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Old 12-12-2008, 01:31 PM   #226
Joe McParland
 
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Yes, that's all well and good, but after all the students leave and the Sensei's looking over the bills( wondering how they're gonna be able to stay open), what I'm saying comes to the forefront.
If you put up an aikido franchise on every street corner---and I don't want to put words into your mouth, but you did mention wanting to see something like that, didn't you? patches on the uniforms and all, right?---then, yes, you have to worry about those bills and you have to let the market drive your offering.

But only you seem to be saying that we should play that game. I don't know why. I'm with Ron: What's wrong with basements and backyards?

 
Old 12-12-2008, 01:39 PM   #227
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Strip malls, presumably, are more "American."
 
Old 12-12-2008, 03:48 PM   #228
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote:
...lest it goes underground and is taught in basements and back yards, etc..?
History has shown us this is a very successful way for martial arts. I think the concern here is not size, but appeal. Aikido appeals to allot of different people-and there are those it doesn't. Aikido will and does appeal to people in a whole lots of different ways, ya know.

Now for those who decide to stick with Aikido, ya know finding a personal value to them, there a variety of different dojos to fit them. For example, some dojos teach strictly to the needs of women, others teach strictly to the esoteric, there are some that are strictly traditional, some attract large groups and others small, and everything in between. With these facts, I am not sure how what you said is a bad thing. The goal of Aikido isn't about a massive business plan, and I don't think that is evolution.

It is a matter of what we place our value on, is it Aikido, or is it something else. If it is something else concerns arise. Like,"oh my gosh, Aikido is becoming going the way of the dinosaur there isn't a dojo on every corner next to X martial arts studio and StarBucks." Aikido is a classic, and has and will stand the test of time because it has and will appeal to a wide variety of people's interest no matter where it is taught.

Last edited by Buck : 12-12-2008 at 03:54 PM.
 
Old 12-12-2008, 04:03 PM   #229
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Haven't seen this one quoted in a bit:

Quote:
O-Sensei wrote:
One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

 
Old 12-12-2008, 05:45 PM   #230
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Aikido is a classic, and has and will stand the test of time because it has and will appeal to a wide variety of people's interest no matter where it is taught.
Oh sure, a wide variety? Aikido is the new kid on the block, barely 50 yrs old and if it wasn't for Steven Seagal, nobody'd know about it15 yrs ago. Tai Chi has stood the test of time, too.

I can't believe you folks are in denial about the evolution of everything. Ok, just for the sake of cordiality, what would be your idea of evolution in Aikido?

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-12-2008, 05:50 PM   #231
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Joe McParland wrote: View Post
If you put up an aikido franchise on every street corner---and I don't want to put words into your mouth, but you did mention wanting to see something like that, didn't you? patches on the uniforms and all, right?--- ....
What you don't seem to realize is that it's already happening. Dojos are gearing up for sports and patches and tournaments and stripmalls and kids, etc. Aikido will evolve in spite of a few eilitists.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-12-2008, 05:58 PM   #232
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Haven't seen this one quoted in a bit: OSensei wrote:
One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train
I know that was taken out of context( he meant the spirit of Aikido comes from within), but I'll address the context you meant it.: Oh sure, that's easy coming from a wealthy man where money wasn't an object. He said one didn't need it, but he sure had all that. So that sounds kinda hypocritical, to me.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-12-2008, 07:39 PM   #233
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Oh sure, a wide variety? Aikido is the new kid on the block, barely 50 yrs old and if it wasn't for Steven Seagal, nobody'd know about it15 yrs ago. Tai Chi has stood the test of time, too.
Ok, I know where you is commin' from, gotcha, readin' you loud n' clear.

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
I can't believe you folks are in denial about the evolution of everything. Ok, just for the sake of cordiality, what would be your idea of evolution in Aikido?
I think I explained that, in overkill. I think everyone else laid it out pretty darn clearly too.
 
Old 12-12-2008, 08:32 PM   #234
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
IMO, Marital Arts shouldn't have mandatory religious observation/practice. That stuff should be observed at a different time than practice, by whomever wants to do it, but it shouldn't be mandatory.
You have all my support on that, marital issues and religion is a dangerous mix.


Now, slighty on topic:

IMO, if Aikido has some problems today is not because it hasn't evolved (whatever "evolution" means to you) but because the attempts of making it available to everybody all around the world.

Changing his original japanese (and founder's) cultural trappings for a hodgepodge of pseudo western philosophy and american new age hippy-isms is what, imho, has put aikido in the sad state it is today as budo, both in the martial and in its technology of the self-spiritual developement aspects.

When an art goes mainstream the bar is lowered.

 
Old 12-12-2008, 08:45 PM   #235
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Gene C,

Do you believe that evolution results in the emergence of superior "things," or that it creates "things" that are adapted to their environment?

It's a common, but mistaken, perception that "higher" forms of organisms are superior to "lower" forms. In the 19th Century, this gave rise to Social Darwinism as a teliological theory about a progressive upward evolution of society.

Buck will I hope forgive me for my analogizing. However, one of those fields of study that have probably most closely embraced a biological view of soical change -- ecological anthropology-- also long ago embraced the lesson of biology that adaptive viability is relative to the environment.

For example, as I understand it, according to at least one theory of biological evolution, short-term adaptive pressures tend to favor, at least in some environments, large and more specialized organisms. Think big dinosaurs and saber-tooth tigers. But the price of success of their adaptations is the price of any specialist -- success is fragile.

From the perspective of an ecological anthropologist, the remaining indigenous tribes of the Amazon are as highly adapted as any culture in the modern world. And the fragility of such cultures to extinction from the forces of a post-industrial, pan-global world is, relatively speaking, a testament only to the same kind of short-term adaptive advantage enjoyed by countless other previously-successful specialists in the biological realm.

Similarly, market, social, historical, and what-have-you forces that are operating to push particular social forms, such as a particular martial art this way and that undoubtably will exert pressure on that form. The form, in its replication, will change as a result of that pressure, and may be more adaptive to that environment.

But that doesn't have a thing at all to do with "better," except in the short run. And like the man said, in the long run, we're all dead.
 
Old 12-12-2008, 09:03 PM   #236
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
When an art goes mainstream the bar is lowered.
Maybe, but by going mainstream, the art reaches a wider audience who, collectively, may be able to raise the bar even higher than could have been possible before it did go mainstream.


---------------------------------
train as if the tengu will never visit, execute as if they already have
 
Old 12-12-2008, 09:21 PM   #237
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Well, let's see when it happens. At this moment, it seems to me arts like Judo, Karate, Aikido, Tai Chi, even BJJ... which went more or less mainstream (or at least tried to) lost their focus, the ones who remained obscure and kept a low profile, evolving when needed and only in what the art needed like i.e. japanese koryu, indian kalaripayat and similarly practised arts, are keeping their purpose.

 
Old 12-12-2008, 11:54 PM   #238
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Musashi, Five Rings wrote:
When you look at the world, the various arts have been tailored to be items for sale. Likewise, a person thinks of himself as something to be sold and even the implements of these ways are proffered as merchandise. This mentality divides the flower and the fruit into two, and makes much less of the fruit than the flower. In this Way of the Martial Arts, especially, form is made into ornament, the flower is forced into bloom and technique is made into display: one talks of this or that dojo, teaching this Way or that Way, in an attempt to gain some benefit. Someone has said that "the immature martial art is a source of great injury," and this is certainly the truth.
I'll wait for someone to tell us what Musashi really meant

 
Old 12-13-2008, 07:54 AM   #239
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

I'd rather be the fruit; oh wait, that came out wrong.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 12:00 PM   #240
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I'm into the continued Revolution of the Art.Best,Jen
Care to explain this? Wouldn't revolutionize mean to take it to an entirely different direction or add something that has never been thought of before?

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-13-2008, 05:37 PM   #241
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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....I think I explained that, in overkill. I think everyone else laid it out pretty darn clearly too.
I haven't heard anything that would qualify as evolutionary or revolutionary and I just went back and re-read the entire thread.

Fact is Osensei continued to evolve Aikido his whole life, that's why there's different styles, because of his different students at the different points in his life were exposed to that evolution. How did he do that? By competing. He improved on techniques that didn't work in combat. That is evolution. I said before, that evolution involved all aspects, top to bottom, inside out. That includes going mainstream, which is happening as we speak (right here in Las Vegas, there's 3 Dojos- 2 are in strip malls and are actually Karate schools and they rent the space to hold Aikido practice, that includes separate kids classes and then one in a local rec center).
Evolving also involves improving Aikido techniques or training by competing . Imo, for example, to intercept an attack with an attack, instead acting in defense would be an improvement.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-13-2008, 06:06 PM   #242
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
You have all my support on that, marital issues and religion is a dangerous mix.
Ha,ha,ha, you've caught my Fruedian slip!

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
Now, slighty on topic:

IMO, if Aikido has some problems today is not because it hasn't evolved (whatever "evolution" means to you) but because the attempts of making it available to everybody all around the world.

Changing his original japanese (and founder's) cultural trappings for a hodgepodge of pseudo western philosophy and american new age hippy-isms is what, imho, has put aikido in the sad state it is today as budo, both in the martial and in its technology of the self-spiritual developement aspects.
So, you're saying for Aikido to remain 'pure' (whatever that means), Aikido should revert back to students sitting outside the Sensei's Dojo for weeks, waiting for the Sensei to invite them in, then engage in servitude for years ?
I dont't know about all that "hippy" stuff, but I believe I can embrace Budo and show my respect to the Founder in my own American way and go on about my training. I do want to compete, to see if my technique is viable or not and improve it.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
When an art goes mainstream the bar is lowered.
???Judo went mainstream and became an Olympic event.
You're telling me UFC/MMA has gotten worse? Obviously you didn't follow the UFC from the beginning, which started out with black belts in various Karates and boxers and Judo got in the mix. The good boxers killed the karateka with knockout punches. Then UFC evolved when the kickboxers came along and ruled the Octagon; Then UFC evolved again when wrestlers came along and took the kickboxers to the ground and they didn't know
how to fight in the clinch, but the wrestlers didn't know how to finish a man off. Then came the Gracies with their BJJ. They ruled the Octagon for awhile, 'til kickboxers learned BJJ and that's what the UFC is evolved to now. I really doubt if any MA out there can beat MMA.Course the offer's always open and there's ALOT of money to be made to the one who can do it.
Imo, if Aikido is not a MA, it shouldn't be called one. If it is, then it should go ahead and be one.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-13-2008, 06:27 PM   #243
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Gene C,

But that doesn't have a thing at all to do with "better," except in the short run. And like the man said, in the long run, we're all dead.
I am not 100% clear on what your saying, but here goes.

Yea, we, and everything else (almost am sure there is an exception) dies.

Aikido as I think of it, and explained it doesn't fit into the theory of evolution. I don't think Aikido is in any danger of dying out, for any reason. Like I also said Aikido by design is very appealing to a wide variety of people and interest. And on the other hand, there are those who don't feel it is for them. If anything there are less of those people trying Aikido.

Sure someday in the far future when man has evolve to what ever to the point we evolve to (or annihilate ourselves into oblivion) Aikido may then not be of interest. But until that happens, and I don' t see that in the near future, Aikido like anything else will have its peaks and valleys.

I think there are those who when Aikido when it isn't at its highest peak of popularity see it as that being the death of it. I think of String theory over evolution when it comes to Aikido. Since the String theory is an evolved theory after all.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 06:35 PM   #244
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Clarence, if you're so confident and believe it is right, then why not simply get to it?

 
Old 12-13-2008, 09:00 PM   #245
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Clarence wrote:

Quote:
???Judo went mainstream and became an Olympic event.
You're telling me UFC/MMA has gotten worse? Obviously you didn't follow the UFC from the beginning, which started out with black belts in various Karates and boxers and Judo got in the mix. The good boxers killed the karateka with knockout punches. Then UFC evolved when the kickboxers came along and ruled the Octagon; Then UFC evolved again when wrestlers came along and took the kickboxers to the ground and they didn't know
how to fight in the clinch, but the wrestlers didn't know how to finish a man off. Then came the Gracies with their BJJ. They ruled the Octagon for awhile, 'til kickboxers learned BJJ and that's what the UFC is evolved to now. I really doubt if any MA out there can beat MMA.Course the offer's always open and there's ALOT of money to be made to the one who can do it.
Imo, if Aikido is not a MA, it shouldn't be called one. If it is, then it should go ahead and be one.
Are you sure you have your UFC chronology correct. UFC 1 was won by Royce Gracie.

Which boxers are you referring to that did well. I can't recall anyone.

Early UFCs demonstrated that grappling was an essential skill that was needed.

Once that was established, then you had some decent stand up guys come into the mix that learned enough grappling to play the game and do ground and pound.

No pure martial artist has ever really done well. It proved that you need to develop a well rounded strategy in order to be sucessful. That said, grapplers have tended to dominate such venues as the UFC.

Quote:
if Aikido is not a MA, it shouldn't be called one. If it is, then it should go ahead and be one.
Can you clarify what you mean by this? I am not sure I understand what exactly you mean.

Quote:
I dont't know about all that "hippy" stuff, but I believe I can embrace Budo and show my respect to the Founder in my own American way and go on about my training. I do want to compete, to see if my technique is viable or not and improve it.
I agree with this. I think it is natural and a normal part of development to train this way.

 
Old 12-13-2008, 09:04 PM   #246
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Buck,

I'm saying that if you pursue the metaphor of evolution with respect to something like a martial art, then beware that the idea of evolution has ideological baggage, along with everything else. I think one of the implicit premises of this thread is that Aikido should become "better" over time.

One level of question is whether the way something like a martial art changes over time can be likened to "evolution" in a meaningful, suggestive, or useful way.

Another question is what "evolution," if it or something like it occurs, means.

I asked the question because I wondered if Gene C held the opinion that since Aikido evolves, the way he sees it changing ipso facto means those changes make it better, and to hold otherwise is to be an unreasoning traditionalist if not an elitist.

Popularizing an art may create a dominant form, and it may limit or even extinguish other forms. That's change. It doesn't mean something "better" is emerging.

David
 
Old 12-13-2008, 11:13 PM   #247
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

The issue I have with the discussion is that many, many conclusions are being made with what I would consider to be a limited set of observations by folks based on....what facts?

One flaw in the conclusions being made is that aikido is something tangible, measurable, and concrete as a whole. Essentially aikido is a methodology or a concept. The output is difficult to measure and you really can't generalize it.

what criteria are you basing your historical trends on...up or down? Doesn't really matter.

The conclusion is commonly that aikido is becoming less than it once was by many.

It might be easy to make that correlation when we start naming historical figures that popped out of the early years as if some how on a whole aikido produced more quality than it does now.

That may or may not be true, who really knows for sure?

There is such a small percentage that reach 7th Dan or higher out of the thousands if not over a million students that have studied aikido over the years, that I'd say it is pretty darn near impossible to draw any conclusion at all concerning the quality of aikido then versus now.

You'd first also have to agree on a measurement criteria before you even begin this discussion!

We have pretty much proven over the years that it is pretty much impossible as there are as many opinions on this as there are schools, branches, and individuals.

I'd be happy to discuss this topic if we could nail down the criteria we would judge "effectiveness", "evolution", and "change" against.

On a microscale, I will discuss the topic. That is, my own personal experiences with aikido. I will tell you that my training, methdologies, perspectives, and effectiveness have evolved over the years.

I might even tell you that the dojo I train in is not training exactly the same way necessarily as we trained 10 years ago.

The people and the dynamic change. Instructors grow and evolve. People die, leave, and have new and different insights. Society as a whole is not the same as it was 10 years ago. We have more Yundansha, different yudansha than we had 10 years ago. Different students...etc.

So, yes it changes and evolves as we go. It is constantly being re-interpreted and evaluated. It is living and dynamic in nature.

What has stayed the same is the core tenants, values, and principles.

How do we measure success (quality) macroscopically in the dojo?

I don't think we really can. We manage to keep students coming back year after year. I think that is about the best you can do as a macroscopic measurement given the fact that we don't do tournaments against other schools or organizations. Even then, I think it becomes difficult to measure overall success against a set of constrained rules.

I think success is measured on an individual basis. One aikidoka at a time. For one, it may be learning to control emotions and anger more. For another it may be less back pain and increased physical fitness. For another it may be meeting a life partner.

For those that are struggling with this topic....i'd highly recommend reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Especially the part where Pirsig discusses QUALITY and WHAT IS QUALITY?

Ok, for those that want to...go ahead and bring up the "AIkido should be about Martial Effectiveness, not a dance" concerning the outputs that I gave such as learning to control anger, meeting a life partner etc....

I love discussing martial effectiveness. We should try and define that. I have been trying to get folks to do this for years on Aikiweb.

 
Old 12-14-2008, 06:43 AM   #248
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

I love discussing martial effectiveness. We should try and define that. I have been trying to get folks to do this for years on Aikiweb.

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

I would define martial effectiveness...on.....hmmmmm that's a hard one in relationship to Aikido.
I guess to some people it would be who could throw the hardest.
My defense around UFC type fighting is to stay out of the ring...I love to watch it and have no illusions that I could defend myself there. Except to stay out of the octagon.

Most ordinary people however, cannot fight like that..in the real world I feel quite capable of being able to defend myself.
Please don't interpret this to mean that I think I am omnipotent...far from it...But I think if someone looked at me they would see a 51 year library lady and make assumptions about my appearance which could be good for me.
Mary
 
Old 12-14-2008, 07:05 AM   #249
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

absolutely Mary!

I believe it is personal in nature.

It is good (and important) to feel confident and able to defend yourself, and it appears, to me at least, that you understand what that means, especially when it comes to proactive and passive measures.

As we have all discussed over the years, there is a concern that aikido may or may not provide the right amount of "pressure" or "reality" to adequately prepare someone for a violent attack or self defense scenario.

This is the issue that I think most focus on when discussing effectiveness.

I think the whole "evolutiion" discussion here is tap dancing around this issue using different words, but maybe I am missing the point of the discussion, it would not be the first time!

There are so many ways, IMO, to define effectiveness wrt to aikido and martial arts and I don't think any of them are wrong when you put it in the context of Budo.

What is important is defining your personal goals and endstates and finding the right practice to accomplish those goals.

 
Old 12-14-2008, 07:29 AM   #250
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I love discussing martial effectiveness. We should try and define that. I have been trying to get folks to do this for years on Aikiweb.
Martial effectiveness is relative to the conflict situation at hand. A single person may be martially effective against one or even more than one other person, but once the group of adversaries grows large enough the single person's martial effectiveness will drop off considerably. A platoon of marines will, in many situations, be martially effective. But when confronted by an armored regiment the platoon's martial effectiveness will be reduced.

It would seem that martial effectiveness is highly dependent on the scale of violence that one person or group can deliver upon another while at the same time defending against the violence being inflicted by the other person or group.

I would define martial effectiveness as the ability to prevail in a conflict situation. Fighting systems, in and of themselves are neither martially effective or ineffective. It is the application of the fighting system that will be effective or not. Some fighting systems may contain the potential for greater martial effectiveness due to: greater number of tools that can be deployed, training methodologies that are based on fighting applications, the absence of a moral based code of conduct etc.

As such, I don't think Aikido presents itself particularly well as a fighting system. The toolbox is too limited, training is obviously not fighting based and there is a moral subtext that underlies its application. To enhance or evolve Aikido to the point where it becomes a so called "complete fighting system" with a high potential of martial effectiveness in a wide variety of conflict situations would necessarily change the art beyond recognition.

Ron
 

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