CHRIS MATTS SENSEI
My aikido training started in August of 1997 and I obtained the grade of Rokkyu in December of the same year.
I steadily progressed through the kyu grades until reaching Ikkyu in January 2001. I decided to take my first Dan grade the next year and passed at winter school in March 2002.
It was decided that the Dan grades at the time should get instructors qualifications and by 2003 I became a fully qualified instructor and started teaching (part-time) on the Friday night class.
After 3 years I decided it was time to take another grading, so in March 2005 I took Nidan and passed.
I do not believe there are any Quick fixes in aikido, progress comes from steady and consistent training.