sparring

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by samuelpont, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Ha, fair enough!

    Cool, I've got a bit of experience in that field as well.

    Are you, though? If you are training to stay on the ground looking for a submission, why do you think you're going to get up as fast as possible? The only way you're going to consistently look for that is if you are training it... and that is trained as the more powerful response. Sadly, of course, with our unconscious, rational and logical thought doesn't really enter into it, so it's just as likely (in fact, more likely) that success you experience getting a submission, arm-bar, choke, or whatever, will be seen as more "powerful" over getting up and escaping, as that leaves you in a control position, which is unconsciously recognised as "powerful". So I'd suggest that, if and when it really came down to it, your training would have you look for a submission before you looked for an escape... and if you're training with self defence in mind, that's not the option you want to come out.

    The reason to train for submission is if going for submission is the way you generate success. Street defence wise, that's not the case. Competition wise, it is. So again, what are you training for?

    Right, the linking of techniques... is that really what you're going to want though? Is it realistic to expect that? Is it realistic to expect to need it due to the other guy being a skilled grappler, and giving you skilled grappling defences? Personally, I'd say no.

    As far as developing you're "go to" techniques/tactics, that's precisely what you'll get out of scenario training, a lot faster and more powerfully than in sparring (as in scenario training the reactions of the attackers will be more realistic, giving feedback of effective techinique, whereas, more in stand-up striking sparring, the lack of the opponent being halted in their attack, such as toppling after a kick to the knee, means that the "go to" techniques aren't re-inforced as powerful anywhere near as strongly or as well).

    Relaxation and mental approach, again, more than present in scenario based training as well. And the athletic side of things can more than be taken care of as well... just keep training, and keep upping the intensity!

    What this has all said to me is that the sparring method gives tactics and responses that are not ideal, and trains them in a way that is less likely to give a powerful (required) result, and takes longer to do so. It allows you to train in ways that benefit the competitive forms, but not for self defence. Again, what are you training for?

    Far more than just empty hand, my friend.

    No, I don't agree with that. In fact, when you think about it, it just doesn't make any sense at all. It's not the techniques that don't suit sparring, it's the tactics and strategies. Zenpo Keri isn't something that would be prohibited by sparring, nor is a Fudo Ken or Shuto Ken... what actually happens is that it brings up the insecurities and doubts about the usage of the methods, so the practitioner goes to what they believe is powerful and generates success... which is what they have seen "work" in movies, competition (which sparring is really a mimic of), and so on. It really has nothing to do with the techniques not suiting.

    This form of cross-influence (rather than cross-training, which I class as training in a different methodology in order to gain a wider understanding, such as cross training in BJJ so you have a better understanding of the new environment, the ground) does nothing but weaken the practitioners usage of the art by simply undermining any belief they might have in it's usefulness and applicability. If the student is training in an art, and then has to use completely different techniques and methods when it comes to sparring, which they believe equates to "application", it just says to them that the art they're learning doesn't work when it comes to application. There is no strength for the art there, and there isn't much for the student, either. They'd be better off just training in a sport stand-up system, or grappling system, where everything they learn has it's application in sparring, and it's all congruent.

    I mean, do you see BJJ guys saying they need to learn the striking methods of BBT? No, because, in their application, everything they do has it's place in their sparring (rolling).

    It's not quite an "either/or" situation, you're right. It's a matter of looking objectively at what the training actually does, what it reinforces, what it strengthens, what it weakens, what it minimalizes, what it's shortfalls are, and so on. And if you find that one form of training doesn't cut it in terms of the number of issues it presents against it's benefits, it's time to look at removing it. With self defence training, as I see it, that means that sparring doesn't really have a place.

    It depends on what you're after, really. There's no Iai in the Bujinkan schools, nor is there any Kyudo/jutsu, so they would be mainly for the personal students interest, they really won't add too much to the practice of the Bujinkan arts. As far as Judo or BJJ, both great arts, and use sparring as they have the circumstances that gain benefits from it. But I will say that there are issues there as well... I've seen a lot of X-Kan members who cross-train in Judo have that other training getting in the way of their Takamatsuden practice. They may do things in a way that look good, and are "effective", in their way, but they aren't the way they are done in the Ryu themselves. Instead of doing throws the way Kukishinden Ryu does them, for instance, they are Judo throws mixed into the Kukishinden Ryu material, which takes it further from being what it's meant to be. And if you're training for self defence, sports systems aren't necessarily going to add too much... but I wouldn't honestly suggest any classical art either.

    The question might be how much they are really a Takamatsuden practitioner if they are adding influence from these other sources, though. Sure, they may find things they feel are benefits from the other training, but that doesn't necessarily translate to them still being truly "Takamatsuden" themselves.

    I think that comes down to what the aims of the training are. If you're looking at what you can get out of it, with your own personal aims, say, self defence, with no concern as to where the skill comes from, maybe. There are still issues (too many cooks, and so forth...), but maybe. If, however, you want to get good at the art itself, nope. But then again, if you're just looking at a personal desire/aim, then the idea of being a Takamatsuden practitioner takes a back seat.
     
  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Chris,

    Good points as always. However where we disagree is that sparring cannot be beneficial to self defense training. I liken it to most athletic sports in that you may have a ton of different drills some involving directly what you do within that sport and others that work general athleticism as well as attribute building. Sparring promotes a strong mind set, linking together of techniques, relaxation, go to moves as well as attribute training and overall improvement on a practitioners athleticism. (plus many more things) Does Scenario Based Training do this as well. Truthfully I would agree that it does also help in most of these areas as well. Where I disagree is that if you roll or spar your common sence will not dictate that you should not get out of there or get up etc. I personally know people from competitive based systems that ran, got up or picked up a weapon, etc. Their system with sparring or rolling or both did not hamper their ability to make a common sence choice in a moment of violence. Kind've like in the Human Weapon show when Doug threw his weapon and engaged the BJJ practitioner. After the throw and takedown he just picked up a fukuro shinai like it was the normal thing to do but his training per se should have him looking for a submission. Why? Because that was the common sence thing to do. So he just did it! Now he has more experie ce in cross training so I am also willing to say that this might have had some effect. Most RBSD practitioners that I know also spar as well as practice Scenario Based Training. You just do not have to give up one and not do the other.
     
  3. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hey Brian, thanks.

    That may not be as much a disagreement as a different opinion of the usefulness of sparring as a method to attain those benefits.

    No, I'd disagree there. Mainly as sparring is supposed to be testing and teaching application of skills, and that's the way it gets taken in. The ardent sparring supporters say that there's no way to know if your art works without sparring, not that there's no way to get the athletic benefits that can have a positive effect without it. It's not like going for a run, doing a cardio workout, or anything similar, as they are removed from the sense of "application", and as such, have no ill-effects on the performance of said skill sets.

    Yes. In a more realistic and applicable manner, as pertains to the actual application being trained for.

    As I said, you will always go to what you feel is the most powerful (unconsiously). So if tactics or actions come out that are not part of the training, it's not because of a sense of logic, it's because (unconsciously) you feel that is more powerful. Picking up a weapon or running away are just a few examples (NOTE: I am discussing real life assault conditions here, I'll cover what happens in a sparring match or similar in a moment, as that is a different set of circumstances and honestly not really that relevant) of behaviours that could be seen as more powerful.... typically when you feel that you are outmanned.

    But you have to ask yourself, what was the real effect of the sparring if it gets countered in a real event? Honestly, there's things I talk about there, which is again why I feel that sparring is not the right approach for combative use and application, and it comes primarily down to mindset. Frankly, sparring doesn't actually help there, it hinders. Quite a bit.

    A competition, or sparring match, has a completely different set of mental attitudes that it requires, and that it fosters. Which is one of the biggest problems, really. What Jason was doing was what he knew... keeping the rules of the competition in mind, and sticking to them. A submission wouldn't have counted according to the way they set the matches up, so there wasn't any point. But here's the thing... the very fact that Jason was able to remain that coherent in his decision making process shows that he was still in conscious control... in other words, the adrenaline that he was feeling wasn't anywhere near sufficient enough to shut down his higher mental functions. And it's that type of adrenaline found in sparring, which is not the same, with very different effects, to that found in a real situation. As a result, the mindset trained is not what is needed for real violence, so that removes that "benefit" from sparring.

    I explained this idea to my guys at one point by pointing out that, in sporting contests, a common refrain is to hear that you need a "killer instinct", which refers to the idea of always pushing forward and advancing. Leaving aside, for the moment, that that particular approach can be dangerous in some defence situations, and is hardly something you always want to apply, I pointed out that it's just not the mindset desired for actual combative applications. There, you want what I referred to as a "killer intent". By that, I meant the approach and mentality of ending things immediately, and committing to whatever course of action that is best suited... but that intent needs to be present in all your training, and if done in sparring, it just doesn't fit.

    As I said, I haven't come across any RBSD practitioners or instructors that utilise sparring (as described earlier in the thread) in their training methods. There are extended training drills, but not "sparring" per se. I'm wondering if we're talking about the same thing....
     
  4. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    Round and round and round we go....

    Brian, what happens when you have people spar? What does it look like? Are their specific goals or is it the "just fight" mentality? How do you prevent students' egos from getting in the way durring a sparring session which as Chris mentioned is about out performing one another IMO.

    In scenario based training, uke can respond to a simulated strike to vulnerable targets such as the groin and eyes or ankles and knees. In sparring no one reacts to simulated strikes, so the tactics have to change and no longer resemble what a person would actually do in a real encounter. Have you found a way to prevent this?
     
  5. Tanaka

    Tanaka Purple Belt

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    Actually what Chris Parker just showed did kind of clear things up. As far as the choking discussion though, in the couple of scenarios outside the dojo the choke was much easier to get. This was because in a scramble a lot of people give up their back or allow access to their back easier because they turn around to cover up from strikes rather than stay squared up.
     
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not teach the Takamatsuden arts though I have practiced them for over twenty years. Partly because I could not do them the justice that they would deserve. Instead I focus on teaching IRT which when we spar does look like how we train. We spar one on one, two on one and some times more or in a group setting. We also do Scenario Based Training just as how Chris described earlier. Ego will always play a role in any athletic endeavor particularly at first. After awhile you are working to execute your training without thought and ego would be irrelevant at that point. We spar full contact with groin strikes allowed. (allowed also of course in Scenario Based Training as well) People do react to fakes that are well done but a trained person in general will not react to a poor fake or one that is not capable of damage. (unless they react to draw someone in ;) ) I am not a believer that sparring is the end all be all but just one more way to become well trained and efficient with your body. It should not be the prime goal but simply a tool that will make you better.
     
  7. johnmills

    johnmills White Belt

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    A common BJJ saying is 'technique goes out the window when you're being punched in the face.' It primarily refers to the difference between rolling- where opponents are working for submissions under a certain rule set- and a real fight where that rule set has been thrown out the window. The point is rolling is useful in the context of working strength, endurance, and being able to execute techinques under pressure. It's a piece of the puzzle, and an important one, but even its practioners know it is not the end all be all of training.

    I think the exact same attitude applies to sparring. No, it's not a real fight, any time you agree to certian rules it is not. But it is much more difficult to execute a proper Jodan Uke if you don't know what punch is coming, or if indeed it will be a punch at all, or a kick, or a grab, or tackle or any of a hundred other unexpected attacks your opponent can make.

    Reactions- like every other aspect of a matial art- have to be trained, and that can only be done if you don't know what your opponent is going to do next.

    Ultimately I'm just agreeing with Brian, it is a tool to make you better.
     
  8. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I know Krav Maga guys that spar. (hard to not think of Krav Maga as an RBSD system) Particularly the Israeli practitioners. (they seem to spar a bit) I know one RBSD practitioner who also utilizes sparring similar to the way that I do in that while they do not do it all the time but they do utilize it enough. Paul Vunak developed RAT as a reality based system. I am sure that they have a sparring component as Jeet Kune Do is a part of it. MCMAP the system utilized by the United States Marines is a system that you would say is very reality based and they have sparring sessions within their system. The United States Army Combatives program definitely has those touches of a RBSD art but they roll quite a bit. Pekiti Tirsia Kali is a RBSD in my opinion and is taught the the Filipino Force Recon Marines and they spar. Tony Blauer is very well known in the RBSD world. While I am not sure 100% that he has sparring in all of his training seminars I have witnessed his students rolling and sparring in their gear at demos trying to sell their product and in his origional developed system Chu Fen Do sparring was integral. While I agree that their are some RBSD practitioners that do not spar their are also others that do. Even more important I would bet is that their initial instructors in their developmental stages also sparred which was crucial to their development further down the road. Similarly I imagine Chris that you have sparred in the past and rolled and that without that training you would be less of a practitioner than you are now. I will agree that I like Scenario Based Training just that I do not think a practitioner in any system should just do Scenarios with no sparring. I think they will miss developing the ability to link things together effectively as well as developing go to moves. No instead I think they will be better off with some of both! :)

    I would ad that sparring never hindered me professionally when having to make an arrest on someone. No instead the strong mental will developed during those sessions aided.

    I just do not see it as an either or situation. I think if you find the right balance you can do both with no negative side effects. I understand where you are coming from but we can agree to disagree.

    I only have so much time to post here so it is very hard for me to come back again and again. Debating you feels like being in court with a lawyer. :) That is not a snipe but a compliment at your skills!
     
  9. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Ah, here's the issue. None of those are RBSD systems. They are modern systems, and deal in modern conflict (for the most part), but are not actually RBSD systems, as that implies and refers to a rather different training method and approach. A big clue is that an RBSD system will have very limited, if any, actual physical "techniques" to itself, instead, it will rely on previous training that the practitioner/trainee has. Each system you mentioned has it's own particular methodology (technique-wise), which puts them more in the idea of modern martial systems. And honestly, it's not uncommon for such systems to spar for a variety of reasons... but one of the common ones I see is that it's just felt that it's "expected", or that it's not "real" unless it's done with sparring. Needless to say, I see a few issues with that.
     
  10. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Just going back over the last few posts, a few things that came up for me.

    That's not exactly what was being discussed in the article, though. The way people give up their back there is a fear response, a primal defensive reaction to an overwhelming attack (or at least one that is perceived as overwhelming). There isn't the forms of resistance that Rory was talking about. As always, each situation is unique and different, but the situation you described isn't the "resistance" argument, it's a position one. Rory was discussing the "sanitised" forms of resistance which is taken as "real".

    I don't think Himura was discussing the idea of fakes, though, Brian, and I know that's certainly not what I'd be talking about. I'm (and I'm assuming Himura, as well) talking about a real reaction as if the strike was performed to it's effect, not about suckering in with a fake. A kick to the knee to buckle the opponent, not just shaken off and continued with the sparring match. That's kinda the key "reality" difference between sparring and other forms of free-responce training.

    Free form scenario training (as described earlier) has the exact same benefits (dealing with unexpected, or unknown attacks, and so on) without the issues of training for a false sense of reality. That's really the core of my argument against it. In BJJ, sparring (rolling) is still essential because it replicates the application of the methods, which includes competitive matches. But that doesn't make it essential, or even really useful, for every other art out there. It is indeed just a tool, but using a screwdriver when you need a hammer doesn't make it the best choice. Sure, you can use the handle to hammer a nail in, but it's still not the best choice.
     
  11. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    Yes. this is what I was reffering to.
     
  12. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Chris,

    In regards to Krav Maga it definitely is a modern martial system but I would disagree that it is not a Reality Based System. (clearly the Krav Maga practioners feel it is as they advertise it as one) Just look at this website: http://www.kravmagabootcamp.com/public/department118.cfm
    or this one:
    http://www.allstarma.com/commando/
    or this one:
    http://www.reactdefense.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=4
    or this one:
    http://www.kravamerica.com/About-Krav-Maga/krav-maga-training-programs.html
    or this one:
    http://www.squidoo.com/learn-krav-maga
    or this one:
    http://www.dynamiccombatvirginia.com/programs.html

    Now I just googled Krav Maga and copied and pasted each and every one starting at the top. They all have "Reality Based Training" some where right at the beginning in their description. So either you personally have a different interpretation that the entire Krav Maga worldwide organization or they all are wrong and you are right? Maybe you have a different standard and because they spar they are not "Reality Based". I would like them place them in as a Reality Based System based on their overall approach.
     
  13. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay cool! Some body kicks you in the knee in practice would your knee buckle every time? I have been kicked in the knee a lot of times in sparring and or in Scenario Based Training. (we allow leg kicks so invariably you get some to your knees now and then even when they are not the target) A few times it buckled but most of the time I just shrugged it off and continued on. A knee strike can be devastating but..... not always. So if you during a scenario act out that it takes you down that could be a negative and not realistic. When doing a kata sure if the correct application of said kata is to take into effect the knee strike then of course you would do that. However, in reality some times a strike will not get that desired effect. Now are we talking about the same thing?
     
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Mind you that this conversation is good and beneficial to all. I enjoy seeing, hearing and listening to other peoples opinions and or training methodology.
     
  15. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Question: This has nothing to do with the Discussion, but just general curiosity. What kind of Knee Kicks are You talking about? Round with the Instep? Side Kicks? Front Kicks? Etc. Im not going to list all of them, You know what I mean :)
     
  16. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Yeah, I think it comes down to a difference in terminology. If there are ranks involved (there are in Krav Maga), a syllabus which is structured involving techniques, then to me, it's not an RBSD. That's not to say it isn't, or couldn't be a realistic approach to self defence training, just that an RBSD program is short term (not long term), and is a particular approach, primarily geared towards the pre- and post-fight more than the fight itself. It's assumed in many RBSD groups that you already have that covered in some fashion... although there are always methods (but not really "techniques") that are drilled. Additionally, there is a lot of Krav Maga that simply isn't "reality based" in any way, and, despite their rhetoric, they're just as much a martial art as the local karate dojo.

    Ha, if I'm kicking the knee, it'll buckle, all right... at the very least! And if it doesn't (if my training partner doesn't give me that reaction), then either I've missed the kick, and they're giving me valuable feedback on my targeting, or they're not acting realistically either. I take the shots I do because they are high return, and hard to protect against.

    Agreed!

    Nothing like what you're used to in TKD, my friend. Think of kicking in a door, slamming your foot through it... then apply that as a kick to the side of the knee, where it doesn't really bend.
     
  17. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    I'm think more of stomping down into the knee or as Chris put it, smashing through it like a door. Even with a snap kick though, I would aim for joints with the intention of breaking bone alignment, if a break an actual bone that's great but it's more of a bonus side effect. My main concern is affecting balance and making the opponent's position weaker and harder to fight from. In scenario training your partner can resist some things realistically (as long as it is safe to do so) like refusing to let a poorly applied wrist lock take them down, but they shouldn't resist being kicked in the knee or ankle if you simulating driving through it because even if they could take such a blow there is still a high risk of partner injury. In sparring, as I see it, training partners will shrug such things off because in their mind they have to "win". No decent human being would want to risk serious injury to their training partners so they either wouldn't perform such actions or pull them back to the point of being ineffective in this environment because the other person is more focused on recieving hits and hitting back than realizing that if this were a serious self-defense encounter his training partner would actually do something completely different (i.e stomping down on the side of the knee as opposed to round kicking the thigh or back of the leg.

    In regards to the Krav Maga, I think the sparring aspect is really more about teaching them to be aggressive and not give up after being hit. That's good, that I can get behind, but the sparring does not resemble their self-defense techniques.

    edit: For some reason the editing page won't let me embed the next clip so I'll try posting a second comment and see if that works.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  18. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes the kicks in the Takamatsuden arts are dramatically different than in TKD, Karate, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, etc. Having said that though because I have used them in sparring in a full contact manner I would not rely 100% that they are any different than other kicks in effectiveness when dealing with an opponent head on. From the side they should work. (though I have seen peoples knees react strange after years and years of sparring and being in athletics in other sports) From the back of the knee worse case you should have the knee stomped to the ground if not really messed up. (I have used this in making an arrest to good effect) Yet, I would not rely 100% on anything.
     
  19. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    Ok so in these two videos we have guys sparring. But it doesn't rememble self-defense, because there doesn't seem to be a goal other than "hit the other guy". Is this realistic? In a way yes, but only when guys square off and decide to fight without knowing what they want the end result to be. For example:



    In this video the officer brawls with the guy, he looks like a decent enough boxer, but what is his goal? He doesn't seem to want to arrest or hold the guy for questioning. He just seems to want to beat him up. If it were self-defense or an apprehension he would either escape or seek to control him somehow. These fights tend to be ego driven and kind of pointless. Nothing ever really comes from them until they escalate to the point that more people join in or someone grabs a weapon. Sparring I feel creates this menbtality and if you were training for sport would be fine, but in self-defense training must be geared towards taking initiative and either apprehending (if your police and that's your job), or escaping.

    Here are some Krava maga self-defense lessons. I don't think they are very good, but they illustrate my point.





    Without commenting on all the things I find wrong with these methods they still illustrate principles not found in sparring. In both cases, in addition to causing damage the strikes appear to be used to take the distract the attacker's mind from the disarms. Then notice all the kciks to the groin that you don't see in sparring. Kicking the groin does more than cause pain and injury, it pitches the body forward and off balance as most people throw the hips back when someone is trying to scramble their eggs. People don't usually kick to the groin in sparring and as we all know:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  20. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Scenarior Based Training fills the gap nicely. However, that does not negate the positives that ones gains through regular sparring, rolling, etc. (strong mental will, ability to relax, linking techniques together, etc., etc., etc.) You simply do not have to choose one over the other and Scenario Based Training does not provide some benefits that sparring, rolling does. However together they both work very well!123
     

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