Essays by Patrick Auge Sensei Shihan - Black Belt Essays - Other Essays

Message from the President for 2020

This past year has been filled with obstacles and challenges to work with in order to strengthen our determination.

Kaoru and I renew our vows to continue our mission thanks to our students' trust and support and as long as our heath will permit us to do so.

Here is a story based on a classic Buddhist teaching. I adapted it for Budō. The story is slightly different from the original one, however the spirit of the teaching is the same.

May you and your families be happy, healthy and live meaningfully.

Patrick Augé and Kaoru Sugiyama

There was once a teacher and his student. In order to stimulate the student's improvement, the teacher said: "Next vacation, let's have a Gasshuku." After a few days it was forgotten. The teacher reminded the student of the proposal but the student responded by saying "I have already made prior arrangements for the upcoming vacation." Several months passed, no Gasshuku. When reminded again, the student said "Not now, I am too busy, maybe next time." Having some free time one day, the student shows up at the Dōjō and sees a dead body being carried off. "What's going on?" asks the student to one of the Senpai. "Well, Sensei is leaving for a vacation!" So, unless we make specific time for something we are committed to, we will always have other obligations.


Gasshuku: (合宿, がっしゅく): traditional Budō training camp where the students lodge together inside the Dōjō.

What do we learn from that story? It's a reminder to change what we can change, to accept what we cannot change and to cultivate the awareness of the difference. A subtle application of the principle of "Flexibility overcoming Rigidity" (柔よく剛を制す, Jū Yoku Go wo Seisu), one of the first teachings of the Yōseikan.

For example: What do we do if our partner insists on having their birthday celebrated on that same day when we have another event that cannot be changed scheduled at the same time? How do we apply that principle? How are we going to fully dedicate our presence of mind to this person? How are we going to manage our momentary disappointment without it escalating into repressed anger—a time bomb?

Patrick Augé
December 31, 2019