Re: Poll: Do you think people should receive ranking in aikido for reasons outside of their technical ability?
So, would a better survey include a caveat for pre and post dan ranks, or possibly pre and post godan ranks? I'd say that for beginner's ranks, you need to test based on skill so there's an objective measure. After about third dan or so, the skill differential may start to shrink, I'd imagine, kind of like how the difference between a gold and silver Olympic medalist may be a matter of fractions of an inch or of a second. At that level, skill has been attained and to advance further one must show how he/she has done something to advance the art as a whole.
This, of course, assumes that the system functions more or less ideally (excluding inevitable pettiness, brown nosing, politicking, etc).