Re: Where does the money go?
I think its a reasonable question to ask ....but ask your own group cos everyone does it differently.
I'm treasurer for National Aikido Federation in UK....any member that wants to see our books only has to ask.
Our Dan gradings are £30...we don't send money to Japan which means we don't get Hombu certificates...and maybe our grades aren't recognised.
For the savings we make I think we can live without the endorsement of someone that may have never seen us or perhaps just seen us a few times.
TBH the certificates we produce as a Federation are pretty hot anyway.