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Old 10-08-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
Voitokas
 
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The metaphor of fascia?

People seem to refer to "fascia" a lot when trying to describe the mechanics of aikido. I know what fascia is anatomically, but I can't quite figure out what people mean by it in this context, or if everyone means the same thing. I am assuming it is being used metaphorically, like "breath" or "fire"? So it's probably something that's difficult to hang a tag on - but if someone could give it a shot...

Thanks!

I am not an expert
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:14 PM   #2
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
Jeremy Morrison wrote: View Post
I am assuming it is being used metaphorically, like "breath" or "fire"?
Wrong assumption.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Wrong assumption.
Perhaps you don't use it metaphorically, but I assumed that because it seemed like people were talking about fascia as if it could move independently, like muscle. I could see how fascia is proprioceptive, but it seemed like some people were using the word to refer to something actively contractile...

Anyone else?

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Old 10-08-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Neat! So is the theory (as applied here) that we can train our fascia to a greater tonus, and thereby increase inter- and extra-muscular force transmission?

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Old 10-08-2009, 07:09 PM   #6
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

It seems fascial tissue plays some kind of role in the IT that HTBF, something like this kind of sport clothes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB798YQRGXQ&hl=es

But sure there are more things involved, I don't know, I don't have IT... maybe the guys who have IT could explain what the role (if any) fascia plays in this issue.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:46 PM   #7
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Those clothes are pretty impressive; I wish I could find something like that for my brain!

Thanks for all the links, Demetrio!

I am not an expert
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Yea, all us Aikidoka should throw out their gi's and use that suit. Then we would all have aiki. But we won't tell the MMA guys... it will be surprise.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #9
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

This is a little more in depth explanation of what the fascia is and how it relates to body structure.

http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore.../id/162?page=1
http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/tensegrity

And these are discussions on related topics of biotensigrity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ajowL0T4bM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNPgq...eature=related

David
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

It appears a group of several people in the fields of Rolfing and Message Therapy who are trying to get their facia theories and research, in the the fields of Rolfing and Message therapy, attention and validated it in the scientific and medical communities.

A leading researcher is Robert Schleip who is a Ph.D in research and a Rolfering. Another major proponent of facia in the group is Nadine Currie Jackson RMT, BPE, Grad Student (MSc.) has owned and sold two successful massage therapy businesses and is starting on her third. Thomas W. Findley, M.D., Ph.D. Director for Research. Northern NJ Pain & Rehabilitation. They where a part the Fascia Congress and Findley gives an interesting interview regarding the Fascia Congress and the theory of Fasica's role in the human body.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8rKS...eature=related

Here is Schleip's interview which many might already know of, but if not it is worth watching:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y01_bpLMpqU

I would want to know how the facia plays a direct role in the application of Aikido technique that is said to improve Aikido technique/aiki/chi/ki/IT/IS? I would like to read any research on the connection between the improvement of Aikido as the result of the fasica. It would be great to include how that works physically in conjuction with Aikido technique.

Last edited by Buck : 10-08-2009 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

I am wondering and guessing that the role facia is to play directly with Aikido borrows heavily or models heavily from Tensegrity -a term used by Carlos Castaneda (the controversial author and founder of an equally controversial system of exercise, Tensegrity) to describe his new age movement thing. Modeled on the idea of architectural Tensegrity, Yoga, Tai Chi, and other Asian martial arts, it combine tension and relaxation of the muscles, joints and ligaments that is suppose to yields a stronger, more flexible, and more "aware" physical body. 'Tensegrity' is said to be the flow of energy (sounds like idea of chi to me) between people practicing Tensegrity exercises together.

From what I read here and from other posts of people that post here about facia and it relationship to improving Aikido technique is heavily modeled on "Tensegrity." Knowing this does give better insight to this discussion and all the other discussions on facia and the improvement of Aikido technique.

Last edited by Buck : 10-08-2009 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #12
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
This is a little more in depth explanation of what the fascia is and how it relates to body structure.

http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore.../id/162?page=1
http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/tensegrity

And these are discussions on related topics of biotensigrity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ajowL0T4bM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNPgq...eature=related

David
One more about biotensigrity;

http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore...rity/explained

As far as Carlos Castaneda, I read all of his books. I would recommend doing research on him and the validity of his work.

David
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:00 PM   #13
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

I am really interested on the technical and scientific mechanics, and explanation of how the facia plays a role in the improvement of Aikido techniques.

What I find and read on this matter has no relation to what I just asked concerning Aikido. I find allot of information on Tensegrity and how that relates to message and related fields. In term of martial arts I find allot of similar information seen in the quote here:

Quote:
Iron Shirt or Iron Vest trains the fascia of the body in order to thicken it and strengthen it.

Combined with learning to become sung and filling with energy and breath you can create a drum like effect that causes people to be rebounded off you.
The only thing I can think of that has any grounding in science and the martial arts is if the facia has a huge role in performance, modern sports science would have found it and exploited it.

The fields that are currently exploiting facia is message therapy, Rolfing, pain, and alike fields.

I am hoping someone can come up with something grounded in science that can show how the facia functions to improve Aikido other than doing what it is already doing.

Last edited by Buck : 10-11-2009 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:40 PM   #14
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
As far as Carlos Castaneda, I read all of his books. I would recommend doing research on him and the validity of his work.

David
David's caution is well-taken. Castaneda's work, passed off as a Ph.D. thesis at UCLA, is now widely considered to have been a hoax.

FWIW, Buckminster Fuller invented the term "tensegrity," which a lot of people have since used (in addition to Carlos).

Therapy modalities based on fascia work, e.g., rolfing, typically capitalize on the plasticity of fascial tissue to change shape under pressure and/or as a conditioned response to carefully performed exercise.

As I understand it, these therapy modalities aim to change the relative tension in different fascial lines so the body forms a stable structure that is maximally aligned with gravity and able to move efficiently. Because the concept of the body is rather like that of a bicycle wheel -- a structure that maintains its stability through balanced tension -- "tensegrity" has been used as a concept in explaining how these techniques are supposed to work.

These same hallmarks of stability and efficiency often appear considered at least necessary if not sufficient conditions for effective martial movement.

This is in addition to/a corollary of the role of fascia in transmitting or routing forces through the body, or in mediating kinesthetic awareness.

Its my recollection that some have suggested on this forum a rough correlation between the fascial lines illustrated in AnatomyTrains and pathways in the body used in internal MA; but that's just my recollection.

I'd wait for someone who really understands internal training methods to draw further connections or correlations.

Regards,
cdh
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:08 PM   #15
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
Its my recollection that some have suggested on this forum a rough correlation between the fascial lines illustrated in AnatomyTrains and pathways in the body used in internal MA; but that's just my recollection.
I can't speak to that but can say that the first time a body worker worked along the fascia it seemed to me a lot of it was close to the outlines of TCM meridians. Since I'm not an expert on either I cannot say how closely.

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Old 10-12-2009, 11:36 PM   #16
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
Castaneda's work, passed off as a Ph.D. thesis at UCLA, is now widely considered to have been a hoax.
You get what you pay for at that public university. I am not surprised.

USC!

Quote:
These same hallmarks of stability and efficiency often appear considered at least necessary if not sufficient conditions for effective martial movement.
This also holds true for all movement, from breathing to things like sports as well. I contemplate that if the fascia, primarily the deep fascia, varies from person to person. Some people have a thicker fasica then others, some has a stronger one then others, and so on. Wouldn't this effect the ability of performance?

Quote:
I'd wait for someone who really understands internal training methods to draw further connections or correlations.
I am looking for the connection in how the fasica works to improve martial arts in a significant measurable way. A way that is clearly and distinctly marked as the result of the fascia when it comes to improved technique.
And who would that be, I would love to talk to them. But better yet, I would want to talk to a medical sports doctor or researcher. If it can improve sports then it can have an effect on martial arts. In terms of Aikido, ideally, I would love to talk to a Aikidoka scientist or doctor who has studied fascia in relation to Aikido.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:09 AM   #17
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
In terms of Aikido, ideally, I would love to talk to a Aikidoka scientist or doctor who has studied fascia in relation to Aikido.
I don't think that that's really possible, unfortunately. Having taken Aikiweb's offline-time to review the peer-reviewed research literature that's out there, the experiments that have been done are either histological ("hey, let's dissect out some fascia and see what's tissue types we can find!") or mechanical ("let's exert force on these two ends and measure the stress forces and strength of the material"). How fascia might work in terms of performance is then posited theoretically: some very sound ("since histologically we find afferent sensory innervation, then it is a good bet that fascia is involved in proprioception"; "since fascia-invested muscle is this much stronger than muscle with damaged fascia, and since the math is valid, I bet that fascia with an increased tonus might increase strength output"), and some a little sketchier ("since fascia that has been diseased or damaged is capable of producing clumps of cells differentiated to smooth muscle instead of fibroblasts, maybe fascia can act like a muscle")...

Unless a few dozen high-level martial artists want to donate their bodies to science posthumously, or we can train transgenic super-fascia'd mice in aikido, I don't see any way that research can be done. So maybe in some sense it is a metaphor, like many of our less-understandable best-guess scientific paradigms are metaphors (gravity comes to mind, but I guess that even when I talk about light as a wave, I'm using the term a little metaphorically). But it's sort of necessary to have a name for things, and 'fascia' seems a good one, since it's not a bad guess and is sort of easy to visualise...

I am not an expert
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:06 AM   #18
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Thanks, Jeremy for your good explanation.

Aside from that, my general common sense thoughts are that we know fascia works in the body, it has a purpose. But some have persuaded it with great interest and great zeal in the message therapy, Rolfing, Pain management ,and Holistic fields; it is important to find new valid discoveries and expand your field, and to get people to take notice. The issue is getting valid information and not what ever embellishment as fact, because some say little is known about the role of fascia.

For me it is about avoiding embellishment as truth vs. the facts as truth. I think there are things, like talent, that play a bigger role and have a greater impact in Aikido than how facisa works in martial arts. Look at O'Sensei, who had no idea facisa existed, muchless use it in his skill.

I am keeping an open mind. But, I have been around long enough to know when am hearing a fish story or not. As we all know the martial arts are flooded with fish stories, and story tellers.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:56 AM   #19
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
Look at O'Sensei, who had no idea facisa existed, muchless use it in his skill.
How do you know he didn't use it? How do you know he didn't view it under some other name, as part of some other concept?

Any more than I can say he *did* use it. How would I know?

I think we should be carefull of categorical statements like this. Just my thoughts...
Best,
Ron

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Old 10-13-2009, 09:42 AM   #20
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Look at the Anatomy Trains site -- it includes sports related discussions and analysis of movement -- e.g., a film clip of a speed skater on roller blades using a double push technique. This may provide a starting place to see how this subject area relates to sports performance issues.

FWIW, I think it may be mistaken to be thinking about this subject just in terms of "thickness." To the extent therapeutic manipulation of fascia is concerned, the primary goal is to create balance, not create "more" fascial tissue or "thicker" tissue. This itself is intended to increase efficiency of movement.

As to martial efficacy, I think that question depends on whether you accept the working hypothesis on the table -- that "internal training" does systematically engage the fascia, and that the training effect of so doing is part of what is going on when someone training this way creates the so-called"suit," which we can "picture" at least as a tension-balanced structure like a bicycle wheel, (There's a metaphor.)

If you accept that hypothesis as a working hypothesis, then the underlying issue is simply one about whether you also accept the efficacy of internal training methods.

But I'm ultimately not sure its that important of a hypothesis to prove or disprove. It's akin (and related) to the unrelenting arguments over Erick's attempts at scientifically explaining Aikido movement and principles.

One potential critiques of any such explanation, even were it otherwise just right, flows from the fact that it is an analysis stated first and foremost in the language of scientific observation and not the language of practical performance.

Even were the fascia hypothesis correct, in other words, what does understanding it this way add of value to someone's training?

YMMV

cdh
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:30 AM   #21
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
How do you know he didn't use it? How do you know he didn't view it under some other name, as part of some other concept?

Any more than I can say he *did* use it. How would I know?

I think we should be carefull of categorical statements like this. Just my thoughts...
Best,
Ron
Personally I don't care what O Sensei could or couldn't do, nor do I care to really understand the mechanics of what works. Call me a un-intellectual heathen....that is fine.

What I do care about is that some one can show me how they do what they do and can replicate it under the conditions that are defined, agreed upon, or that matter.

Personally, I think once you boil the parameters to this, it makes life alot easier and it helps me at least sift through all the BS and chafe.

O Sensei is dead. "Your instructor" (tm) is not a concern of mine either since he is in (insert here) another state, country, plane of exsistence.

All I can say is I try to approach each encounter I have with an open mind.

Develop trust around those that I have grown to know and respect.

Try to "Know myself, and to thine self be true".

and Ironically it seems that it all kinda begins to fall in place.

I find the constant whining about what "IT" is and is not interesting and ironic that the ones that talk about it the most are typically the ones that make excuses for the fact that they cannot (insert excuse here) a. find the time to train. b. don't think it is real. c. must understand it intellectually for fear of making a mistake of training the wrong way....etc. etc.

Yeah, I know, I too was in that camp for a while.....

Until I met up with the guys that I did not believe knew what they were talking about, then demonstrated it, and then proceeded to go one step further and show me how they did what they do.

Too cool. imagine that...it is that simple...really it is!

Same goes with the guys that say competition is bad....interesting that most of those guys have not competed ever and simply wax poetically about something that they themselves have no experience with.

The phrase "shut up and train" comes to mind more and more often to me these days as I find out that I know less today than I knew yesterday...even though I seem to be gaining more knowledge.

Funny how it works!

Cheer Ron!

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Old 10-13-2009, 11:17 PM   #22
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
Look at the Anatomy Trains site -- it includes sports related discussions and analysis of movement -- e.g., a film clip of a speed skater on roller blades using a double push technique. This may provide a starting place to see how this subject area relates to sports performance issues.

FWIW, I think it may be mistaken to be thinking about this subject just in terms of "thickness." To the extent therapeutic manipulation of fascia is concerned, the primary goal is to create balance, not create "more" fascial tissue or "thicker" tissue. This itself is intended to increase efficiency of movement.

As to martial efficacy, I think that question depends on whether you accept the working hypothesis on the table -- that "internal training" does systematically engage the fascia, and that the training effect of so doing is part of what is going on when someone training this way creates the so-called"suit," which we can "picture" at least as a tension-balanced structure like a bicycle wheel, (There's a metaphor.)

If you accept that hypothesis as a working hypothesis, then the underlying issue is simply one about whether you also accept the efficacy of internal training methods.

But I'm ultimately not sure its that important of a hypothesis to prove or disprove. It's akin (and related) to the unrelenting arguments over Erick's attempts at scientifically explaining Aikido movement and principles.

One potential critiques of any such explanation, even were it otherwise just right, flows from the fact that it is an analysis stated first and foremost in the language of scientific observation and not the language of practical performance.

Even were the fascia hypothesis correct, in other words, what does understanding it this way add of value to someone's training?

YMMV

cdh
Dave, I had as similar conversation with a guy about the monothesis religions. I asked for scientific proof of God, he said about the same thing you just did.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:30 PM   #23
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
How do you know he didn't use it? How do you know he didn't view it under some other name, as part of some other concept?

Any more than I can say he *did* use it. How would I know?

I think we should be carefull of categorical statements like this. Just my thoughts...
Best,
Ron
Ron,

Can you provide me with something that says that the Japanese martial arts, including O'Sensei understood, muchless knew about, the fascia , and its existence. And understood it completely is role and function and used it consciously in technique? Is there any sword school that consciously notes the fascia and it's role and attributes it to improving technique? How about Sumo? Is there any well known and accomplished Japanese Sensei's then and now, who atribute to having an edge in combat because they are able to utilize the fascia in a distinct and controlled function?

I am really interested to hear what they say.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:32 PM   #24
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Personally I don't care what O Sensei could or couldn't do, nor do I care to really understand the mechanics of what works. Call me a un-intellectual heathen....that is fine.

What I do care about is that some one can show me how they do what they do and can replicate it under the conditions that are defined, agreed upon, or that matter.

Personally, I think once you boil the parameters to this, it makes life alot easier and it helps me at least sift through all the BS and chafe.

O Sensei is dead. "Your instructor" (tm) is not a concern of mine either since he is in (insert here) another state, country, plane of exsistence.

All I can say is I try to approach each encounter I have with an open mind.

Develop trust around those that I have grown to know and respect.

Try to "Know myself, and to thine self be true".

and Ironically it seems that it all kinda begins to fall in place.

I find the constant whining about what "IT" is and is not interesting and ironic that the ones that talk about it the most are typically the ones that make excuses for the fact that they cannot (insert excuse here) a. find the time to train. b. don't think it is real. c. must understand it intellectually for fear of making a mistake of training the wrong way....etc. etc.

Yeah, I know, I too was in that camp for a while.....

Until I met up with the guys that I did not believe knew what they were talking about, then demonstrated it, and then proceeded to go one step further and show me how they did what they do.

Too cool. imagine that...it is that simple...really it is!

Same goes with the guys that say competition is bad....interesting that most of those guys have not competed ever and simply wax poetically about something that they themselves have no experience with.

The phrase "shut up and train" comes to mind more and more often to me these days as I find out that I know less today than I knew yesterday...even though I seem to be gaining more knowledge.

Funny how it works!

Cheer Ron!
Someone got up from the wrong side of the mat.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:39 AM   #25
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The metaphor of fascia?

Hi Phil, didn't you read my entire 3 line post?

Quote:
Any more than I can say he *did* use it. How would I know?

I think we should be carefull of categorical statements like this. Just my thoughts...
Anyhoo, it is interesting that part of the creation myth of Daito Ryu includes observing the bodies of cadavers, from the inside out. Just an interesting idea is all.

Kevin, I agree with your points...wasted on some readers I'm afraid.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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