When you are choosing your own transitions think about how the moves of the current braid and the new braid line up. Is there any point in the current braid that would flow easily to the new one? Two examples that I didn’t include in the course that are straightforward are kongo gumi Z twist to kaku yatsu and kongo gumi S twist to Edo yatsu.
For the counterweight I look at the point of braiding as well, but another way to check is to insert the chopstick in the point of braiding, remove the counterweight, and look at the braid. This is really helpful when the structure is one that you haven’t braided before.