Re: Testing or not testing...
When I first began training I really had no plans or intentions about testing. I was only there to experience Aikido and see if and how it could help me with self discovery.
Now I'm less than two weeks form taking my first test and actually am looking forward to it. When Sensei mentioned he thought I should begin thinking about it I actually became more motivated to learn...not that I was not motivated already, but my intensity rose a bit. I think that bit of pressure, knowing a test was coming actually enhanced my training. Not to mention it has been a great confidence builder knowing I have progressed to the next level.
Will having a rank cert change my life? Probably not.It won't get me a better job or bigger paycheck. Even without testing Aikido has already enhanced my life. But I think those tests as they come can only enhance the overall learning experience.