Re: Testing for 2nd kyu and beyond
At my dojo, AIkikai of Philadelphia, we test through 1st kyu. Sensei Smith, 6th dan, can award shodan ranks but the thought is that we train to learn Aikido, we test to bring honor to our dojo. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the skill of our instructors and so we gladly and humbly "perform" at major camps along with other like minded students. Aikikai has east coast testing jajudicated by Shihan thrice annually. Summer camp in New England. Winter camp in Florida. Winter celebration in New York. West coast and midwest have similar events. Ultimately, though, unless you plan on opening a dojo or writing a book, the belts aren't significant.