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Old 07-10-2006, 08:30 PM   #1
graham
 
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What is the One Point?

Is it simply the point of balance?

And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsicously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?

Would O Sensei have considered it the place where Ki is stored, or something like that?
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Old 07-10-2006, 09:40 PM   #2
aikigirl10
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:
Is it simply the point of balance?

And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsicously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?

Would O Sensei have considered it the place where Ki is stored, or something like that?
If im not mistaken (which i could be) the "one point" is your center. And yes this is where ki is supposed to be stored, or in other words, where your energy comes from. At least that's my understanding of it... again i could be wrong.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:23 PM   #3
NagaBaba
 
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Re: What is the One Point?

It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.

Nagababa

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Old 07-10-2006, 10:33 PM   #4
hapkidoike
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Re: What is the One Point?

The one point is the singularity. That is to say, a point or region of infinite mass density at which space and time are infinitely distorted by gravitational forces and which is held to be the final state of matter falling into a black hole.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:12 PM   #5
dps
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Re: What is the One Point?

It is the physical point of balance for the mass of your body or the pivot point around which your body turns. The general area for it is directly below the navel but it can be shifted by contracting or relaxing the muscles in your body or by concentrating on a part of your body that is higher or lower than your one point. The closer to the ground your one point is the harder it is to unbalance you. The farther away from the ground it is the easier it is to unbalance you.
Keeping your one point and having your opponent lose theirs is maybe the most important principle of Aikido.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:21 AM   #6
ian
 
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.
Hey - metaphysical

IMO saying 'concentrate on the one-point' to someone who doesn't know what the 'one-point' is, is.... pointless!

I think being aware of your centre of gravity (about 1 1/2 inches below your belly-button) can help in effciency of body movement (especially rotation around this centre). With unbendable arm I always think it is more important to focus on trying to reach with your open fingers to the far wall. I believe this helps you to use your triceps without interference from your antagonistic muscles (biceps). This isn't to say I don't believe in chi etc, just that I think esoteric language is of no use if it can't be felt or translated into something with external reality.

Maybe the 'focus on one-point' which you are being instructed to do is another way of saying 'relax and don't use too much muscle in the arm' - the command to "relax" being another of my pet hates!

P.S. yes, in 'eso-speak' ki can be stored in the one-point or 'hara'. Certain exercises can help to develop ki flow (with relaxation being an important aspect of ki flow). Ueshiba probably believed something similar to this, although it can be more complex (i.e. ki is the internal energy, but this then has to be converted to power (I think jin in Chinese? - not sure in Japanese)). Also ki development requires specific exercises that you don't really see practised in aikido (though some may argue that aikido is a ki exercise in itself?).

Last edited by ian : 07-11-2006 at 04:29 AM.

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Old 07-11-2006, 05:09 AM   #7
graham
 
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Re: What is the One Point?

Thanks, guys. Fascinating stuff.
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:57 AM   #8
Mark Freeman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Graham,

IMHO, One point is just a convenient english term for the concept of hara ( Japanese) or tandien ( Chinese), 'centre', might be just as useful. It is not a 'point' but an 'area' located just below the navel, which corresponds roughly with the body's centre of mass/gravity. There are many ways to practice moving from your one point. The goal is co-ordination of mind and body, essential for good aikido, but also invaluable in daily life.

It is more than the point of balance. You could think of it as where the mind, body and spirit all 'come together', when in this state, the person is just more effective than when they are not. This is not an 'idea' for me, it is a state of knowing through doing.

Whether ki is 'stored' in this place or not could be discussed until the cows come home. What does make sense is to practice your exercises and gain your own experience of what it means for you. In time you will know the state exactly and know when you have it and when you don't.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:02 AM   #9
Mark Freeman
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.
Pseudo religious slang - how do you come to that conclusion?

In Reality it doesn't exist at all - does the upper case 'R' make reality more real?

Do ideas exist in reality or do they not exist at all?

Who is the judge of what is really real and what is not?

Just a few thoughts that came to mind on reading the above pithy dismissal of a (to me) useful concept.

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:26 AM   #10
dps
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:
And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsciously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?
I was taught 'unbendable arm' by imagining my stomach full of water and imagining that my arm was a water pipe and my fingers were smaller pipes. Then I would imagine water flowing upward, through my arm, out my fingers and the water spraying at some some point in the distance. I have heard this visualization used with paint in the stomach and you were spraying a rainbow with your fingers.
I think this is a way to trick your mind into letting your body to setup a physical connection via bones, muscles, ligaments between your hand and your one point. By maintaining this connection you can use 'unbendable arm' while rolling forward and backward, break falling, and waza. You can also establish this connection with your legs or any other part of your body.
As far as the metaphysical part, my stomach is not full of water or paint.
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:21 PM   #11
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Re: What is the One Point?

A google image search on "Da Vinci's Vitruvian man" will bring up a picture that everybody should know - the man in the circle.

I was taught 'move from center' at age 13, and I immediately thought of Da Vinci's drawing. Sempai said if you stuck a pin through that point in your belly you would spin in a perfect circle.

If 'ki' and 'center' bother you - forget them. Get to the zoo and watch the monkeys - especially Siamangs. They move with powerful arms. My wife and I watched them 'arm walk' long distances, high in the air, on ropes --- they moved from the hips, or belly, using their whole bodies - in perfect rhythm with the bouncing of the rope. As they shifted their weight the rope bounced and the mated pair just used their arms to hold on - the whole motion was almost a resonant dance.

What the heck does this have to do with aikido?

Don't know, I'm not a monkey

dave
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:56 PM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
Get to the zoo and watch the monkeys - especially Siamangs.
I love watching (and listening to!) them but never considered in those terms. You are absolutely right; for all that they are using upper limbs to bear weight, they ARE totally moving from and balanced in their centers. Makes one realize how very silly it is of us leg-walking humans to put so much of our focus in our chests/shoulders!

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:45 PM   #13
aikigirl10
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.
I think it all depends on how you look at it. If you don't believe in ki then i would say that you don't believe in the "one point".

Personally i think ki is just a manifestation of all the energy that is already within you. I don't really see it as a religion or as magic.

You see the difference Szczepan , is that you stated your opinion as fact, when in "Reality" your opinion is just opinion. How do you know that the one point doesn't exist? Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:58 PM   #14
Upyu
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Re: What is the One Point?

One point -

Not that I do aikido, but from what Ive experienced it overlaps with what we do here in Aunkai.
That being said, what's referred to the "one" point is only one part of an overall structure that needs to be connected to several other parts of the body.

If you were to divide the body into three general parts,
Top (Head to sternum)
Middle (Sternum to tanden/one point)
Bottom(Tanden/onepoint to Feet)

Then the one point is only another point which you need to feel and develop a connection to the other points.
Specifcially along the spine, you need to connect the base of the neck (about 5th vertabrae down) to the sacrum point, which surprise surprise coincides with the inner muscles that comprise the "tanden" about an inch and a half below the navel. Do enough connection exercises like spear work, Sumo stamping, and you'll actually be able to "move" some kind of inner muscle around the tanden area.

One point is important, but not all important if you ask me.
More important are the base of neck and the coinciding "cross" point that lies in the middle of the chest. Most people don't have this area stabilized, which almost completely nullifies any benefit to moving from your "one point".

PS
I think Szczepan is half right half wrong.
If you think the tanden is some quasi mystical thing that you use to improve your movement by visualization exercises, then he's right, it is garbage.
However if you understand exactly the roll it plays in connecting the body efficiently, well that's a different story. Plus, yes you can "store" power there, but it's nothing mystical. It's a physical action grounded in the laws of physics and reality.

Last edited by Upyu : 07-11-2006 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:26 PM   #15
tedehara
 
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:
Is it simply the point of balance?

And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsicously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?

Would O Sensei have considered it the place where Ki is stored, or something like that?
The concept of one point was devised by Koichi Tohei to serve as a basis of his style of aikido, Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido aka Ki Aikido. While it appears similar to the concepts of hara or dan tien, it is not. The definitions and concepts of hara and dan tien depends on who you are reading. Also K. Tohei's use of the one point changed over the years as his understanding changed. Focusing your attention at your one point if done correctly, should help you achieve a relaxed state of mind and body coordination according to K. Tohei.

While it is usually taught as being equivalent to one's center of gravity, it is not. A person's center of gravity changes as a person's shape changes. Therefore you have a different center of gravity when walking, sitting or lying down.

The founder would be more familiar with the concepts of hara or dan tien. One of the popular ideas about ki is that it is not stored, but flows through the body. Any blockage of ki would be the cause of sickness, so the idea of storing ki is contrary to popular belief.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:24 PM   #16
Upyu
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Re: What is the One Point?

Again, I think the answer is somewhere in between.

There has to be a mild tension exhibited in the body, where the connections are "flowing" together, but at the same time you can "increase" the pressure in certain areas.
Which means you can "store" and keep it "flowing" at the same time

Blockage means you're keeping something "tense" by clenching the muscles or you're simply disconnected from the rest of the points. If the muscles around a joint are tense, you can't connect them to the rest of the body, cuz the tension being derived is an "individual" tension being generated by local muscles.
Which is why most arts emphasize "opening" the joints to let "ki" flow through them.

About the center of gravity, its not that important, what's more important is the overall connectivity between certain key points if you ask me.

Last edited by Upyu : 07-11-2006 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 07-11-2006, 09:39 PM   #17
DH
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Re: What is the One Point?

About the cross or the back chest area Rob mentioned and the idea of a one point.
If you can imagine shoving a drive shraft or any pole into a hole in the floor then slide a peg through it horizontally. Next grab the peg as it sticks out left to right with both your hands.
Now
Imagine the hole you stuck the pole into is attached to an engine with 1000 ft. lb. of torque and I turn it on.
Now when you get out of hospital with your broken arms healed you can understand how powerful it can be if
1. the pole is your spine
2. the peg is tension held across the back and chest
3. and the engine is the ground through your legs through your hips that turn the spine or pole at the waist. Everything attached to it is launched without you dedicating much to the effort in a forward direction. It makes powerful kicks, punches, throws, and shoves without you giving much to lose or have someone take your balance. You are wholely dedicated without being dedicated.
The frame is strengthened through connections throughout the body which can be strengthened further still through breathing and pressures there. As well you are using the ground for power to launch. Of course it is the way you are connected and can create the power that moves through the whole body foot to hand

The above example can be quite effective in ground grappling for reversals when you are on your back with someone on you giving you weight and you hold tension in the cross and you turn using the ground from your feet through the hips and you turn the spine like a drive shaft .....which......... turns the peg (your scapula area). Whats attached to the peg? Your shoulders and arms.
I have seen guys lifted off the floor and thrown. The key is to not try to throw them but to maintain connection and just turn in yourself.
Breathing and certain other things add to this.

My point is that center of gravity and one point and any manner of other things I have been "told" in these arts goes right out the window, yet I remain relaxed and over they go.
The other idea of a one point being the distance from the knee to the ground out in a triangular center point is just rote jujutsu balance work. No big deal.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-11-2006 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 07-11-2006, 09:53 PM   #18
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
I think it all depends on how you look at it. If you don't believe in ki then i would say that you don't believe in the "one point".

Personally i think ki is just a manifestation of all the energy that is already within you. I don't really see it as a religion or as magic.

You see the difference Szczepan , is that you stated your opinion as fact, when in "Reality" your opinion is just opinion. How do you know that the one point doesn't exist? Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?
You got all wrong. It is not 'one point' that is responsible for unification with Universe but a spirit of Mgumba Gungdha that possess one's body after particular ceremony of initiation.
You will say now that the spirit of Mgumba Gungdha doesn't exist so it's all false. Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?

As you see my small example above your argumentation can be apply to any imaginable stupidity, because is against logic. It is to ppl who believe in 'one point' to provide prove of existence, not to me.

Even creator of this concept, K.Tohei himself doesn't know exactly what is it; he changed many times its meaning, probably depending of actual direction of a wind, color of the smoke or other esoteric reasons. This only prove how big nonsense it is.

On the tatami there is only one reality: or you can throw attacker or you can't. You may have tons of more or less mysterious concepts that nobody really understands, but it will change nothing at all. Aikido practice is not about developing concepts.

Also, if you store something, and the same time let it and keep it "flowing" by relaxing muscles, better try it close to toilet LOL.

Nagababa

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Old 07-11-2006, 10:06 PM   #19
DH
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:

Even creator of this concept, K.Tohei himself doesn't know exactly what is it; he changed many times its meaning, probably depending of actual direction of a wind, color of the smoke or other esoteric reasons. This only prove how big nonsense it is.

On the tatami there is only one reality: or you can throw attacker or you can't. You may have tons of more or less mysterious concepts that nobody really understands, but it will change nothing at all. Aikido practice is not about developing concepts.

Also, if you store something, and the same time let it and keep it "flowing" by relaxing muscles, better try it close to toilet LOL.
I'm not much for mumbo jumbo myself. And the aiki arts are full it.

I teach by very....practical, explicable methods with a purpose and goal to knock people out, choke them, break them, throw them and control them to win. How?
Using concepts and ideas like storing and releasing, pressures in breathing, holding tension, frame, connection in fascia/tendon work throughout the body and zero balance work.

That said, Tohei was not full of it, there is one reality on the mat and the fact that Aikido is NOT about developing concepts may be its biggest weakness.

Dan
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:48 PM   #20
Upyu
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Also, if you store something, and the same time let it and keep it "flowing" by relaxing muscles, better try it close to toilet LOL.
Sure Szczepan
Course, next time you come to Tokyo, mebbe we can have a friendly rolling session and see who really needs to use the toilet after the training session
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:50 PM   #21
Upyu
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
About the cross or the back chest area Rob mentioned and the idea of a one point.
If you can imagine shoving a drive shraft or any pole into a hole in the floor then slide a peg through it horizontally. Next grab the peg as it sticks out left to right with both your hands.
Now
Imagine the hole you stuck the pole into is attached to an engine with 1000 ft. lb. of torque and I turn it on.
Now when you get out of hospital with your broken arms healed you can understand how powerful it can be if
1. the pole is your spine
2. the peg is tension held across the back and chest
3. and the engine is the ground through your legs through your hips that turn the spine or pole at the waist. Everything attached to it is launched without you dedicating much to the effort in a forward direction. It makes powerful kicks, punches, throws, and shoves without you giving much to lose or have someone take your balance. You are wholely dedicated without being dedicated.
The frame is strengthened through connections throughout the body which can be strengthened further still through breathing and pressures there. As well you are using the ground for power to launch. Of course it is the way you are connected and can create the power that moves through the whole body foot to hand

The above example can be quite effective in ground grappling for reversals when you are on your back with someone on you giving you weight and you hold tension in the cross and you turn using the ground from your feet through the hips and you turn the spine like a drive shaft .....which......... turns the peg (your scapula area). Whats attached to the peg? Your shoulders and arms.
I have seen guys lifted off the floor and thrown. The key is to not try to throw them but to maintain connection and just turn in yourself.
Breathing and certain other things add to this.

My point is that center of gravity and one point and any manner of other things I have been "told" in these arts goes right out the window, yet I remain relaxed and over they go.
The other idea of a one point being the distance from the knee to the ground out in a triangular center point is just rote jujutsu balance work. No big deal.

Cheers
Dan
Damn...that was well worded.

And you say you suck as a teacher....

Last edited by Upyu : 07-11-2006 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:29 PM   #22
DH
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Re: What is the One Point?

Thanks bud

What I mean is that guys who like to teach have all sorts of plans and caring for students and outings and get togethers and manuals to track progress and ranks and such. They also have a tradition and vision for the future.
I am all self-absorbed and weird and I know it. Way into learning, creating, and experimenting. But with that I have had plenty of guys who wouldn't go anywhere else, including some new ones who trained with top level Aikido and CMA masters Who say they have never felt anything like what I do. So...if you were to ask even these people - I can show and teach what I do, clearly. So I'm not saying I can't. I just don't want a bunch of people to bring through the steps and worst of all develop some system to rank them in. And I sure ain't gonna do it on the net

You wait...
I can hear you now- fifteen years out- with so many half assed martial moroons and hangers-on having come and gone......whining about this or that and never doing the real work. It seems we all have to go through dozens to get a single good one. I have an eimuroku with over two hundred names in it!! I have had maybe a dozen good students.

So judging teachers in a larger scope or all encompassing scale.... (and I have some excellent examples)......I stink.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by akiy : 07-12-2006 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:57 AM   #23
ksy
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I'm not much for mumbo jumbo myself. And the aiki arts are full it...That said, Tohei was not full of it, there is one reality on the mat and the fact that Aikido is NOT about developing concepts may be its biggest weakness. Dan
I thought that o-sensei said that aikido is never "finished", that you never finish learning. if that's the case, the only limit (whther its abt developing concepts or not), and therefore the only weakness, lies within ourselves.

ksy

p/s- i like the mumbo jumbo stuff, so dont knock it.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:55 AM   #24
Graham Farquhar
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Ki Symbol Re: What is the One Point?

Apologies for going back a few posts but I was in the land of nod when there were some interesting discussions on this topic. I am interested in what Ted said about K Tohei Sensei's change in his interpretation of one point over the years along with his understanding. I would be interested in how this developed.

If this is off topic apologies to all. But I ask for those in the forum who are interested in these concepts and who find them useful in their practice.

Best
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:52 AM   #25
aikigirl10
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Re: What is the One Point?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?
lol Szczepan, i don't think you really grasped what i was saying in that post. I stated my opinion, which means, NO, i am NOT sure of my claims. It is my opinion. (hince the word "personally")

However, you, stated your opinion as fact, which is why i asked you to provide proof.
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