I see, thanks for the reply
I compare it to when I was training Shotokan Karate, where my teachers were generally very hung up on your rank, and training you specifically in what you were supposed to be training in that rank. To the point where you were just happy to graduate to the next rank, just so you could start learning something new, LOL.
would just like to point out that, that is also down to the specific organisation/teacher.
I train in both shotokan and aikido, i have however been doing karate a lot longer. i used to do it as a kid many years ago and reached 1st kyu. about 15 years later when i took it back up (completely different style and school) my current teacher just evaluated my skills over a few weeks and i was given 4th kyu to start on. in other words, i was judged on my skills not my apparent 'no belt'. i also, twice graded quicker than you would otherwise do so as they felt i was ready and could do it so my school appears a lot more flexible than the one you were in. (still had to wait a whole year before being allowed to grade for black though, no choice in that one, heh).
we also run a mixed rank class so students often see 'more advanced' techniques and kata. the phrase 'you dont need to know this yet but...' comes up quite often
keeps things interesting and gives a good idea of whats to come for the lower grade students. we also do a lot of self defence techniques that help break from the norm. (i've in fact been asked to adapt some of my aikido knowledge into workable self defence in these lessons in the past)
sorry, i realise that's a bit off topic but just wanted to reaffirm the point being made by others here that its not the style that dictates the way things are done, its mostly the organisation and in turn the teachers that influence that.