Break-through!!! The sokumen kekomi technique in Nijushiho clicked for me today. The key is to simply lift the kicking leg from kiba-dachi, leave it relaxed, then thrust and twist the hips. It is all in how you twist the hips. I also got the first few techniques smoother - much better. NB, there are 2 forward steps at the start of the kata. At yesterday's tournament, I saw it performed without these 2 steps - I checked some old videos and one should definitely be moving forward.
Yesterday I was a judge at the local Shotokan Karate Association tournament. I had to be careful to still take it easy (Doctor's orders) - so no referee'ing, just judging for kata & kumite. The day went very well. Sensei made the decision at lunchtime to close 2 mats and do every event on the centre mat. This was a good idea because it helped to create an atmosphere. Also because we were light on judges and volunteers.