Taikai over the weekend at a town near here. The dojo is beautiful, using the “borrowed scenery” technique from Japanese gardens. I should have taken a picture (sorry). This was a dan-betsu event, so everybody was competing only with people at their same level, and the rules were strict. Round one: four arrows and anyone who doesn’t hit with at least two is out. Round two: same deal. Then everybody remaining (at each level) would shoot one arrow each. Those who hit stayed in the game. Those who missed were out. And so it went, round after round.
Interestingly it was the people at the lower ranks who continued the longest. After five rounds they switched to the smaller 24cm targets, but even then it went on for quite some time. Often these were students, who again displayed a remarkable variation of idiosyncratic form, but they could hit. I remembered some of them from Sapporo.
For me, well, not such a good day. I didn’t feel rooted, somehow. The first and second arrows were high, just above the target, and a bit left of center. With the third arrow I compensated for the elevation but my right foot slipped at hanare and the arrow hit the right edge of the target. The fourth was spot on. I thought I’d passed the first round, but it turned out that the third arrow hit the edge and went outside the target, rather than inside, so that was all for me for the day. Zannen. Several other people in our group continued for quite a while, though, so it was good to watch without pressure!
I find that with the changes to daisan made earlier I often hit just above the target. Also I’m stringing the bow slightly tighter on the advice of S先生, so I suspect that also has an effect. Obviously I need to lower my aim a bit, but old habits die hard!