I would imagine that it may be boring after a while to notice that there's nothing left to improve in your Aikido; did this happen at a kyu level, or later on during the yudansha period?
I thought the operating principle in aikido was masakatsu-agatsu. My tests have been more of a struggle with myself than with ukes; and hopefully they become less than that with time. At my 4kyu test I almost took my partners wrist off when I felt him slip from a nikyo; At my 1kyu no one was hurt:-)
What about those who chose Aikido and are not competitively built? At the last shodan grading I saw, I was really amazed at the differences I saw remembering this guy who would fold under the least heat a few years ago and nowadays is solid and skilled..
If he'd started his first years testing by combat he wouldn't have made it I'm sure; a little later maybe; now I'd say he can.
And testing has been stressful for me too, since I haven't usually waited to be told but sought to test usually when I feel i'm not quite ready.. one day I'll really screw up, but the situation becomes a challenge.
ok you can feel sorry for me now.