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Old 08-31-2001, 03:06 PM   #1
Scott_in_Kansas
Location: Kansas City, KS
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NHB Fighting and Aikido

Everytime I watch one of those No Holds Barred Fighting Tournaments (UFC, Pride, Extreme Fighting) I always wonder how a seasoned aikido practitioner would do. A skilled aikido practioner should be able to defend against type of attack reasonable well and a master should be able to fend of even skilled attackers quite easily. So why haven't we seen one?

I know that as aikido practitioners we use our art for self-defense so seeking a fight is kind of against our creed, but I get frustrated when I see all these mixed martial artists claiming their fighting system is supreme and that the traditional arts are outdated and ineffective. Most of these fighters aren't even martial artists but wrestlers with a few months of boxing training. Are they more effective than an aikido practioner with years/decades of training under his belt?

Anybody got an opinion on this?

Scott in Kansas
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Old 08-31-2001, 04:41 PM   #2
Chuck Clark
 
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Welcome to the list Scott.

This type of spectacle has nothing to do with budo practice. I, and none of the quality budo practitioners that I know would have anything to do with such nonsense. This type of activity is designed to make money for the promoters and that's about it.

Regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 08-31-2001, 07:05 PM   #3
michaelkvance
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It's not the money that really disturbs me, although that is crass. It's the glorification of violence that these things entail. Aikido is the way to end all conflict, not enshrine it as a form of entertainment.

In gassho,

m.
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Old 08-31-2001, 07:55 PM   #4
Scott_in_Kansas
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Micheal/Chuck,

I couldn't agree more. I know that it is not our way and that it is meaningless violence. But would either of you agree that an aikidoka pinning an opponent with ikkyo in a matter of seconds at the UFC would advance the art?

Wouldn't it at least increase support for the art?

I think that an astute aikidoka could do just that.

Respecfully,

Scott in Kansas
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Old 08-31-2001, 10:01 PM   #5
Chuck Clark
 
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The fact that we don't take part "advances" the art more.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
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Old 09-01-2001, 03:06 AM   #6
Kami
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Cool TO PARTICIPATE OR NOT TO PARTICIPATE...

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
But would either of you agree that an aikidoka pinning an opponent with ikkyo in a matter of seconds at the UFC would advance the art?
I think that an astute aikidoka could do just that.
Respecfully,
Scott in Kansas
KAMI : An astute aikidoka wouldn't enter in a fight with rules prepared by other fighters...
UFC was created by Rorion Gracie, of Brazilian JiuJitsu and the rules heavily favor grappling arts.
Also, if you want to do painting, you should know the rules of painting and prepare for it; if you want to do carpentry, you should know the rules of carpentry and prepare for it; if you want to write, you should know the rules of writing and prepare for it. If you want to do anything, you should know its rules and prepare for it. If you do want to try UFC, there's nothing wrong with it : go for it but study its rules and prepare well for it.
Why don't you see UFC fighters compete in an Aikido tournament, UNDER AIKIDO RULES? (Yes, there are competitive forms of Aikido!)
They would say that's stupid! They do not prepare for it; do not study its rules; aren't prepared to fight, WITHOUT GROUNDWORK OR GRAPPLING! In the same way, it would be stupid for Aikido practitioners to go to the UFC, like lambs to a slaughter, without a specific training, DIFFERENT from what they usually do.
You should remember also that to participate in a competitive sport, you should train heavily, including boxing, muay thai, BJJ, Grappling and weight lifting (have you noted how big and muscled they all are? Real gorillas most of them!) You will not have time for studying Aikido as an art, just the things that are important for UFC competition. Your life will be short (competition athletes usually have short competitive lifes). Even if death or serious injury is not very common (most of the blood in UFC meetings come from broken skin, mouth and nose and those are not "kyusho"points... ), age will rapidly bring slowest reflexes, less strength, less stamina. This happens with all competitive sports, like boxing, tennis, judo, et al...
Aikido competition, like judo, has eliminated all dangerous techniques, in order to allow its introduction. Aikido, to be really "efficient in the streets" , should provoke trauma, maim and kill ; the techniques should be changed; you should train more atemi; and, most of all, you should condition your body like an athlete does : hypertraining it! Not exactly what the Founder intended Aikido to be, an harmonious art to unite the World
And finally, remember that Aikido was intended for all and involves many reasons for practicing, not just self-defense or competition. Competition will always be for a few people and, excuse me, I really don't see that participating in a bloody arena is anything else than a show of machismo and definitely wouldn't advance THE ART!
And, by the way, the UFC craze is passing away like every other craze...Perhaps, it's time to get back to our ART, not our "punching and kicking" competitive sport
My 2 cents opinion
Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

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Old 09-01-2001, 05:25 AM   #7
ronin_10562
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Let me state that I agree with the philosophy of Aikido, and the belief that competition is wrong for the Aikikai. But I think that individuals should be able to test themselves. I'm not saying they should make a career in competition but do it as a one time test of themselves.
As for the rules they seem to allow almost anything I don't see an aikidoka at a disadvantage under the rules they have.
There is a difference between competing for ego reasons and that of a test of oneself.

Walter Kopitov
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Old 09-01-2001, 10:41 AM   #8
MikeE
 
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I really don't think Aikido would work well in an NHB scheme. (Not from an effectiveness standpoint, but a money making one) Promoters want 2 gladiators to bludgeon or grapple to submission or unconsciousness. I teach at a crosstraining school and I get a chance now and then to open spar. The NHB fighter will try to quickly close the gap with kicks punches or takedowns. An Aikidoka will keep proper ma-ai, which doesn't play well into a NHB fighters game. Plus, irimi and tenkan movements are very surprising to an NHB fighter.

What happens alot with me is that the NHB person stands there and gets frustrated not seeing any openings and winds up throwing themselves at me. Game over.

Aikido is patient...NHB is not.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
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Old 09-01-2001, 02:02 PM   #9
guest1234
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That's similar to what a friend once told me, who does Aikido at a place shared with Karate and Ju Jitsu, when they got into a discussion among themselves what would happen if you had Ju Jitsu vs Aikido: they decided it would turn into the Ju Jitsu guy chasing the Aikidoka around the room trying to get him to the ground, with the Aikidoka avoiding his attack and keeping ma ai...
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Old 09-01-2001, 02:17 PM   #10
Jim ashby
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Groundwork

Aikidoka not capable of groundwork! Does the term suwari waza ring a bell? BTW Coleen are you in the UK yet?
Have fun

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 09-01-2001, 03:07 PM   #11
MikeE
 
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Jim,

Suwari waza probably wouldn't be the best against a BJJ person. Since they may very well attack you with their legs and pull you into the guard. For a skilled BJJ person this is a very powerful position. The minute you try to move they will be attacking your arms and neck in an attempt to upset your center with their hips and legs. (Make you worry about the attacks to the arms and neck, while their major purpose is to position you for a turnover, leg sweep, or a whole myriad of submissions.

Just my opinion. Take it for what its worth.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
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Old 09-01-2001, 05:33 PM   #12
mj
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Re: Groundwork

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim ashby
Aikidoka not capable of groundwork! Does the term suwari waza ring a bell?
Jim, aikidoka are NOT capable of groundwork.
(Newaza)
Of course, neither are boxers, kick boxers etc. It doesn't detract from their ability, but it certainly means that they will NOT win a fight on the ground against a groundwork fighter.
However, suwari-waza will give aikidoka an advantage on the ground against an opponent who does not know groundwork.
I would like to add that I agree with the fact that arts come and go. Arts, lately, seem designed to beat the last art that was the fad.
See where you are weak, strengthen, move on.
Personally I think aikido is for people who have decided not to fight. For whatever reason.
Groundwork is not very aiki, until you can do it.
Then it IS aiki. But you still have to learn it to do it. Get ready for pain and exhaustion if you do...

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Old 09-01-2001, 07:01 PM   #13
Jim23
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These kinds of dicussions are really pointless in a forum like this.

Theoretically, if an effective aikidoka were to take on a fighter from another style, the aikidoka would be the winner - we are ready for anything!!

So then, why can't an aikidoka quickly lead/throw/pin/submit/etc. someone in the UFC? Who cares what they train in or for, or how strong they are! They want to strike? Take you down? It really makes little difference, does it? Why play their game?

However, that's not really how the world works.

The argument that we don't train for UFC-style fighting is pretty weak. Doesn't aikido make you ready for anything?

Many questions ... no real answers.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 09-01-2001, 07:11 PM   #14
mj
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Wow!!!!
Jim23...have you converted????

Starting to feel it?
Starting to get the ?
I agree, but the fact is...kidoka cannot do groundwork.
This is not to say they could not adapt.
And of course, groundwork is not much good if lots of people are kicking you in the head (probably )
But groundwork is an important part of everyday fighting, one on one.
But remember, this is being said by someone who used to do newaza, but now does aikido.

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Old 09-01-2001, 08:43 PM   #15
Scott_in_Kansas
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To KAMI: I agree with Walter. There is nothing in the UFC or PRIDE rules that would hinder an aikidoka.

Also, do you think that the aikido art is so WEAK that we couldn't stand up to a BJJ artist or a steroid pumping wrestler? O' Sensei didn't seem to have any problem against much larger opponents. Would O'Sensei have gotten his butt kicked at a UFC style "demonstration"?

And speaking of demonstrations, I've seen video of Aikido masters holding "open" demonstrations where they get non-aikido practioners to attack (or attempt to attack) them. Wouldn't the UFC be considered just another demonstration to an aikido master? I'm not trying to be facetious here, just curious why there is such a willingness to "prove the art." Such demonstrations where common in the martial arts 20-30 years ago.

Keep the comments coming guys. This thread is getting interesting.

Respectfully,

Scott in Kansas
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Old 09-01-2001, 11:09 PM   #16
guest1234
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Hi James, not in the UK yet, plans were postponed

As for the stories about demonstrations, one name I think many will bring to mind is the sucess of Tohei Sensei in Hawaii. I read today his account of that first visit, when plans had been made for challenges after he'd accepted, and then they told him of the plan. He considered not going, but felt he'd already committed himself, and said "I am going in order to teach the principle of non-dissention. So I cannot challenge anyone to a match. If they want me to fight with professional wrestlers, let them challenge me. Master Ueshiba would permit me to defend myself."

I think there is a difference between demonstrating your art, and choking someone silly to win a contest.
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Old 09-02-2001, 04:28 AM   #17
Kami
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Cool NHB AND AIKIDO

[quote]Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
[b] To KAMI: I agree with Walter. There is nothing in the UFC or PRIDE rules that would hinder an aikidoka.

KAMI : As you wish. Go there and try...

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
Also, do you think that the aikido art is so WEAK that we couldn't stand up to a BJJ artist or a steroid pumping wrestler?
KAMI : No, I don't. Where did you read that?
I said that for specific conditions, you must have specific training. As in judo, if you go participate in judo contest with rules...

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
O' Sensei didn't seem to have any problem against much larger opponents. Would O'Sensei have gotten his butt kicked at a UFC style "demonstration"?


KAMI : There's no account of O-Sensei participating in a free-for-all with other fighters. There are a lot of stories about "demonstrations", generally with people being surprised by O-Sensei's techniques, little known in those days. And about your question concerning O-Sensei being "butt kicked", if he didn't prepare specifically for that, yes. Perhaps that's why he wisely never did it.As Jigoro Kano, Gichin Funakoshi and many other masters

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
And speaking of demonstrations, I've seen video of Aikido masters holding "open" demonstrations where they get non-aikido practioners to attack (OR ATTEMPT TO ATTACK) them. Wouldn't the UFC be considered just another demonstration to an aikido master?

KAMI : Demonstrations and competitions are two different things.As you said, "ATTEMPT TO ATTACK..." An UFC or NHB can't be considered "demonstration" for an aikido master. Also, what do you mean by a master? An old practitioner, full of wisdom and perfect technique? or a young competitive athlete, full of stamina and resistence, competing BY HIS RULES and so unafraid of dying or even serious crippling? You see, the nemesis of martial ARTISTS is that they can't use all their skill in a NHB competition. You can't go to a judo competition and use strikes, punches and kicks (you'd be punished and lose the fight); you can't go to a karate competition and use throws, grappling or ne waza (you'd be punished and lose the fight); and so on, and so on... "No Holds barred" competition and Ultimate Fighting Championships aren't so "no holds barred" as you think. They have their own set of rules and that's that. Another thing should be remembered : physical conditioning. Aikidoka, GENERALLY, are poorly conditioned and have no stamina for a prolonged competition. Boxers, judoka, NHB and UFC fighters ARE. In their training, aikidoka defend themselves against very poor punches, kicks and strikes with weapons. Try to defend yourselves against good p/k men or against a weapon brandished by specialists (Kendoka, Kenjutsuka or Eskrimadores). Their speciality...

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
I'm not trying to be facetious here, just curious why there is such a willingness to "prove the art." Such demonstrations where common in the martial arts 20-30 years ago.
KAMI : I guess you were meaning "why there isn't such a willingness". In that case, I believe it is because of the reasons I stressed. There's no problem with any aikidoka that wishes to participate in an UFC (there may be problems with their aikido organizations, but there's no rule in Aikido forbidding that. Even the famous quote from O-Sensei :"There's no competition in Aikido" has been explained uncorrectly translated at this very List). And if you think there's no need for any special preparation, you're in for a surprise...Please, do go! Even in the case of competitive Aikido, there may be good conditioning but still the rules and prohibitions are very different and you should prepare intensively for that.

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
Keep the comments coming guys. This thread is getting interesting.
Respectfully,
Scott in Kansas
KAMI : I believe they will.
Best regards

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

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Old 09-02-2001, 07:58 AM   #18
mariko nakamura
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I have to disagree with some of the opinions that have been shared here. I would like to say that we spend alot of time defending ourselves from a wide variety of "ground work" or grappling style attacks in our dojo and most of them are very painful and very effective.
It was also said that we generally defend ourselves against poor attacks. I'd also like to say that most of the Aikidoka I know have all studied Karate,Judo and Kendo in school. So the attacks are very professional annd very real.
We also learn that every chance to fight should be thought of as really a chance to practice. However competition is discouraged not because of fighting or money, but because of ego. The competition to be the best. Everybody wants to be the best right? I know I want to be, but my ego, unfortunately is pretty big. Hopefully someday I will be rid of it because sometimes its a pretty discouraging factor, especially when I see these guys fighting eachother on T.V. and I'm pretty sure I could take em out real quick right?
I think that it would be better for our way of life, that we as Aikidoka are striving to live by, to stay away from these competitions and pay them no attention at all.

Mick
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Old 09-02-2001, 10:00 AM   #19
mj
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Well said!
Wanting to be the best is just part of our growing (up).

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Old 09-03-2001, 12:10 AM   #20
Irony
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Just look at the question: Why haven't any Aikidoka competed in NHB events?

So obviously none have. Why? I doubt the Gracies or whoever would deny any artist the right to compete; they're all to eager to exhibit their style's "dominance." So we must assume that none have competed because A) none wanted to, or B) they did not pass whatever qualifying rounds or whatnot that NHB competitions must require. I'll assume "A", because of course Aikido rules too much for "B"...

So no high-ranking aikidoka wish to participate in such an event. I think Aikido is a unique art in one way because by the time your Aikido becomes "perfect" you're probably as old as O'Sensei grew to be, and too wise to bother with such foolishness. Yes, a successful demonstration of Aikido may bolster the art's image in the eyes of people who watch NHB, but all you'll end up getting a lot of mixed martial art styles guys who come in to the dojo wanting to fight and maybe learn "that cool flip thing that guy did."

It seemed to me that O'Sensei, from what I read, accepted those challenges less out of egotistical "demonstration" than refinement of this new art he'd created. I could be wrong on that; I haven't read too terribly much about him. Though I do remember that bullet-dodging incident...

Still at the end, Aikido is a very personal art. If it behooves your Aikido to participate in such an event, I wish you good luck. But you'd better make very, very sure your Aikido is up to par. It may be good to take into consideration that while surely many Aikidoka have had or do have the opportunity to do these things, very few, or even none have.

Chris Pasley
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Old 09-03-2001, 03:30 AM   #21
nikonl
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Ai symbol

Personally,i think Aikidokas don't participate in the UFC because, 1.Those who are skilled enough to win(old masters) aren't realli interested in it. 2.Those who are interested(young,un-wise) are not skilled enough to join.

I mean,if you were a highly skilled aikidoka,why would you want to join? Wouldn't it be better if you had spent the time training in your dojo? There's nothing to gain,nothing to prove,or should i say,there's no need to prove. You are just what you are,no more no less.

Regarding the subject on stamina to last in the fight,i hope some people from the ki-society could give their comments on that.
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Old 09-03-2001, 08:58 PM   #22
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
These kinds of dicussions are really pointless in a forum like this.

Theoretically, if an effective aikidoka were to take on a fighter from another style, the aikidoka would be the winner - we are ready for anything!!

So then, why can't an aikidoka quickly lead/throw/pin/submit/etc. someone in the UFC? Who cares what they train in or for, or how strong they are! They want to strike? Take you down? It really makes little difference, does it? Why play their game?

However, that's not really how the world works.

The argument that we don't train for UFC-style fighting is pretty weak. Doesn't aikido make you ready for anything?

Many questions ... no real answers.

Jim23
I read this as sarcasm. Am I wrong?

Last edited by Erik : 09-03-2001 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 09-03-2001, 09:09 PM   #23
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
O' Sensei didn't seem to have any problem against much larger opponents.
O'Sensei, to my knowledge, never fought a 6'3", 220 pound Olympic caliber wrestler with 4% body fat. They did not exist in Japan, or virtually anywhere else, when O'Sensei was around. The level of athleticism at the elite levels today would have been unimaginable to someone like O'Sensei.

Also, I've caught a sense of an idea that an Aikido master, presumably in his 40's or 50's could clean up the Octagon. Unless he or she is a janitor I doubt it. Age, strength and speed still count and they count for a lot at this level of athletic performance. It's just not gonna happen in my opinion.

NHB has almost become a martial art unto itself. It requires certain very specific skills (one of them is size which isn't really a skill is it) and it doesn't invalidate us in any way to say that the training most of us do is wholly inadequate for this sort of event. If we trained for NHB fighting then we'd be NHB fighters and not Aikidoists.
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Old 09-03-2001, 09:30 PM   #24
guest1234
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RATS.
And here I'd just sent away for my application...
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Old 09-03-2001, 11:05 PM   #25
darin
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I have watched various "seasoned masters" do aikido and would say that none of them would be able to win a UFC tournament using aikido.

Firstly, all these UFC fighters are professionals. They fight for money which means they are trained by the best. They are young, in top condition and usually come from a strong background in boxing, kickboxing and wrestling. These guys aren't just anyone.

Secondly, the style of fighting in these tournaments is very refined. Aikido uses intricate locks and throws that are very difficult to apply to someone who is not wearing a gi, strong, very quick and is wet with sweat.

Aikido is still a good form of self defence. In some ways its more effective than kickboxing or grappling. Have you ever seen the BJJ self defence videos? You would be suprised to see a lot of aikido techniques used against knives and grabs.

I have trained with many security personel, who come from a kickboxing/karate/kung fu background and are very suspicious of aikido. After a few lessons they think its the best thing for their jobs.
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