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Old 07-19-2008, 09:51 AM   #1
skati
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Atemi

I understand that Aikido is based more on throws, but I was wondering how striking fits into it.

I have looked through the wiki and the articles, but some of them seemed a bit...vague.

I matched some of the strikes and kicks from the articles up with the ones from the wiki and narrowed it down somewhat.

Some things I were wondering that I didn't see covered...in the names of the different attacks, are strikes generally knife hand strikes, striking with the same edge you'd use in a karate chop? Are thrusts always referring to punches?

On kicks, the two I saw on the wiki (front and roundhouse kick) were mid level (like striking the stomach or ribs). The article mentioned a sidekick, but doesn't give a level. My question here, are there various levels for sidekicks and roundhouse kicks, like there are in Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai?

Do the strikes in Aikido come from other Asian martial arts that I could use as a reference?

To clarify, my definition of a roundhouse kick (though in the style I trained in, we just called it a round kick) is like those used in Muay Thai: kind of like swinging the leg (sometimes turning around with it, but not always) around to kick, rather than raising the knee and snapping it sideways. We did ours on low, middle, and high levels, though we normally stuck with striking the legs and the ribs (low and mid respectively).

Thanks ahead of time, for the info.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
Matthew Stevens wrote: View Post
Some things I were wondering that I didn't see covered...in the names of the different attacks, are strikes generally knife hand strikes, striking with the same edge you'd use in a karate chop? Are thrusts always referring to punches?
Pretty much.

Quote:
Do the strikes in Aikido come from other Asian martial arts that I could use as a reference?
Movement in aikido is typically attributed to practice of the sword.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
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Re: Atemi

I see. Thank you for the clarification.
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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Re: Atemi

I've seen a bit of the ol' middle knuckle pressure point strikes. I've also seen quite a bit of the vertical fist kind of striking, reminding me of what I've seen in Wing Chun. My sensei once showed me an opening I was presenting by giving a quick forward kick, along the lines of what I've seen in karate, but generally speaking I don't see kicks happening much.
Beyond that it's mostly tegatana stuff, which seems to more or less include the surface from the edge of the palm to the elbow (I've seen quite a bit of elbow atemi in my own training...or at least those tend to stand out to me).
My understanding of strikes (per what I've picked up in Aikido) is more positional than technical. If, say, a suppression technique doesn't control my whole body, where ever my free hand is located, that's where the strike originates from, traveling as directly as possible into the closest part/target of my partner's body. Typically, I'm trying to keep my hands near my center line and am always squeezing the halves of my body toward it..as I understand it anyway. When someone grabs my lead hand instead of suppressing my center with it, for example, my other hand wants to strike the grabbing hand.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 07-19-2008 at 02:13 PM.

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Old 07-19-2008, 09:41 PM   #5
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Re: Atemi

I great resource to read, to really get a full understanding of atemi, is reading Gozo Shioda's, "Total Aikido: The Master Course (Bushido--The Way of the Warrior)."

The author mentions that Aikido is 70% striking ("atemi") which is very different from what you'll hear from most Aikidoka. Most Aikidoka that I come into contact with seem to forget that Aikido is a martial art and not a dance. The best set-up for an Aiki technique is to first belt your opponent.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:22 AM   #6
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Re: Atemi

Have a look at this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

From 3:30 onwards, Nishio Sensei explains his view on striking in Aikido.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:19 AM   #7
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Distraction strike

Nishio sensei was a true master of atemi. Not only did he know so many ways of doing it, but he could do it so fast that our eyes couldn't see it. Sometimes several atemi in a row.
He got most of his atemi from his karatedo experience and his sword art knowledge.

I see atemi, the way it is used in aikido, mainly as a distraction strike. We do atemi to cause a reaction in uke, which we can use to complete the aikido technique. The reaction shakes uke out of balance, and therefore also out of stability.

So, atemi could very well be compared to the break-balance techniques in judo. In judo it is mostly done by pulling or pushing, which is not suitable for aikido since tori is not supposed to grab uke initially, nor to pull and push.
Instead, the aikido break-balance is atemi, where we sort of flash a threat in front of uke, and make use of uke's instinctual reaction to it.

That means uke has to notice the atemi - and believe in its power.
Just waving a hand in front of uke's face is not enough.

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
Inocencio Maramba wrote: View Post
Poor Stanley. All his copyrighted vids online for free...

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:31 PM   #9
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Poor Stanley. All his copyrighted vids online for free...
If you read the comments, people are asking where they can buy the whole DVD.

I bought all three DVD volumes plus "Yurusu Budo" as a discounted set from Aikido Journal..

OB Aikido - Nishio Sensei writes in "Yurusu Budo":
Quote:
...As for striking there at least ten different strikes using the hands... There are also about five types of strikes using the elbows, and two or three basic patters used for linking several strikes together in succession.
... Unlike other arts such as karate, striking in aikido is not used to win the conflict with a single devastating blow, but rather to divert the opponent's attention momentarily and to upset his posture and equilibrium. Consequently, the must useful strikes are those such as spear-hand thrusts and palm-heel strikes, which can be used to attack the neck, eyes, armpits and other vital points generally difficult or impossible to reinforce.
If you are serious about your aikido training, then I very much urge you to acquire at least a minimum knowledge of striking.
In our own training we practice the hiji-kata (elbow striking form) as taught by Nishio Sensei.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:51 PM   #10
skati
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Re: Atemi

I appreciate the feedback, I really do. You've helped me out tremendously with my project (see my intro thread, if you have't already for what that is). A lot of the stuff here has been informative for someone like me, who is unfamiliar with the style beyond the throwing and redirections described by other sites and shown on the videos.

Stefan, I read through your site there, it was also very informative, and your writing in the book excerpts was well done.

Inocencio, thanks for that video. Elbow striking form, huh? I'm not sure how close it is, but these are the types of elbows we used in my last style.

Elbow Up: pretty much, think of an uppercut, but with the elbow instead.

Elbow Angle Up: similar to the above, but at an angle.

Elbow Cross: pretty much a horizontal elbow strike.

Elbow Angle Down: Similar to Angle Up, but at a downward angle instead.

Elbow Drop: just as it sounds, just dropping the elbow down on someone.

We also had a spinning variation and back variations. Our back variations were basically just straight shots back though, but we had one going to the stomach and one going upward, like into the face.

Anything similar to what you do there?
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:14 PM   #11
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Re: Atemi

The hiji-kata we practice goes something like this:
Yoi (Preparation). Chamber one arm, the other arm performs gedan barai(downward sweep)
1. Step forward, nukite (spear hand thrust)
2. Step back, ushiro hiji-ate (backward elbow strike)
3. Step forward, age hiji-ate (rising elbow strike)
4. Half step back then step to the side, yoko hiji-ate (sideward elbow strike)
5. Step forward, yoko mawashi hiji-ate (roundhouse elbow strike)
6. Half step back then step to the side, otoshi hiji-ate (downward or dropping elbow strike)
Yame (Finish)

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:11 PM   #12
skati
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Re: Atemi

Some of it sounds similar. The Rising and Sideward elbow strike, from the name, sounds like the elbows Up and Cross I use. Dropping elbow, that's an easy one to connect with, so seems the backwards elbow strike.

Roundhouse elbow and downward sweep, I can't picture. In the latter, are you talking about sweeping with a knife hand strike, rather than with your leg?

And the spear hand thrust, I imagine that's just an open hand version of the punch thrusts, or so it sounds...just with the fingers pointing straight ahead instead of a closed fist.

Am I close?
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:42 PM   #13
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Re: Atemi

Roundhouse elbow strike: think of a roundhouse punch (hook punch) but with the arm tightly bent and striking with the elbow.
Downward sweep: Like karate's downward block (gedan barai) but with the hand open in knife-hand (tegatana, shuto) form.

You are correct about the spear-hand thrust.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:43 PM   #14
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Re: Atemi

Great atemi in action.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MBq2SH01-k4&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NEZMCaiIJME&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=z-u8yPB9Anw&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zIH1TAuIg9U&feature=related
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:26 PM   #15
lifeafter2am
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Re: Atemi

Nice find!

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:44 PM   #16
skati
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Re: Atemi

Salim, thanks for those videos.

Quote:
Inocencio Maramba wrote: View Post
Roundhouse elbow strike: think of a roundhouse punch (hook punch) but with the arm tightly bent and striking with the elbow.
Downward sweep: Like karate's downward block (gedan barai) but with the hand open in knife-hand (tegatana, shuto) form.

You are correct about the spear-hand thrust.
When you put it that way, the Roundhouse elbow strike sounds a bit like my elbow cross or my angled elbow strikes.

For that Downward sweep, would you be striking the thighs with it or something? I pulled up a youtube video of a gedan barai and tried to picture it the way you described. Striking the thigh is about the only thing I can think of for it off hand.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:20 PM   #17
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Re: Atemi

Matthew, look at the 2nd, 3rd and 4th video that Salim has kindly posted the links to.
The parrying move to deflect the front snap kick is the Downward sweep or gedan barai with the open hand.
Also, have a look at this:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=jOmMPGKnT8Y
One of these days I'll make a video of the Hiji-kata and upload it.

Last edited by CitoMaramba : 07-20-2008 at 08:24 PM.

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Old 07-20-2008, 08:59 PM   #18
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Re: Atemi

I think I understand a bit more now. It's a deflector. The way you described it, I had assumed it was a type of knife hand strike. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:53 PM   #19
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
Inocencio Maramba wrote: View Post
Have a look at this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

From 3:30 onwards, Nishio Sensei explains his view on striking in Aikido.
From what I could tell, Nishio Sensei seemed to be explaining how to properly attack in Aikido practice, and not how to do Aikido atemi. I mean, I don't know how knowledge of how to do a proper shomen strike as he explained can be used in any way to facilitate technique, take uke's balance, etc. He does demonstrate atemi in an entering move for his shiho-nage, but he does little to explain how exactly to execute the atemi. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but when we speak of atemi in aikido, it is meant as what nage does in technique, correct?

I think Aikido atemi is unique to the martial art and isn't necessarily derived from any other art. The execution of atemi seems to come about when one adds "corners" to a round technique. It is not something like "do a kick here", or "do a punch here".

-John Matsushima

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Old 07-20-2008, 10:34 PM   #20
Aikibu
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Re: Atemi

Not bad for basics but I have to tell a seasoned or experinced Muay Thai or MMA Guy hurts when you dear Aikidoka "parry". I would be much more about letting the attack pass the way we are taught in Nishio Aikido only because I have to tell you...It's only in the (dojo and on video) that an experianced striker or kicker use a straight punch or kick. Muay Thai fighters will just stay outside and destroy your base with kicks to the shins and thighs (and they fooking hurt if you don't know how to handle them) and a striker will do the same.

So no "parrying" also we don't give away our intention by using a "fighting stance"

In fact on Spike's UFC Fight this weekend Anderson Silva showed exactly what you can do in his fight. Anderson showed his opponent a small opening.The guy threw a side kick... Silva stepped in Irimi caught the guys leg trapping it by the heel, and then pulled his leg slightly forward and at that moment his opponent was completely helpless... The Spider finished with a solid "atemi" to the chin. Out go the lights...

It was awesome.

And don't get me started and Fedyor my Hero but what a fight that would be (wait I am going off on a fanboy woot! Sorry) if Silva stayed at 205

The only place folks throw straight punches is in most Aikido Dojos. Even in old school Karate Dojos these days straight punches are becoming obsolete.

You have to set Uke up otherwise your telegraphing your intentions. I'll let you know in a decade or so if I figure this out.

I think Sensei Dardi from Syria had a series of excellent vids on how to handle that kinds of attacks you're likely to see from an experianced fighter in regard to how to use basic Atemi.

If he reads this perhaps he'll post them again. It was good stuff

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-20-2008 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:52 PM   #21
Aikibu
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
From what I could tell, Nishio Sensei seemed to be explaining how to properly attack in Aikido practice, and not how to do Aikido atemi. I mean, I don't know how knowledge of how to do a proper shomen strike as he explained can be used in any way to facilitate technique, take uke's balance, etc. He does demonstrate atemi in an entering move for his shiho-nage, but he does little to explain how exactly to execute the atemi. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but when we speak of atemi in aikido, it is meant as what nage does in technique, correct?

I think Aikido atemi is unique to the martial art and isn't necessarily derived from any other art. The execution of atemi seems to come about when one adds "corners" to a round technique. It is not something like "do a kick here", or "do a punch here".
You are basically correct John but I disagree about it not being dirived from any other art... And Yes...There are other portions of the vids that better describe our Atemi which is basically taken directly from his experiance with Shindo Jinen-Ryu Karate, and Nihon Zendoku Iaido. Our Atemi are meant to finish the fight more than deflect or distract At least that is what some of his more Martial Senior Students like Tanaka Sensei would say. Other students of his follow the traditional line of "breaking balance" and actually practicing both is best.

Again as a disclaimer Those vids were produced about 18 years ago and some of our practice and approach has changed a bit since then to reflect the growth of other Martial Arts like BJJ. Our Aikido is always open to change and definately not static.

Back to the topic.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-20-2008 at 10:59 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:58 PM   #22
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Re: Atemi

Umm... it's oxymoronic to call it "Aikido atemi". Atemi is just atemi... whether it's karate, jujitsu or whatever... you're striking the body somewhere... with some part of your anatomy. It's independent of whatever (Japanese) style of martial art you do.

Any part of your anatomy can be used to hit - it doesn't have to be limited to hand/foot techniques as in a 'punch" or a "kick". There's also seizing, pressing, rubbing, digging, poking, scraping, gouging etc.

Also, targets aren't necessarily restricted to obvious and gross areas like face, head, and body... pressure points/vital points and various hard/soft target areas are all good. Most people tend to hit a (non-) obvious target when the closest thing being proferred to them is the arm.

FWIW, I think Nishio's atemi (as demonstrated in the Yusuru Budo book and DVD series) is rubbish... and if I were to be more polite - at best, pre-school level atemi waza.

The videos posted by Salim are closer to what I learnt in karate-jutsu and jujitsu, and I think are far more appropriate in terms of setup, execution and follow thru for Aikido 'techniques"... and closer to what I've seen of good hapkido.

I would suggest to the OP, get yourself an anatomy reference and a good set of pressure point charts. Find a list of various hand/fist formations and kicking techniques used in karate (or even CMA in general). And then find yourself a teacher who can teach/show you this stuff - and then work out how you can integrate it into your Aikido "techniques".

Ignatius
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:16 AM   #23
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Well, now...

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
FWIW, I think Nishio's atemi (as demonstrated in the Yusuru Budo book and DVD series) is rubbish... and if I were to be more polite - at best, pre-school level atemi waza.
I guess you aim to tease in a friendly manner with those remarks.
I practiced many times for Nishio sensei, also at seminars in my own dojo, so I got to see and experience first hand his atemi skills. Simply put: in aikido, I have not seen anyone surpass his atemi.
And of course, he was also very learned about the exact target of each kind of strike.

I wonder about the expression "pre-school". You must refer to some distant time before the dawn of civilization. I don't know about that. But I know that Nishio sensei had studied all kinds of martial arts, including karatedo, in what I would call schools of them.

Moving on: As for the effectiveness of atemi, I find that rhythm has a lot to do with it. The element of surprise, of striking in a "syncopated" way, i.e. right before it is expected, and to do it paying attention to the movement of the opponent (either with it or right against it), and so on.
Atemiwaza is a martial art of its own, if studied profoundly. And true: when you know it well, you don't need any aikido techniques to follow up - but then, of course, it is no longer aikido.

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Old 07-21-2008, 04:25 AM   #24
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Re: Atemi

Well, I did specifically say in the book and DVD series... So, for whatever reason, the material in that particular media seems to be geared toward a VERY introductory level.

BTW, I've seen the man move... yes, he's fast, and yes, I'm sure he knew his stuff. No disrespect was intended... the reference was made to the material and not the man.

Ignatius
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:41 AM   #25
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
Back to the topic.

William Hazen
To put that more specifically, for future reference...it's meant to be open, to talk about striking in general and how people feel it applies to Aikido, general questions, videos (if wanting to post), comments on those videos and what the people in them are doing, or comparing them to other styles like me and Inocencio have been doing here in the thread.

My original questions have been pretty much answered, but I was hoping it'd stay up like it is, which I've been surprised and happy about it still going. I'm also happy that it's not become too much like a repeate of the related threads at the bottom that I looked through...which I didn't know where there, but then I hadn't thought to search through forums outside of this one either. Oh well.

In fact, I was going to post something here at some point for some critique, if it's not too much of a bother. I still have some things to finish up though, so it'll be a bit.

So anyway, you all are still on topic, even if it is different from me and others may be talking about at the moment.

Oh, and Inocencio, I realized I hadn't gone entirely in to my style, so I'll go ahead and do that now, as a guide.

My style is primarily an American version of Karate Jitsu, though I mix a bit of Tae Kwon Do in it too, with mulitple kicks and axe kicks. I already covered how we use elbows and round kicks.

Our front kicks are more like Muay Thai. We don't chamber and snap them forward, we chamber then shove it forward bottom foot first, same with our sidekicks. Our sidekicks though, they're just mid and only with the front leg, but I tend to throw them at high and low levels, as well as use my rear leg too.

Our punches are a bit like boxing, with some backfists and hammer fists thrown in. We also have some...reverse uppercuts, for lack of a better term. Similar concept, but going down instead of up.

We've also got some diagonal uppercuts (like an uppercut, but going up at an angle rather than straight up) that I thought were hooks, but apparently I've been wrong and what I thought were crosses were actually hooks...but I'm going to go by what I thought, correct me if wrong and/or you know.

What I thought were crosses are similar to the elbow crosses I described earlier, but with a punch instead. Bring the arm up and do a horizontal punch, arm going across your line of sight, like this http://www.fightersgeneration.com/ch...k-cv-close.gif

It's more a mma type of style, the way we trained. We learn ground work, but not much. We were a very small class, all but me were military and had to miss several classes. I was the only one there most of the time. My instructor didn't like to teach the grappling unless at least one other person was there, so I don't have much experience with that...just arm and leg bars.

So, for anyone else...is there specific counters you'd have to those kinds of strikes, or anything you'd strike back with to distract me or something else? Or is that just all situational and different each time?

If someone from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or other grapplig style, has you down on the ground, how would you get out of that? Would you resort to striking then, or do you have something else to get you out of that?
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