Oh also, the other day one of my dojo friends (5-dan) was talking to about the upcoming shinsa. He said he thought it was “too soon” for him to try for renshi, but my teacher said a very interesting thing. He said that if you wait until you feel ready then you’ve waited too long. The idea seems to be that you’ll be past your peak somehow, and miss out on some of the positive energy that comes from the tension of a challenge. His recommendation was to try whether you feel ready or not. Failure doesn’t cost much, after all (actually you have to pay more if you pass!), and you can learn a lot.
Seems like good advice and I just thought I’d throw that out there since the testing season will start before long and people are talking about it. Apparently we’ll host three of them this year. Lots and lots of tension!