The taikai did not go well, but the silver lining was that K先生 offered to stay afterwards and help me work out the problem. The root of it is that I’m still relying too much on my hands for the release, rather than releasing from the centre. Along the way, though, the changes to keep my left shoulder down have thrown other things off balance and I needed to modify both the right hand (more hineri to keep the right thumb pointed toward the target), and daisan (needs to be higher, and the right hand needs to be much closer to the line of my shoulders). Also I stayed later to add another layer of hemp on the nakajikake. I’m using slightly thinner 1.9 monme strings now, so the hazu that I’d filed to deal with the thicker 2.1 (which I can’t seem to get online) were too loose.
I’d suspected the part about the arrow being misaligned at daisan and/or from daisan into kai, and had planned to ask him or one of my dojo-mates to watch me and tell me if the arrow as parallel to the line of my shoulders or not, and if not, how to adjust, because I couldn’t really tell. But now I know, and we’ll see how it goes.
The important thing is that, because there really shouldn’t be any adjusting going on in kai (everything is supposed to come together there), the adjustments at daisan, etc, are key, because, in good Buddhist fashion, the results depend on the causes you create to set them up. It was interesting to think about this as I watched the students.
Later: Just a note that these changes my teacher advised may just be temporary things to get me past some bad habit, after which he will correct me back to something closer to the standard form, so it may not be “right” for anyone else.