Speech : FBS Farewell diner – Cognard Hanshi

Ecrit par Aikido.FR le 17 août 2017, dans Evènement, Textes

First of all, I would like to address the ladies and gentlemen of the Hombu.
Thank you for coming to Clermont-Ferrand and sharing your knowledge, and
your skills. Your presence honors this event and I wish to thank you very sin-
cerely. I also have a thought for Kuwahara Hanshi who was not able to join
us, but who is present in our hearts.

Next, my thanks goes to the elected representatives of the City of Clermont-
Ferrand, the Clermont Auvergne Metropole community, the Auvergne-Rhône-
Alpes region, the Puy-de-Dôme departmental council and the Loire depart-
ment council.
With a particular thought for Mr. Olivier Bianchi whose attentive listening, en-
thusiasm and determination are exemplary. The people of Clermont Ferrand
can be proud of having chosen him to preside over the destinies of their city
and of the community of communes. On behalf of the Dai Nippon Butokukai
France Shibu, I thank them all sincerely.
Now, I turn to Hamada Hanshi, without whom none of this would have been
possible (existed). I want to express my appreciation and ask you to join me
in doing the same. His strength, determination and working capacity are an
example to all of the members of the Dai Nippon Butokukai. Thanks to him,
the France Butoku Sai will live on in our memories and become a milestone of
our history.

I wish to thank Mrs. Usako Kuwata, daughter of Kobayashi Hirokazu, my
master, for her presence, spontaneity and constant kindness. Usako san, you
came especially from Osaka to share this moment with us. We are very
touched. Thank you very much.
I wish to thank the people who accompanied the Hombu masters and say
how valuable their presence was. We can never say enough how being sur-
rounded by the affection and kindness of our loved ones helps us to devote
ourselves to our task. Thank you very much.
I particularly wish to thank Mrs. Hamada, who in her discreet yet efficient
manner has been one of the pillars of this event. Thank you very much.
I wish to thank Baylor Kyoshi for her constant efforts, hard work and stamina.
The enormity of the task, which she accomplishes, stuns us. Baylor Shihan,
thank you very much! With her, I wish to thank the Bushinkan disciples for
their dynamic, and solid help as well as their constant good mood.
I would also like to thank all those who helped us, those who worked in the
shadows, the host families, the men and women who supervised the children
and youth groups, some day and night.
I now turn to Clermont-Ferrand’s city staff: the town hall’s staff, the Artenium‘s
staff, the staff members of GL Events for their competence, and never failing
commitment and friendliness. Really, thank you. Thank you very much.
I also want to thank four people whom have assumed a tremendous amount
of work: Kyoshi Claude Viennois, Renshi Caddedu Giuseppe, Joanna Klinska
and my wife Anne Cognard. As I cannot name all of them, I associate all the
Kobayashi Ryu and Ki Shin Kai pupils with these four pillars. Thank you so
very much.
I salute with admiration and affection the children, the teenagers and all the
young participants, for their work and their impeccable bearing. Their strength
comforts me and allows me to look to the future with serenity. Bravo. I would
like to wish them courage and good luck.
Finally, I wish to thank all of you. Thank you for having made the journey, for
your demonstrations, for your teaching, for your listening and your patience.
Your presence was the very essence of this meeting, and if one of you had
been absent you would have been cruelly missed by all of us
2We gathered, at the Sakura Park, in front of the stone monument of the
DNBK to express, through our presence and our actions, our desire and our
hopes for peace. We have united our minds.
We met at the Artenium. We practiced and learned together under the guid-
ance of the Hombu masters and the international division. We joined our ef-
forts and our breaths.
We met to share our practices and aspirations, putting our bodies and souls
into our demonstrations.
We came together to listen to the concert, this artist, these works, and feel
the emotion it gives us, but especially the emotion it creates between us.
All this was necessary to give this Butoku Sai a dimension that will inscribe it
in the long tradition created by our illustrious predecessors.
All that is left for us to do is to sit down at the table. The table: this sacred
place. Although we are in the land of Gaul, this is not just Asterix’s final ban-
A few steps from here, we gathered for the Sakura Park inauguration hoping
and praying for peace in the world. How can this evening be a part of this ap-
proach and our work as budoka?
I am not going to tell you that gastronomy is a key point to understanding
French culture, although the meal will be served by a Michelin starred chef.
I want to draw your attention to the following:
Neither commensal relationships nor table companionship are obvious for the
human species. We live in a world where ethical issues have been sub-
merged by the economy. It is an extremely basic system that propels individ-
uals into daily warfare. Our need to eat means that we are constantly threat-
ened with extinction, not only by those who want to eat us – - wars are moti-
vated by economic considerations- but by our doubts about our ability to find
food. From this continuous quest for food, whether real or imaginary, con-
scious or unconscious, arises self-doubt and a perpetual quest for identity.
Violence is rooted in self-doubts, and is violence not our main preoccupation
as budoka(s)? By increasing interactions between individuals, all peoples will
end up loving and helping each other rather than fighting. By sharing words,
emotions, feelings, gestures, by creating a common body, we will succeed in
3spreading peace. Sharing words, emotions, gestures, and feelings? Is that
not the exact description of table hospitality?
« You are what you eat »; this famous quote by Monsieur Brillat-Savarin has of-
ten been used and attributed to prominent figures. Why? Because it states a
truth: our body cells are constantly renewed, using the food we absorb. Feel-
ing is nurtured by sensations located in the body. It is therefore essential not
just to eat food, to meet our fundamental needs as biological beings. It is also
essential to carefully choose what we eat because this expresses an ethical
choice: I choose what I eat because I have the desire to become a conscious
At this point in my reflection, allow me this other quote: « The destiny of na-
tions depends on the manner in which they feed themselves. »
By eating together, we express our desire of creating in each of us a space
dedicated to emotional sharing, a part of us offered to a common body, gen-
erating sufficient empathy to create solidarity, not a dogmatic solidarity, but
one which arises from the appeasement of the quest for identity. And this ap-
peasement is possible when the other is no longer a rival, a threat, but the in-
carnation of a shared otherness.
In addition to the gustative pleasure, in addition to the joy of being together, it
is a symbolic act to which I invite you. Eating yes, but as researchers for
peace, that is as one who invites to his table to symbolically be the food that
will be shared.