Previously that topic came up and one thing Suino Sensei mentioned was that during his time in Japan, it was not uncommon at all to see someone attain shodan after 6 months in iaido. They really do see shodan as the "first step" which contrasts our time scale where I'm an ikkyu after 3 1/2 years. Our testing material is pretty standard at JMAC and all ikkyu candidates are asked to select 5 waza they like from tachi waza no bu and perform them.