Punches vs Open hand to face for self defense.

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Kenlee25, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Not because I expect you to pay attention or to actually deal with it, but just because I'm feeling spunky: You are both a) wrong and b) neglecting the fact that in the pre-MoQ era, Bare Knuckle fighting was actually illegal and there was a huge and vocal movement against it. Many newspaper articles, political-style speeches, periodical articles, and sections in books were written decrying the practice as barbaric. I mentioned this already, remember? These people HATED bare fist fighting and argued every which way they could against it. None of them seem to mention the extreme danger of injury to the hand. Why? Because it wasn't as big a problem as you claim. Sorry, but your "we'd better keep it a secret or we won't have customers" conspiracy theory doesn't hold up. Further, note that, as desperately as you are trying, this is not restricted solely to Edwardian and Victorian bare knuckle fighters. It also includes centuries upon centuries of Chinese, Okinawans, &tc. Why on earth did they not stop because of the serious risk of injury? Was it a grand practical joke each generation perpetrated upon the next, much like Boy Scouts taking the new guys snipe hunting? The logic just doesn't hold.

    Considering that many of them were period LEO and Security and were required to operate handguns, truncheon ("intermediate weapon"), small keys, call boxes, type, and write... um.. yes, the practice apparently didn't hinder their ability at all.

    Because a palm-heel to the mouth won't cut the flesh of the palm or split the targets lip and a palm-heel to the nose won't "draw the claret" just as much as a punch. :p
     
  2. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    That's like three posts in a row where you're simply being a horse's ****. When you grow up and want to have an adult exchange of information shoot me a PM and we'll talk. As it is you're a waste of time.

    Enough information has been put in the thread for anyone reading and interested to formulate their own opinion.
     
  3. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Maybe, but I've been down this road before. Person A makes a statement. Person B disagrees with it and questions A's martial experience. A rejoins with a list but it's never enough for B. There's always some hole to poke in it. I could be a certified murder-killbot with 1,000 ninja assassinations to my credit and it wouldn't be sufficient. And it is still irrelevant as the first time you tried to distract from the actual arguments being made.

    Let me say it again: My "credentials" are completely irrelevant to the arguments made because they happened without me and stand on their own with or without me.

     

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  4. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I've been down this road before as well. Person A lacks the practical, real world experience in a particular area and relies on what he's read in books to formulate his opinion. Person B tries repeatedly to explain that book learning, while a fine pursuit and one he does as well, is not a substitute for practical, real world experience. And person B details why. Then person A gets butt-sore and riled up and starts going high-school on person B.

    Whatever Kirk, I'm a little too old for your pout-fest. As I've mentioned earlier, you've presented why you feel it's fine to punch in the head/face and I've presented why I feel it isn't the best option. The reader now has enough information that they can make their own decision as to what they feel is best.

    Peace.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  5. Koshiki

    Koshiki Brown Belt

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    Just throwing in my two cents here. Ok, maybe only my ha'penny!

    Ahem. Please read the following in a light, friendly, conversation tone, and envision, as you do, a rather silly looking, but well-meaning smile.

    The very first self-defense technique my school teaches to new students is a palm strike to the face. Followed by three drills utilizing body and side of the neck punches, then an elbow to the floating ribs, a knife-hand strike, same location, then a variety of kicks to the body. Not until the 52nd drill is there a closed fist to the head taught, and then only a finishing technique after a takedown, when the attacker will, (hopefully and hypothetically!), present a simpler target. This technique, part of the fifth set of ten, is not taught until Probationary Black Belt, so students should have a minimum of 6-8 years of training before we really start advocating closed fists to the head. After this first one, there are maybe, maybe, 4 or five more, in all 48 techniques that follow.

    I don't know where you hail from, perhaps the martial arts situation is different, but, out of the schools that my schools encounters on any sort of regular basis, I can't say that head-range knuckle strikes are exactly prevalent in gear-free sparring or one-step/self-defense techniques. The Tai Shing Monkey Kung Fu school loooooves to push strikes right through your face, but I can't say I've ever seen them come at me with a closed fist, it's always a palm heel, or a forearm, or an elbow, or even a shoulder. There's a Karate school that fights quite similarly. When we play, there are punches galore, but they tend to be body, not head. Another karate school we see a lot of, but have never sparred with has self-defense one-step type things that, as far as I have seen/been shown or taught, tend towards groin kicks, elbows, takedowns, body shots, and open hand techniques to the face, ears, head...

    To be sure, they are karate schools. Yes, I'm sure when they perform Taikyoko Nidan, they do at least 6 head strikes in the form. I'd also note that that is the SECOND form taught, the first has, generally, body punches, as does the fourth. If you go through the traditional Karate forms as I know them, there are a good deal more middle punches than high punches, in the taikyokus, the pinans, the nahainchis, Bassai Sho and Dai, Jion, Tencho, Sanchin.

    Leaving out blocks, you know what the strikes are, in order, in the very first form from the Kung Fu school I mentioned? Two palm strikes to the face, a palm to the face, elbow and a low round kick, palm to the face, elbow and a low round, palm to the face, elbow, low round, palm against the back of the head, driving to the ground, then two hammer strikes to the ribs, hammer low, hammer high, hammer low, hammer high, side kick to the body. Not a single knuckle strike to the head. In the next two forms, as taught to me, there are only two closed hand strike to the head, both backfists which come from only a few inches away to the nose, not exactly knuckle breaking force, and a multitude of palm strikes, rakes, and elbows to the head.

    I just began training at a Shaolin Kempo school a couple weeks ago. The punches to the head may be coming, but so far, their SD one step type stuff, they call it kempos and combinations, has consisted of upward throat punches, body punches, body and knee kicks, and take downs.

    Perhaps in your area it is different, but it may be a TOUCH of hyperbole to claim that all schools within 300 miles teach head punches as the standard until the advanced levels. In my area, the opposite seems to be true. Most martial artists that I know seem to acknowledge that, while a head punch can be devastating to the target, it requires a good deal of training and conditioning, and even then, is a risky proposition that should NOT be your go to move.

    If a school is point-fight tournament oriented, then I'm sure they spend a good deal of time connecting their padded knuckles with their padded foreheads, but that's really a different animal.

    Just to be really pedantic, there are likely several hundred martial arts schools within 300 miles of you, no matter where you are. I find it unlikely that, say, the tai chi chuan schools are teaching face punches on day one. The Baguazhang schools? Probably not.

    I agree that there is a harder, more destructive impact with knuckles than with palms. Simple physics decrees it must be so. The fleshy palm can be more compressed, meaning that the force is applied slower, and thus is able to spread out across both surfaces, resulting in significantly lower PSI.

    The problem is that that lower or higher PSI is transmitted 50/50, half to the head, half to the knuckles. You want to know what your doing before you take a full force blow to your knuckles, and, at least with the schools I am most familiar with, in New England, that fact seems to be recognized clearly in training. The One school I can think of that loves knuckles to the head is a Shotokan school, and they train with some very old and grungy looking, really hard makiwaras. They also are fans of placing makiwara boards on trees, instead of on the flexible post. They punch to the head but, they acknowledge that you want to be reaaaaally ready for it.

    In short, punches hit with a higher PSI, given equal force of attack. Palm strikes are padded, thus hit with a lower PSI. What is worse for a head, is worse for your hand, and what is better for your hand is better for a head. Also, I bet you have a few schools within 30 miles, let alone 300 that recognize this, and that they are more focused on self-defense, and less on tournament point-fighting and forms.

    I could be wrong, but I am recklessly applying my own experience to you. (I know, bad science, that, but I'm just that lazy!)

    And remember, my tone is light and conversational, accompanied by a pleasant, if rather goofy, smile.
     
  6. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Zack, I've generally found this to be the case in my area. Certainly mileage will vary with schools. Putting the L.E. stuff to the side for a moment and using the schools in our association (U.S. and Australia), I can't think of any closed fist punching to the face/head. Our 'Basic 20' kata has a double punch in each drill but there is a caveat; first, the double punches are vertical and not cork screw type punches. Secondly, they are to the torso or lower. Thirdly, they are 'place holders' so-to-speak. They are there for the instructor to use or discard at their discretion. It is the place that other techniques are inserted such as a lock, throw etc. The Basic 20 is a living kata that is tailored to each individual student. The foundation or skeleton stays the same but the conclusions are tailored. As an example, I had a student once that was built like a fire plug. Kicking wasn't his thing and really never would be due to his body type combined with previous injuries. So his conclusions centered more on close in strikes and grappling which he excelled at. Conversely, I had a woman that was one of those people that could jump up and grab a quarter on the top of the door frame with her feet and leave fifteen cents change. So her conclusions took advantage of her flexibility and lower body strength.

    Additionally, the Mu Shin kata of our own school has 25 movements that contain strikes, locks, throws, escapes etc but no head punches.

    Speaking with those masters in our association on this topic, as well as fellow high liability professionals I work with basically mirrored what I've posted already. As full disclosure, I've done hard body conditioning to include my hands. Knuckle push ups on hard wood, punching boards, kicking tires and bowling pins on the shins etc. Even with that, my preference is to utilize other strikes that can achieve the same desired result with less risk vs. reward.

    Good point on the physics of the strike as well. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Thanks for bringing that into the conversation as well for consideration.
     
  7. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    ATTENTION ALL USERS:

    Please keep this discussion civil.

    Thank you.

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  8. Koshiki

    Koshiki Brown Belt

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    THAT. Is awesome. I have never encountered something like that before. I mean, there are the traditional forms, which are sometimes changed a tiiiny bit, you know, the new 55 year student might have to do a knee kick, not a middle kick, or the guy with a spinal injury has to narrow up his stances a bit. Then sometimes there are the self-created forms, which usually seem to degenerate into wild sequences of spins, jumps, twirly-go-rounds and the like. I love the idea of the carefully tailored form, fitting perfectly with the practitioner's needs and abilities. I don't suppose you would have any video handy, of different version? Probably not, but that's something I would love to see!

    Oooh, also, somewhere back in the mass of text I remember somebody saying that a downside of palm strikes is that the cannot use the same trajectory as a hook punch. I can't find the statement now, but I just wanted to jump in and say, Yes, yes they can! Just don't implode your buddies ear drums when you're practicing; those things are delicate, and music is pretty.

    Mr. Shin, advice noted and taken as an order, Mr. Admin sir. Also, your avatar is doing funny things to my eyes.
     
  9. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    Zach I stand by my comment. Most of the schools with in 3 hours drive are mcdojo. Nearly all are ATA tkd and one jkd concepts place. There is no internal arts in my half of the state. I see face punching drills in all of them. I've watched karate school after karate school perform the same high punching drill.

    My area is the Midwest mcdojo capital.
     
  10. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Thank you. It's something we developed years ago and it just took off and spread to other schools/arts. There were several of us that had a hand in the development of both the Basic 20 and the Mu Shin kata. We had some commonality in our training but also different arts to draw upon. And the least experienced had 20 years of training/teaching with the most 50+. It was a very rewarding project and was received well.

    The IKSDA MAC is in the process of putting it on video for the association. Each master is suppose to video the Basic 20 with their particular influence for source material for the other IKSDA schools here and in Australia. I'd be happy to let you know when some of it has been videoed so you can check it out. This will be free from the IKSDA and is just part of our show-n-tell time with other schools and arts. Like anything, if you find something useful then take it and make it yours. Discard what you can't use.

    We use something very similar in one of our escape techniques. You have to do it carefully in training for the safety of your partner. Very effective. That will be on one of the videos we're doing as well.
     
  11. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I understand where you're coming from on this now. Would this not lend support to my points though?
     
  12. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    KSD Firstly I want to apologize for getting heated and acting like a B hole. No excuse for it.

    Thinking on this, im inclined to agree with you. Though my own personal training wont reflect it. The reason is, I have way to much ingrained training, and that is face punching. I can practice all other forms but I know for a fact under pressure ill instinctively go back to punch's. Knowing that, I have begun searching for a way to practice iron body and iron hand to help mitigate as much as I can this issue for me. So far I have found this company and it looks legit. http://ironpalmproductions.com/iron-body-training I would find a live teacher to show me, but as noted there are none in my half the state. KSD do you use JOW? I so which company do you use? Is this company legit? http://www.plumdragonherbs.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/22 Or this one? http://www.ditdajow.com/ Looking forward to advice on this.

    One thing I have to say in favor of boxing is that for basic easy to learn defenses against various punch's. Sure it has drawbacks but I think a lot of the defenses and concepts can work with any martial system for self defense.

    With regards to my father he is TKD. He LOVES kicking. Prefers it over all things. Problem was most of his attacks were close proximity and in confined areas. One was at a local diner(he show me spot it happened in and the wall the thug fell into..) Was a one punch affair straight to the face. He just reacted as taught. He had epilepsy for a long time and had to hitch hike. People tried to jump him all the time during that era of his life. People just didn't understand it and thought they could beat up the special guy... One time he was in Chicago and was on some kind of walk way at night. 3 guys tried to jump him. One on the left, one on the right, one in front and a few feet back. He grabbed both the guys on either side and did some kind of goofy off balancing maneuver and slamed them into each other then did a quick step and threw the last guy into a wall then chopped his neck.. Not a punch but meh cool story.

    SO he never had to worry about fine motor manipulation, and he never hurt him self. I asked him about this, he said those that broke there hands just weren't trained right and don't know how to punch correctly. Now he is not a high level BB but I do respect my dads opinion considering his experience.

    I just know how I will react, so I train my best and do what I can to mitigate it. The boxer I mentioned agrees there is a danger, but feels that training and conditioning play a important role. He never had a problem in any of his altercations. He did mention a south African boxer who even with wraps and gloves was always breaking his hand. LOL
     
  13. Koshiki

    Koshiki Brown Belt

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    I guess I'm confused, I thought your point was that, since Martial Arts schools teach head punches, they must be good options. Now it sounds like you're saying that they teach head punches because they don't know what they're doing. I'll have to re-read more thoroughly.

    VERY. Excited to see that.
     
  14. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    Not trying to confuse you. Just stating what I saw. I consider all ATA to be mcdojo. I have watched a lot of the so called karate in my area and its mostly worthless. No real pressure testing(not sparring, not the same thing) and half the instructors are morbidly obese. I don't respect a obese instructor.
     
  15. Koshiki

    Koshiki Brown Belt

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    Hey, I have an ATA instructor friend! ...and, yeah, I'm not going to disagree. Although, there are certainly talented atheletes in the ATA, what they do is not *my* kind of martial arts. But hey, I sure as heck can't do all that spinny tossy catchy baton bo stuff. 'Course, my bo also weighs a couple pounds, so...

    I'm with you for the most part on overweight instructors. However. HOWEVER. Out of all the upper ranks, black belts, and Instructors in my system, I think the one I learned the most from about real, honest to goodness, don't get yourself beaten-up self-defense type fighting was the only overweight one. He had a looong history in the Martial Arts, both within and outside of my style, and boy oh boy did he know his stuff. He also developed extremely serious asthma, which lead to a heart condition. The medication for the Asthma induced rapid weight gain, which made continuous exercise difficult and even dangerous in the last several years of his life. Without exercise, asthma worsens, and so the cycle went. But, even after he stopped instructing, he would come and watch classes, and make the occasional comment to students about really minute details that would make all the difference for him. Great man, great combat philosophy, great knowledge. Great real world philosophy too; he could talk for hours, and was more than willing to hold forth on nearly any topic, generally in a well-versed, extremely honest and open manner.

    Sorry, rant over. For the most part I am with you 100% on overweight instructors; if they can't be bothered to train enough to stay in shape, how can we expect them to be knowledgeable about how others should train? I wouldn't say that I don't respect them, it's just that I don't necessarily trust their knowledge. But as I have tried to illustrate, there is always an exception.

    --------------------------------

    I think the issue of danger to the hand structure may also be slightly obscured by the fact that some of us DO condition our hands, develop strong wrist muscles, and thus have a better chance of not hurting our hand. I can punch a hard surface pretty hard and generally feel fine, but then, I have a rope-wound wooden buddy sunk four feet deep into bricks in my back yard, so it might be a little unfair to use that as an example. My girlfriend's hands are just not going to hold up to that. I know from personal experience that if I smack my knuckles into a forehead, it does NOT feel healthy. For a bigger guy, it might be ok. Just like there some people can kick to the head blindingly fast, with extraordinary accuracy and power, while the rest of us had better kick to the knees and stomp on insteps if we want to be effective, some people can hit heads and be fine. A great deal cannot.

    I remember my first time with a makiwara, when I was 11 or 12. It was on a tree, not a post. I only hit it, as I recall, twenty times, ten each side, and I was pretty cautious, certainly not hitting hard at all. My wrists were sore for at least several days after, and the right one got all swollen. Looking back, it was probably pretty irresponsible on the part of the instructor. (Not my instructor, different school.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  16. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Kframe, apology accepted and no worries :)

    In regards to iron palm and iron body training, it is/was a viable training methodology. It is something that needs to be done carefully and methodically. I don't know if our body conditioning would be considered as iron palm/body or not, we just referred to it as hard body conditioning. Here is an example of some of this type of training (this isn't me but is pretty much what I went through in addition to us striking/kicking each other, kicking tires and using bowling pins):



    I've never used Dit Da Jow but have heard good things about it. I/we always used Tiger Balm and it worked just fine for us and I still use it after a body building workout. In regards to Dit Da Jow I took a quick peek at YT cause I got curious:



    It sounds to me like your father really got the most out of his training, good for him. That's good, solid practical stuff he can pass on to you. If you do start iron hand/body training I'd be curious as to how you like it and how it is working for you.
     
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  17. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    I just went through all the Goju kata and with the possible exception of the Gekisai kata there are no head high straight punches. There are plenty of palm heel strikes, lots of back fists and a small number of uppercuts. In Sesan kata, basically taught at around fifth dan, there is one head high punch but from lowered stance, therefore not targeting the head. Interesting!
    :asian:
     
  18. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    KSD. Thank you for the videos. Aye my father is a great martial artist. He had a IDentical twin that was his sparring partner out side of school. He basically tested everything on him. Now my uncle was not a slouch, he could wrestle and box, and new some basic kick boxing thanks to training with dad. Both of them were in the 170lb range. Dad was the runner body type, lean and fast, Uncle was the body builder type, lots of muscle and strength. He made for a good platform for my dad to learn and test everything he was taught. Uncle never took it easy on him either..

    I have not done any iron body/palm, I am going to start though. So far all I have done for the last year is punch bags of Floor dry in my warehouse. That sucked at first, but now I can blast that stuff full power. They are some kind of diatomaceous earth and clay, not sure of the exact mix.

    With regards to the jow, I have a basic understanding of how it works. Opening blood vessels and such.. One thing is for sure, Its not the jow that does the magic its Wolfs Law that we structure conditioners are going for.

    KSD you mentioned a vertical fist earlier. I don't remember the context. IS the vertical fist safer then a normal fist?
     
  19. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Your welcome. Hopefully the DDJ video is a good video? Just happen to see it on YT and I love DIY projects so I figured maybe it was worth a look.

    Well it is probably as controversial as open vs. closed fist :rofl:

    I've taken some various types of classes on cranial sacral and tri release therapy as well as energy work and muscle testing. That isn't my main area of expertise but it was of great interest as it involved a great deal of physiology of the body with the muscles and bones. I had an opportunity to discuss various things with massage therapists, chiropractors and doctors of Chinese medicine. My conclusion was that the best way to punch was for the hand to remain in a neutral alignment. As an example, the way your hands hang at your side normally is the way I would punch. This would be more or less a vertical type fist when brought up into a fighting stance. The JAMA also had a very good article on this topic years ago which agreed with the viewpoints expressed by the practitioners and doctors I spoke with i.e. the bones in the forearm align better/stronger with the hand in a neutral position than if for instance the fist is rotated cork-screw fashion.

    To me, I feel very comfortable and very strong when punching in this manner and I feel like my arm flows more into the punch. I normally would punch in a downward arc into someone's abdomen as the types of covers I use lend themselves to that sort of counter-strike. The only way I can relate the 'feeling' of the punch is that it allows my entire body to be behind the punch in a piston driving motion that I never felt when I would punch any other way. I feel like I can drive through the target straight into the ground. IMO, it is safer as it aligns my two knuckles in-line with the rest of my arm when punching in this matter. I never feel my wrist unstable or weak and if I had to describe the feeling it is like my forearm, wrist and hand are one unit. Now keep in mind that nothing is perfect and stuff can always happen. But I feel stronger, more in-line and less prone to 'something' happening that when I punched other ways such as a cork-screw punch. The 'vertical' punch as I've described is in the same alignment and the beginning, middle and conclusion of the punch unlike the cork-screw which is changing alignment during its rotation through the punch.

    YMMV but that has worked very well for me over the many years I've been punching that way. I think a lot may have to do with how the punch is delivered as well. Just my opinion, but I see a lot of people 'jabbing' the punch. Which can be fine and has it's uses to be sure. The way I do a vertical punch though is more like driving the fist through the person and out his back than a hard 'pop'. So I use it when I'm in a position to deliver it in that fashion. Our lingo is that it causes 'fluid shock' and 'muscular disfunction'. That's a fancy way to say it makes someone go 'poopy-pants'. And it's hard for them to continue an attack when their going 'poopy-pants'.

    Try it and see how you like it. If it works then it's yours, if it doesn't then toss it :)
     
  20. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    The Japanese & Chinese folks I talk to say that most Jow is intended to speed healing or promote and that the benefits of iron hand training come from performing the techniques which build structure over time. The Jow just helps, the say, to shorten the time period.

    K.I.S.S. principle at work. :)

    Which is what they've been saying for centuries. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk123
     

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