Yesterday very few people were practising, so I had some time to slow down and experiment. Also there was a mirror set up, and I was surprised to find that stretching high in uchiokoshi (but keep the arms rounded) and keeping daisan high don’t really produce a form, at daisan, that is all that exaggerated. Drawing the arrow while high is good, too, but I still have two issues:
- Trouble setting the right hand to get a clean release. What happens is that the kake is pulled forward by the additional force of the draw, preventing my thumb (inside) and the fingers (above) from actually being in opposition. It’s hard to oppose this while keeping the right hand relaxed, but I was able to partly solve it by wrapping the wide, blue himo higher (more toward the fingers), a trick that one of the craftsmen at Koyama Kyuguten showed me. I’ll have to check with the teachers when they’re back.
- The left hand still wants to bounce forward (to the right) at release, particularly later in practice, when I’m a little tired. This is weird because I don’t see this happen with anyone else, even the students. One thing I might try is twisting the left arm a bit. This seems to make a subtle difference in the direction of force that could help. Or hurt. Ha! No way to know but to try.
But the process felt better, more balanced. It’s like these changes have to percolate for a while before the various flavours mix into a consistent whole.