I finally had a chance for a practice day since the tenouchi advice. The name of the game is to find a consistent pattern that will produce consistent results.
The changes to my tenouchi seem to be positive overall. The left hand isn’t moving much any more at the release, but… not there yet. For one thing, I’m not getting a very good yugaeri and the left hand doesn’t maintain the tenouchi form at zanshin. I suspect these two are related, so this is going to take some work. Other notes:
- Bringing the right elbow forward while in toriyumi no shisei and other steps seems to be important to keeping my torso straight and maintaining the sanju-jumonji. It also seems to reduce the risk of getting whacked in the chest.
- Stretch forward somewhat with the bow at uchiokoshi, almost like trying to maintain a kind of hollow in the chest.
- Try to keep the arrow parallel to the line of the shoulders.
- The teacher from the other day also suggested a change to the right hand, with the first joint of the middle finger much farther out, almost in front of, the tip of the thumb. This seems to help, and has the benefit of not putting so much pressure on the arrow but I’m wary of changing too much at once.
- Need to expand fully in all directions. A common problem when working on something like tenouchi is that you’re so focused on the left that you forget the right. Don’t do that. It helps to visualize zanshin and stretch out into that desired position. Somewhere along the way hanare will happen but that’s not your concern!
- Try an ever-so-slight tilt of the left hand to get naka-oshi rather than bearing down on the bow from the top. I think this latter is at least partly responsible for the bow left hand going down at the release, and that slight tilt seems to solve it.
The other problem I’m having is uncertainty/inconsistency in hikiwake. This is something that will take more experimenting. What I have noticed, though, is that with the way the teacher was having me lead into daisan, I’m not overdrawing as much, so I need to raise the aim slightly.