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At least in the Aikikai, here are the regulations concerning dan rankings.
Article 9 QUALIFICATIONS FOR CONDUCTING EXAMINATIONS AND MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS
1. An Aikido organization with Hombu Recognition, when its Person in Charge is 6th dan or above, may conduct examinations from 1st dan to 4th dan. When the Person in Charge is 4th dan or 5th dan, it may conduct examinations from 1st dan to 3rd dan. In the case of a 4th dan examination, an application to Hombu must be made. and the examination will be conducted by the Hombu or a person delegated by the Hombu.
3. With respect to 5th dan and 6th dan, decisions will be made by the Hombu. However, if the Person in Charge of an Aikido organization with Hombu Recognition is 6th dan, an application for recommendation up to 5th dan can be made to the Hombu . If Person in Charge is 7th dan, application for recommendation up to 6th dan can be made.
3. Discussions relating to 7th dan or above are settled separately.