Christopher Li wrote:
That's not uncommon - Kobayashi Dojo (for example) usually borrows hombu for the day and does a whole bunch of tests at once. What this sounded like to me was more along the lines of someone dropping in from out of town (or out of the country) for a week or two and trying to take part in grading at hombu.
That's true, it's rare that a dojo allows a single visitor to train for a week or two and then take part in the regular grading. However, the particular example I brought up involved a group of overseas visitors (with their Sensei) who trained for a week or two and were graded by the Hombu Shihan.
Because Gawad wanted to get graded after a short period of training, the only place I could think of was the Aikido Academy. Although the web page says "This course is not designed for special promotions or considerations.", it then goes on with "Graduates of each course will be given CERTIFICATES, and upon successful execution of grading examinations, Aikido kyu or dan ranks will be conferred. Promotions are possible as follows: Beginners Course - up to 3rd kyu; Intermediate Course - SHO DAN; Advanced Course - up to 2nd DAN."
IMHO, the real benefit of going to Hombu Dojo is the opportunity to receive teaching and much kind advice from the many Shihans and high-ranking practitioners