AWASE - 合わせ - together

Yoshigasaki Sensei



Yoshigasaki Sensei teaches AWASE.

... so if both do their best, they act at the same time. This is obvious. This makes it AWASE. This means it is better to do something together than to be faster. You don't have to try to make it even better. Then it only gets worse.
"The better is the enemy of the good." If you try to make it even better, it will only get worse. In fact, there is another example of this Kendo master. About 100 years ago, many Kendo people began to use bamboo swords (Shinai). So, with bamboo you can strike properly. At that time, they tried three rounds.
Because with three rounds, the winner can be easily determined. This great champion always won the first time, the second time the other won and the third time he won again. He could do that with any opponent. Important: He didn't try to win three times. He only ever tried to win twice.
But why did he do that? He didn't want to win three times. That is important.
Probably, if he had wanted to win all three rounds, he might have lost the competition once. But he never lost because he tried to win only two rounds at a time. He always let the other win once. That's really important. This is AWASE. This means that it is enough to act together. You don't have to be the first. In life, in the real case. Just do it together.
So, to practice this, from here (bokken above the head) try to hit together. But then it often becomes like that (mechanical hitting). That doesn't make sense. So make sure to start the Bokken in JODAN.
Here you have to wait. Already here at the beginning you have to be together. And if you are together, then pang. You see, it's not a fight. Together. We can really do this together. That's the exercise. So don't just try to win, but really try to get both to act together.
This tradition also exists in SUMO. When both are together, it starts. But nowadays that has changed significantly. Many SUMO just want to get started. The real experts are not satisfied with this. A really great YOKUZUNA (横綱), a really great champion, always does it that way. He's not trying to be faster. They're really trying to start together.
So this is not sportsmanship. It comes from the idea that it's better to harmonize than to get started too quickly. Better with harmony than to win. Because if you always want to win in the real case, you will probably lose. But if you always harmonize, you may not win, but you won't lose either. In the world of sports, it is better to win and lose. But in life it is better not to win or lose. All this is a question of theory and philosophy.
So what's the best way not to lose?
This is harmony. If you try to be faster than your opponent, you can lose. And when you lose in a real situation, you're done. You can even die.
Now we are doing a competition. Competition is sometimes useful. This competition works like this: You have to stay with the Bokken over your head for as long as possible (JODAN). But if the opponent strikes, you have to strike (cut) at the same time. This is the rule of competition. You must be able to stay up longer than your opponent. But if the opponent cuts, you shouldn't be slower than your opponent either.
Did you understand the rules of the game? (... we've just done that ...)

Shinai: Elastic "sword" made of a bamboo divided in four parts. It was invented as an alternative to Bokken in 1760.
Shinai in Kendo

Quindi, quando tutti i due fanno il massimo, chiaramente lo fanno allo stesso tempo. Normale, no, questo è evidente. Quindi con questo diventa AWASE, vuol dire che è meglio essere capace di farlo insieme piuttosto di essere più veloce. Non deve cercare di farlo troppo bene. Diventerà peggio. The better is the enemy of good. If you try to do too well you will become even worse. Actually, there is another example of this Kendo master. About like 100 years ago already many Kendo people started to use bamboo sword. So, with bamboo you can really hit each other. Then, there was a very famous master who did this way. At that time, they tried three times.
Because with three times you know who wins. 2 against 1. This big master always first time he wins, and second time the other wins, and third time he wins. He could do it with everybody. So, this is the important part. He didn't try to win three times. He just tried to win two times. Cento anni fa c'era un grande maestro. In questa era già molti usavano una spada di bambù. Quindi si poteva veramente colpire. Lui faceva tre volte (tre riprese). Così era sicuro decidere chi vince. Questo maestro facevo sempre, la prima vince, la seconda perde e la terza vince. Sempre poteva farlo così con tutti. Quindi lui era veramente un grande maestro. Ma perché lui faceva così? Lui non cercava di vincere tre volte. Questo è importante.
Probabilmente, se lui cercava di vincere tre volte magari una volta perdeva anche. Lui ha mai perso, perché cercava di vincere solo due riprese. Ha lasciato vincere l'altro una volta. Questo è veramente importante. Questo è AWASE, vuol dire, basta fare insieme. Non ha bisogna fare prima. E così è meglio. Nella vita, in caso reale. Basta fare insieme. Quindi per praticare fare questo, da qui (bokken sopra la testa) cercare colpire insieme. Ma quando fa così, spesso diventa così (colpiscono meccanicamente). Questo non ha senso. Quindi fate attenzione, prima così (bokken in JODAN).
Bisogna aspettare là. Qui bisogna già essere insieme. E quando insieme pang. Capite, non è un combattimento. Insieme, quando possiamo essere veramente insieme. Questa è la pratica. Così vedete, non cercare vincere, ma cercare veramente di essere tutti i due insieme. Infatti, questa tradizione ha anche il SUMO. Anche nel SUMO si fa correttamente - così - e quando tutti i due sono insieme, ora vanno. Ma oggi è chiaramente cambiato. Molti SUMO vogliono solo andare avanti. Allora gli esperti non sono contenti con questo. Quindi un veramente grande YOKUZUNA, un veramente grande campione, è sempre così. Non cercano essere veloci. Cercano andare veramente insieme.
Quindi questo non è una mente sportiva, non ha questo sportsmanship, ma viene da questa idea che è meglio armonizzare piuttosto che andare più veloce. Meglio l'armonia che vincere. In caso reale. Perché se si vuole sempre vincere in caso reale, si rischia di perdere. Invece quando si sempre armonizza, magari non vince ma non perde. Quindi quello è importante. Nel mondo sportivo meglio vincere e perdere. Ma nella vita meglio non vincere e non perdere. Tutto questo e una questione della teoria. This is a matter of philosophy and theory. In sports you better win and lose. It is just enough to win more than lose. Whereas in life it is better not to win and not to lose. So, what is the best way for not losing?
That is harmony. If you try do it quicker than your opponent maybe in the real situation you may lose. And in the real situation when you lose, you are finished, you die. Quindi in questa situazione non cercare andare veloce, ma cercare andare insieme. Quando riusciamo veramente di farlo insieme, noi abbiamo - quasi - vinto. Questa è la idea. So, now. Different xxx competition. Competition sometimes is useful. But this competition here is: You must stay here (JODAN) as long as possible but if your opponent cuts you, you must cut at the same time. That’s the rule of the competition. You must be able to stay up there longer than your opponent but if your opponent cuts you should not be later than your opponent. Capite la regola del gioco? (… Lo stavamo facendo ...)


The group comes together for a photo.