Like it or not people's grades are generally accepted by those not so well informed; as the standard by which the holder is capable of performing said art. Now, I'm involved in both gendai and koryu budo and I'm by far the most comfortable wearing a kaku obi which has absolutely zero reference to the grades I hold; I would absolutely agree with you that debating the semantics of who holds what and from whom is pretty much a waste of bandwidth however, and I must quote your words to make a point.. You said And there we disagree. If I tell you (a perspective student) that I hold a 5th dan in aikikai aikido and okuiri in koryu iaido, then you'd expect I'd be reasonably skilled in aikido and less so in iai however; if the actual truth is that I'm a complete fraud and only attended a couple of seminars in each art, then I'd say one's "belt" to put is simplistically, is a fairly important issue. - Especially to anyone duped/conned out of their time and most likely money. I can't comment on the specifics (people) of the debate in this thread because I don't know them however, I have come across a few martial art frauds in my time, all of which expected/hoped others wouldn't challenge them to substantiate their claims.