Also I must add a few things. Every person has a different eye for technique. Many of the Sensei here like Sensei Smith and Kim have different views and goals as shihan abbott does... He found what he wanted from Goshindo and Chanbara under Tanabe as you guys did with your sensei. In terms of Combative weapons I would call him a Master without a second thought.... As far as kata the only difference I see is timing and personal points of view that have more to do with brantch politics than anything...

Sensei smith the man you are thinking of in terms of getting a kodachi 1st dan in chanbara is I believe Animo. If I am not mistaken has been in toyama for over 10 years holds a Yondan and had a number of medals from many tai kai. He is a man of great skill... It is not odd in any degree that A man of such skill and experience was given this rank.... You make it sound as if some joe blow could spend a week and get a shodan and that is NOT true by any shape or form.

Competition is a Big part of Batto fed rankings as is Tai kai. I have heard of people getting higher ranks for performing in tai kai. And even that aside there is still the fact that medals for winning events is VERY common as is awards to document the win... I would find it hard to belive that no one in Batto fed has ever referanced tai kai medals when talking about skill and ability...

I think we should all realize the common bond of sword work and realize that depending on how somone spins somthing even the Batto fed can look funny to Koryu and other Ryu.