Re: A fresh face :)
Not testing, especially in the lower ranks, is not unheard of. At one of the dojos I trained at in Japan, I turned up with a high kyu rank in a different style. I just put on a white belt and trained and during the 4 years I was there, I never saw any gradings. Anyway, when I was going to move away 4 years later, sensei said "it's about time you got your black belt" so I got it. No test, no big deal, he just presented the certificate to me after class one day, although in the few months between saying its time to get my black belt and presenting the certificate, he used me as uke a whole lot. Anyway, horses for courses and all that...