this really is just winding down is it? maybe just flailing in every direction.
about the assumption, I just though it reflected something important; I don't think >= 5th dan imply ahtleticism or fighiting ability though at some point these people may have been both.
Since in the beginning a question was aked about the appropriateness of awarding kyu ranks without a formal test I really don't see where the unethical combat claims got involved.
the boxing story was an illustration; in short it talks about some poor guy who died recently in a bout though posssibly not from being knocked in the head , but from in general being a poor boxer yet still allowed to fight professionally. (record 0-27).. in any case it had happened 2 days ago only. didn't have to stretch very hard to find a less romantic vision of boxing at hand, in any case a digression.
In any case somehow people manage to keep on testing (or not) and keep on training and enjoying aikido. Looking at other people instead of oneself seems to be a sure way to stop enjoying aikido..