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Old 10-11-2002, 03:29 AM   #76
Ali B
Join Date: May 2002
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Hi ya,

Hard luck for getting slapped in the face. I would give the teacher another chance. If only for the fact that we are all human. Perhaps you made the mistake of turning up to the class in Gi and cloured belt, which as has been explined can be considered very bad form. He also made a mistake of losing his temper with a beginner.

Talk to him if you can. It will open up communication and help understanding between you both.

I was hit in the face with the end of a Jo by a 7th dan last summer. - Obviously my fault. - I should have moved faster and got out of the way. Some would say he should have had more control as, although I have been practing for 6 years I am ungraded and wear a white belt. Actually, I didn´t even feel it at the time but the round purple bruise on my lips was quite obvious later that evening. I learned a lot about my aikido that day...

Love and light

Ali
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Old 10-11-2002, 04:18 AM   #77
Edward
Location: Bangkok
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Quote:
Michael Knecht (MichaelK78) wrote:
Actually, after the incident I noticed he was really paying attention to me. It's like he was searching for a reason to enter a power struggle again. For instance, if wasn't the first person to get up after he demonstrated a technique he would stare at me with psycho eyes.
Having read Erik Knoops commentary and yours about this teacher, it seems to me that this type of neurotic personnality is quite a common product of aikido. We have one like that at our dojo and She is uncontrollable.

I myself have been suffering from exactly the same situation as yours for 2 years now. My advice is to look for a better dojo because your situation can only get worse. Unfortunately, I cannot afford this luxury myself because our head instructor is the highest ranking teacher in SE Asia, and I am willing to take the other instructor's s**t just to be able to practice there.
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Old 10-11-2002, 05:42 AM   #78
gasman
 
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often there are people in beginners class who have practiced other styles to varying levels. myself included. i was carrying the stiffness of taekwon do, fortunately i also carried the softness of tai chi. but i carried a pride, i thought i knew something. i wanted to show it too.

i quickly caught on to the softness and cooperation in performing techniques. our teacher made a good job in explaining and stressing these points. but not everybody understood.

hard stylists often made the mistake of using brute force in the techniques, thereby causing severe pain and even injury to the joints of other beginners. in such cases, my sensei would make a "hit". not necessarily a physical reaction, but he would sit us all down and yell at us (him/her) for several minutes.

this is done for the safety of others. this is done so that the hard stylists dont scare the other beginners to quit.

i want you to think about this. did you enter the dojo with pride? did you try and use judo principles?

what else could it be that you have done to make this instructor angry?

if you arrive at the tea house with a full cup, how can you drink from THEIR tea?

And NEVER EVER arrive at a new dojo with a grade belt from a different style. empty your cup.

(of course, I dont know this instructor and he could be a complete psycho for all i know.)
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Old 10-11-2002, 06:59 AM   #79
aiki_what
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The only issue should be the intent of the slap. IF it was a training scenario and the understanding was that anything goes...then the instructor is only guilty of failing to communicate properly....If the instructor slapped a student because he was frustrated...particularly a new student. Then he should be hung by the balls....After all isn't one of the basic tenets "Mastery of one's self".
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Old 10-11-2002, 08:06 AM   #80
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Quote:
Mark wrote:
The only issue should be the intent of the slap.
I don't agree with this. A number of people in this thread feel that the central issue revolves around whether the teacher was behaving 'properly' and whether Michael was behaving 'properly.' I agree that those are interesting questions, but I think that they are not at the heart of the issue for Michael. If I put myself in his shoes (how big are your feet, Michael?) it seems to me that I would mostly be focused on whether I'm comfortable training somewhere. Even if the sensei's actions can justified from certain perspectives, and even if my own behavior can also be judged, judging is not necessarily the most important thing to do. Am I likely to feel comfortable in that dojo? Am I likely to find ways to forgive and respect the instructor? Would my time and energy be better spent elsewhere? The answers to these questions seem clear from Michael's posts.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-11-2002, 09:05 AM   #81
MattRice
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Maryland
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Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk (NagaBaba) wrote:
In aikido you HELP instructor to do a technique, otherwise he can do nothing at all! and he get nervous
I take issue with this statement;Do you mean to imply that if you aren't cooperative with the instructor that he can't do anything about it? Sorry but that's laughable. With the yudansha in my dojo, I can resist like a maniac and it gets me crushed, not slapped, not humiliated, I just get thrown harder or in a different manner than I expected. I have yet freeze out one of my teachers and have them "do nothing at all"
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:04 AM   #82
aiki_what
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"I don't agree with this. A number of people in this thread feel that the central issue revolves around whether the teacher was behaving 'properly' and whether Michael was behaving 'properly.'"

Actually Opher I think we do agree. The intent of that slap is probably a good indicator of that instructor (and i.e. that dojo).

Was the instructor having a bad day and it culminated in slapping a student out of frustration?...direct reflection on the instructor and dojo

Is the instructor naturally inclined towards brutish behavior and he slapped a student...direct reflection on the instructor and dojo

Is this sort of behavior tolerated by the dojo and head instructor as a form of"real budo training"....direct reflection on the instructor and dojo.

There is also the chance that this was indeed a truly random event. In which case it needs to be discussed by those involved to make sure this "random" event dos not happen again.

I will put the caveat on my opinions that we are only getting one side of the story.
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:10 AM   #83
aiki_what
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Mat says:

"With the yudansha in my dojo, I can resist like a maniac and it gets me crushed, not slapped, not humiliated, I just get thrown harder or in a different manner than I expected."

That's expected as part of the give and take of ukemi in aikido. But what if one of your instructors made you stand at attention and slapped you because you performed the technique poorly.

Or even more subtly.....forcing someone to take breakfalls their first day of class just to establish who is the instructor and who is the student? maybe not quite so overt but wrong nonetheless.
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:19 AM   #84
Jim23
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I assume that you're paying this nice person to teach you aikido.

You can analyse it to death, but personally I would have returned the favour immediately and given him a taste of his own medicine.

He sounds like a case of "wooden shoes, wooden head, wooden listen" to anyone anyway.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 10-11-2002, 05:13 PM   #85
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
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Quote:
Michael Knecht (MichaelK78) wrote:
Yeah... it's all starting to make sense to me now.

Actually, after the incident I noticed he was really paying attention to me. It's like he was searching for a reason to enter a power struggle again. For instance, if wasn't the first person to get up after he demonstrated a technique he would stare at me with psycho eyes. I thought it was just my imagination but I may have been right there.
Hello Michael,

I see that you sent me a private message, but for some mysterious reason (to do with my web browser) I cannot send you a reply of adequate length. If you send me your e-mail address privately (my addresses are: pag@mocha.ocn.ne.jp; pagolds@hiroshima-u.ac.jp), I will be happy to correspond further.

By the way, I have been involved with aikido in Holland for many years and, like Erik Knoops, I know the situation quite well. Like he says, there is too much unwelcome 'politics', and also too much intolerance of different ways of thinking. Since I am not Dutch, I see aikido in the Netherlands as an involved 'outsider', so my view might be a little different from Erik's.

Best regards,

Peter A Goldsbury

P A Goldsbury
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Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 10-11-2002, 06:43 PM   #86
juderegan
Location: Bristol
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Freaky! I know nothing

Hi All,

First thing I MUST say is that I know

nothing about Aikido. I'm going to my first

class in 4 days. The reason I'm writting

is that I read all the comments and I'm

very impressed with the number of replies

in such a short time and most of them were

what I wanted to hear. I didn't like the

really argo comments from some people.

Having been a very bad boxer for a number

of years I'm very used of getting a few

black eyes, but NEVER have I got one with

a bad attitutde. I don't mind physical

beating but I will NEVER tolirate (I can't

spell) mental abuse. I think Michael was

very brave stating his situation, and by

the way you all replied, you agree.

I'm looking forward to my first Aikido

class on Tuedsay and I expect a few slaps,

but if I get verbal/mental abuse it will

be my first and last course, boxing is

better, and I already know that that can't

be true. So if I was in Michael's shoes

I would look the trainer in the eye and

ask why it happened and if I was happy

with the answer I would stay otherwise

I would leave. I read answers from

experienced users who said that you must

expect a few slaps, which is exactly what I

do. It's all about how they make you feel.

If they make you feel like your learning

etc... put up or shut up, but if it makes

you feel like our being unfairly treated

get out of there. AGAIN I know nothing

about Aikido. It's just the way I feel.

Either way, the way you all replied makes

me feel like I can get something special

out of Aikido, which is the real reason

I'm going to start it.

A note to all the really argo people who

posted, why are you doing Aikido?

Talk is cheap
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Old 10-11-2002, 07:18 PM   #87
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
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Main Entry: Ar·go

Pronunciation: 'är-(")gO

Function: noun

Etymology: Latin (genitive Argus), from Greek ArgO

: a large constellation in the southern hemisphere lying principally between Canis Major and the Southern Cross




I think I trained with a fellow from a planet orbiting a star we call Hentari 361, in the Argo constellation once. He said he liked Aikido because on his world, the grabbing of each other's wrists was how they had sex...
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:23 PM   #88
akiy
 
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Heh -- reminds me of the "Barbarella" method of teaching shihonage.

By the way, there's no need to add a carriage return at the end of every single line, folks. It's much, much easier to read it you just keep typing. Most modern browsers will handle the text areas and add "virtual" carriage returns as you type so the text area won't scroll horizontally. For example, I'm about to end this paragraph with two hard carriage returns without having added such for the rest of this paragraph...

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
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Old 10-14-2002, 12:34 PM   #89
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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Now, now ... don't mess with the fantasy of Barberella. If you get me started thinking about that I be in trouble with my wife for sure for having a stupid grin.

As for the slap, well indeed it would appear to be a wake up call to stop thinking so much and loosen up! I have seen people quit for having words with the teacher, and think they were being picked on, but to have a stumbling clod being dragged around in techniques posing as higher belt than beginner, well...

Some people are really high strung, maybe you both have simular trigger points, but as the stumbling practitioner you missed the point of the exercise? Then again, maybe not.

In either case, aren't you supposed to always protect yourself? Didn't you forget that in allowingt a slap to happen?

Silly me.

Strike me once shame on you.

Strike me twice shame on me.

Funny thing about choice ... you have to make them for yourself sometimes.

Decide you want to go somewhere else, stay, or quit. If you stay, take a look at yourself and see where you need to change to be a better student ... and protect yourself too?
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Old 10-14-2002, 12:53 PM   #90
Rev_Sully
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Is the underlying theme going on here that martial punishment/correction is culturally unacceptable even in a martial art and learning a martial art?

Or is this kind of action one should expect and assume upon entering dojo and learning from a stern sensei/sempai?

How would I react if the sensei/sempai were to strike me? Hmnmm...I must say it would depend on the circumstances. His/her mood & level of tolerance of beginners or could I have been out of line in some regards bordering on disrespect and unaware of it?

If he was put off by the coloured belt then he had no right to smack you in anger. But he had every right to inform you of the proper dogi for the individual dojo in an appropriate place/time.

If he truly was trying to be corrective, it's hard to rationalize pro/con of any circumstance in this nature. It seems of a recent phenomenom (sp) of distain for martial punishment.

I'm not for martial punishment in everyday life but I do know those are the risks in certain areas of life...especially education. Where and when is martial punishment condoned? Only really in an formal educational arrangement and role. I wouldn't accept a current definition to include employer/employee role or spousal. But I know that is a risk I take coming into dojo. But I am aware of this and my awareness can only guide my choice.

I hate being hit but I assume it will and can happen on any level. Whether it's sempai correcting me or if I misread my uke and get clobbered. Anyone ever see that happen, huh?

Even I have grabbed my beloved cat by the scruff of his neck and rubbed his nose in matter he should not have left in the incorrect place. And I felt awful at the time and still a little now too but he hasn't done it since either. Does that justify my action still?

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 10-14-2002, 12:56 PM   #91
Rev_Sully
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Cool ; ^ )

Quote:
Jim Halliday (Jim23) wrote:
I assume that you're paying this nice person to teach you aikido.

You can analyse it to death, but personally I would have returned the favour immediately and given him a taste of his own medicine.
INDEED!!!

But also in that you probably would find out just how good your ukemi is.


"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 10-15-2002, 10:36 AM   #92
aikigreg
Dojo: Mizu Aikido
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My sensei punched me in the mouth during randori the other night. I just smiled through the fat lip and kept going.

If my sensei had slapped me outside of paired practice and yelled "you will cooperate" I'd have had a decidedly un-aiki response to him, his car, and his HOUSE if necessary.

I think you missed that point, Bruce. Not to mention that a beginner wouldn't know enough about aiki to protect himself at all times.
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Old 10-20-2002, 09:28 AM   #93
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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I don't think so, Mr. Greg Gross.

The first thing you learn in sparring ... protect yourself at all times.

Not all teachers stress this belittled fact in aikido, but like many hints, it is said and demonstrated in nearly every type of martial art, and applies to all training in all martial arts.

Obviously, the poor victim wore a colored belt, and although my style does not have this, some styles expect a certain level of competency in students who display this type of ranking.

Did the teacher do the right thing in waking up this student, maybe not legally, or morally, but in the wide world of my experience, that student needed something to shake his world?

There are other means of stricker training than we use in the western world, and maybe this teacher had not the temperment, the experience, and the age to become the gentle mellow teachers we are used to.

Well, welcome to your worst nightmare. Being the brunt of a teachers rage.

How would you have handled someone like this, and what should you think this insane teacher was trying to do?

I never said the teacher was right, did I?

On the other hand, if I had been in the room, aware of the circumstances, myself and others would have stepped in and diffused the situation, or at least moderated the tension between teacher and student.

By the way, where were the other educated people who profess to doing the right thing?

Were they all cowering from the wrath?

Not very aiki. But then not everyone will do what they say they will do when they write here in the forums, or complain.

Sorry the guy got the insanity treatment, but maybe he needs to awaken, protect himself, and realize we start anew ... even if we keep what we have learned in our back pocket.
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Old 10-22-2002, 11:47 AM   #94
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Hi all,

Eric asked if it is ever correct to use "martial punishment". I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that term, but here goes my two cents:

When I was training in Kenya in Shotokan karate, I made the mistake of allowing my attention to wander while training with the second highest instructor there. Got me a swift (and very powerfull) chudan tsuki. I considered dropping to my knees, but decided that probably wouldn't be a good idea. I'd already messed up once, and I knew it.

It never occured to me that what happened was abuse, and I never considered leaving the dojo because if it. I figured he did me a favor...he could have broke a rib if he'd wanted.

The story described at the beginning of this thread though, sounds completely different to me. I don't think I would train under a teacher who loses his temper in that way while instructing...especially not with beginners.

Ron (belt smelt, a *good* instructor knows your background almost the moment you walk in the door) Tisdale

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 10-22-2002 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:49 PM   #95
pointy
Dojo: aikido of park slope
Location: brooklyn, ny USA
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Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
a *good* instructor knows your background almost the moment you walk in the door
exactly. i can tell (more or less) how long a person's been at it about 2 seconds after they touch my wrists, strike, etc. maybe it's a little trickier with a jo but i wouldnt have slapped a guy for being clueless! everyone is clueless at some point.

maybe the slap was more of an "offering" of a slap that he never thought would connect?
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Old 11-06-2002, 07:05 AM   #96
DrGazebo
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Ouch

During my third class in karate, I was knocked down by Sensai, because I was standing very high and he wanted to show I had no balance. I had also shown up intermittantly over the first month or so, wearing a cool Japanese headband with my gi sleeves rolled up. I thought I was something else.

In one microsecond, my attitude was kicked out of me. It also showed me that if I was going to train, it would be on Sensai's terms and not mine.

I have a charismatic personality, I make friends and bullshit easily. Here was one place where my bullshit would do nothing for me, it was going to be about training and nothing else.

The same instructor recently (15 years later) got very tough on an aikido student (he is now an Aikido teacher only), and sent him home with a split lip and lots of bruises (this was a senior student from another club). The student went to his Sensai to complain about the harsh treatment. I looked at that student and thought "you woose". Go play table tennis if you don't want the real thing.

You gotta weigh the slap against the talent. If you can really learn at this dojo, just take it like a man. If the instruction is crappy and they whack you around, time to go.

Good luck.
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Old 11-06-2002, 07:20 AM   #97
peteswann
Dojo: Shinwakai UK
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Re: Ouch

Quote:
David Chandross (DrGazebo) wrote:
The same instructor recently (15 years later) got very tough on an aikido student (he is now an Aikido teacher only), and sent him home with a split lip and lots of bruises (this was a senior student from another club). The student went to his Sensai to complain about the harsh treatment. I looked at that student and thought "you woose". Go play table tennis if you don't want the real thing.
If the chap from the other club was being an arse then fair enough (I'm guessing the split lip was not totally unnecessary!!), he should have been more respectful in your teachers dojo!!

Pete

Pete
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Old 11-06-2002, 07:25 AM   #98
Ta Kung
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I'd leave right away, not even waiting for the class to finish. Nothing gives a teacher the right to slap someone for "not cooperating", especially when the guy's a nwebie and didn't know what he did wrong. If he'd screwed around on purpose, the sensei could raise his voice, but not strike him. Anyone who have different thoughts hopefully never have kids.

/Patrik

Last edited by Ta Kung : 11-06-2002 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 11-06-2002, 09:39 AM   #99
Cyrijl
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I've read the original post and quite a few after it. This is the very reason why i quit aikido. Everytime i had a question or problem everyone wanted to finagle the situation so that it was my fault.

This is not a real budo...I am sorry, but it is not. that is not to say that it does not work, or to degrade the art. Aikido i loved, the faux culture i did not.

I say this as someone who had great teachers and sensei, but as someone who realized pretty quickly that aikido fosters and elitest attitude somewhat hostile to outsiders...For someone's third class a slap is not appropriate. Had this person hit somone forcefully, had locked or damaged someone's arm intentionally, a strike is appropriate, but for not understanding...????It is hard to make the case...This was my problem. If i did not understand, people had no patience and never explained (on or off the mat). And when i came here, everyone tried to tell me it was my fault...sorry, don't think so...

jzf

melior est canis vivus leone mortuo
Bog svsami!!!
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Old 11-06-2002, 10:12 AM   #100
Fiona D
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2 things occur to me on this subject, after reading the initial post and the wide variety of replies. First, surely an experienced instructor should be able to tell the difference between someone stiffening up because they are unsure of what they're supposed to be doing and someone stiffening up because they're being an awkward b*****d and want to show up the instructor? There's a pretty significant difference in the body language there. Doesn't matter what grade the person concerned is - everyone can have times where they're unsure, whether they're raw beginners or someone who's been training for years.

In the former case (i.e. the unsure person), the slap and telling-off is completely inappropriate. In the latter case, it's also completely counter-productive. If someone is being deliberately awkward, they're probably playing some kind of power game and will feel that they've won if all the instructor can do is slap them and tell them off (rather than, for example, putting them down decisively in a clean throw/lock).
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