off, now and then.
Maybe I equate training with time well spent. I consider that I would have spent that money on something useless, so I really don't consider the concept of money for certificates important? If there is room in the budget for formal training, I pay to train, if not, then other things take priority .... that is the harmony of the universe at that time, who am I so go against the harmony of the universe?
What I do consider important is the knowledge. Steal it from whereever you can, whether you pay for it in formal training, or not.
If your last teacher, even though he was not totally honest in business, gave you that knowledge, it will carry you through to any organization you decide to join in your Aikido practice.
I don't know ... it may take time to put things into perspective.
Don't let it get you down.
Good luck in your pursuit .