I'm learning lots in my new dojo, but it's small and ill-attended, and the instructor puts far more focus on Ki training than Aikido. What I mean by that specifically is that the instructor seems to have much less enthusiasm for Aikido than Ki training: in a two hour training session (which is supposed to be two, one hour slots), we spend a full hour on Ki training, and only 35-45 minutes on Aikido. Invariably he gives us a long "break" or returns voice mail calls between classes which seriously eats into our Aikido time.
I am betting this is in the Northwest, sigh
Budokai sounds like an independent local school. Kyu grades are pretty meaningless in this context. If you are good in your grade, starting over should be no big whup. You will move up quick enough anyway.
The only concern about the MMA thing is they may be a Karate/TKD person that is faking it in the Judo/Aikido area. I have seen that before.
Charismatic liars and conmen can sadly have really thriving schools. Best to ask questions. On the other hand it might be someone who is sincere. You never know till you go check it out.