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Old 06-10-2003, 03:24 AM   #26
PeterR
 
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Hi Edward

There really is no such thing as competition Aikido versus Classical Aikido. Most of the training we do is as with Aikido dojos the world over - kata based. Kenji Tomiki would have been teaching the same techniques at Honbu that he would have been teaching at Wasaeda.

Randori is a training tool, the mindset is non-competitive and cooperative even though it can involve full resistance and reversals. By this I mean the goal is for both to walk away happy and more skillful. There is no winner or looser.

Shiai is randori taken up a notch and yes there is a clearly defined winner and looser even though in essence the looser has gained almost as much as the winner.

I mention this because one of Nariyama's funtions was to introduce the randori method to Universities under Kobayashi's control. I occaisionally run into ex-students of Osaka University that fondly remember the intense training sessions that came from those visits.

I think you are correct however, that the randori method was not introduced at Aikikai Honbu.

By the way are we talling about the same Kobayashi. If you are talking about Hirokazu Kobayashi could you point me to the interview. Actually doesn't matter if its the other one Yasuo ? - please point me to the interview. The former was probably the last deshi of Ueshiba M. (debateable) the latter of a different generation.

From http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/oshie5.html
Quote:
On 25th November 1972 the 2nd Japan Budo Festival was held in the Japan Budokan. This was an event surely worth a special mention. From the world of aikido, Kisshomaru Ueshiba (2nd head of Aikikai), Gozo Shioda (head of Yoshinkan) and Kenji Tomiki (head of the Japan Aikido Association) were present. It was the first time in history that they had met in the same building. However, the event didn't take its intended course. In Tomiki Shihan's teaching while we were practising randori, all of a sudden we heard the announcement "What is going on now, Aikikai do not acknowledge" repeated several times.

Also, one of the festival committee members, while having invited us there, at the same time denied that the content was aikido. The atmosphere was such that the younger university students who were watching almost surged forward from their seats.

However, Tomiki Sensei didn't mind at all and continued to teach. Anyway, I didn't calm down and as soon as we finished I asked him about this.

Shihan's reply was simply, "The people who understand, understand prefectly. So you don't need to worry." I recall that I thought that was either his presence of mind or his concentration on what he was doing. Twenty years have passed since then and that was the first and last time these three people from the world of aikido had met in the same building. It is said that the spirit of aikido is harmony so I was very disappointed by this.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-10-2003, 03:42 AM   #27
Mark Nicoll
 
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Quote:
Edward Karaa (Edward) wrote:
I myself believe that some kind of competition would benefit aikido. The lack of competition has created a situation where any a**hole with good public relation abilities can become a very highly respected personality regardless of his aikido abilities. Competition would reduce such individuals, and they are not a few, to their original size.
I understand this reasoning, but do you not think that because Aikido is none competitive, this is what has attracted a lot of Aikidoka?

I know this was one of the reasons I was attracted to it.

Is it not down to the Sensei and the Aikidoka within the dojo to "oust" (To eject from a position or place; force out) people who are not necessarily Aikido material and hence removing the bad element?

I know one bad apple will always get through, as no system is perfect, but we can do our utmost to reduce this on a daily basis.

Just a thought.

"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box."
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Old 06-10-2003, 03:47 AM   #28
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Speaking as an offshoot member (actually, offshoot of an offshoot), I can't say I've seen any real problems with differing schools, mainly as I don't believe any particular association holds the "rights" to decent aikido. Many threads have referred to the fact that good aikido will always be your own individual interpretation, so the differing schools merely reflect this.

I was peripherally involved in creating a "new" association about ten or so years ago (not the one I'm now with), the reasons weren't due to ego or acrimony, it was purely convenience for grading, insurance and (more importantly) getting some money out of local government initiatives for the area. Our father (mother?) association had no problems with this and we still held courses together.

Where I have seen problems is when an organisation gets too large and loses touch with its smaller, less visible dojos, especially if they try to be autocratic in their rulings. Finally, my experience has been that associations made up of essentially independent groups operating a larger "banner" organisation tend to be some of the more open, experimental and friendly people in aikido, so I'm firmly behind diversity.
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Old 06-10-2003, 04:15 AM   #29
deepsoup
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Quote:
Edward Karaa (Edward) wrote:
Thanks, Peter, for the interesting information. I knew that Tomiki Sensei was still teaching at the Aikikai from an interview of Kobayashi Shihan, eventhough he made it a point to mention that Tomiki Sensei was teaching classical aikido not competition aikido at the Aikikai hombu.
I dont think there is any such thing as 'competition aikido'. If you are referring to Shodokan, it is not 'competition aikido' its just aikido. People who have hangups about shiai think that shiai is what defines the style, but to those of us who train in Shodokan its just one out of many tools for learning that Tomiki K. gave us.
Quote:
It is always intreaguing to learn about aikido history, and remember that aikido, as any other human activity, has its fair share of ugliness too.
Indeed. (I'm not aiming this at you, Edward, but speaking more generally here.) I find it pretty ugly that so many people feel entirely free to slander Tomiki K. based on very little (or no) understanding of the man or his achievements. Whatever one makes of Shodokan (and most of the people who dismiss our system have never tried it), Professor Tomiki deserves more respect.

From a few posts back:
Quote:
Edward wrote:
(From a few posts back) Osensei has always repeated that there is no competition in aikido, and the reason explained quite clearly. You do not possibly expect to stay in good terms with the founder if you insist on going against your teacher's will and include competiton into His art.
This was covered by an excellent thread a while back regarding that quote. While Ueshiba M. undoubtedly didn't approve of shiai, he was not talking about shiai when he said 'competition' in this context. He was referring to the egotistical jockeying for position that you can see in dojos of all styles, including the majority which do not practice shiai.

Regarding the 'cult of OSensei' that was mentioned in another thread recently, might I just remind you that putting a capital letter on a pronoun as in "into His art" is normally reserved for talking about God, Ueshiba M. was a remarkable man, but just a man. (My apologies if that was just a typo.)

Regards

Sean

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Old 06-10-2003, 04:28 AM   #30
deepsoup
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Quote:
Mark Nicoll wrote:
Is it not down to the Sensei and the Aikidoka within the dojo to "oust" (To eject from a position or place; force out) people who are not necessarily Aikido material and hence removing the bad element?
Certainly not where I train. We do our very best to make everyone welcome. Things must be rough in Macclesfield, because over here in Sheffield, I dont think we've ever had to ask anyone to leave the dojo.

Aren't you still a part of society? If you have to deal with the 'bad element' by kicking them out of the dojo, does that mean you also have to kick them out of society. Where does that kind of thinking take you?
Quote:
I know one bad apple will always get through, as no system is perfect, but we can do our utmost to reduce this on a daily basis.
LOL. Maybe thats why we've yet to turn anyone away - maybe our dojo is already full of the 'bad element'. Seems like a nice friendly place to me, but maybe thats just because I'm a bad apple too!

Regards

Sean "Bad Apple" Orchard

(I like it.)
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Old 06-10-2003, 06:51 AM   #31
Mark Nicoll
 
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Quote:
Sean Orchard (deepsoup) wrote:
Aren't you still a part of society? If you have to deal with the 'bad element' by kicking them out of the dojo, does that mean you also have to kick them out of society. Where does that kind of thinking take you?
I think that maybe you misunderstood my comment, or maybe I didn't get my point of view across correctly.

By the term "bad apple" I meant it for the minority of people that want to learn a martial art for no other reason than the 'dark side'. I am talking about the highly volatile and agressive people, that would do nothing other than harm, within a dojo. The bullies of this world to stereotype but one group.
Quote:
Sean Orchard (deepsoup) wrote:
Certainly not where I train. We do our very best to make everyone welcome. Things must be rough in Macclesfield, because over here in Sheffield, I dont think we've ever had to ask anyone to leave the dojo.
In defence of this statement, our dojo in Macclesfield is one of friendship, comradship & uttermost respect, as I think all dojo's should be. We welcome all through our doors and I have heard of none being turned away.

As I said, it is the minority. The 1% that shouldn't be given the privelage to learn such a fine and deadly art.

"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box."
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Old 06-10-2003, 08:16 AM   #32
Ron Tisdale
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Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
No. It is not my intention to discredit people or organisations. As I just want to point out that aikido is something done by men and thus not free of all the aspects and pitfalls connected to ordinary life, I dont see any need to specificly mention names. Most people can find these examples they need themselves without any trouble.
If it is not your intention to discredit people, the statement you made seems rather curious.
Quote:
Unless you of course see the stroking of the leading men's ego, the filling of their wallet and the satisfaction of their need for power and control as a preceived need.
This reads as a very sarcastic, perhaps even backhanded way of running down the founders of various aikido organizations...as someone else has said, men you haven't met. As far as I know, Gozo Shioda had Ueshiba Sensei's complete support and approval for the creation of the yoshinkan. I may be wrong, but I believe that the primary goal was to continue the training that Shioda Kancho loved, but divorced from the esoteric shintoism of the Omoto sect.

This speaks to me not of ego in the negative sense that you seem to suggest, but rather, someone who wanted to carry on part of the founder's vision, even though he could not accept the religious overtones. There are some I know (japanese, by the way), who believe that shintoism had a lot to do with some of the problems that Japan's military encountered during the war. And in spite of creating his own organization with the founder's approval, Shioda Kancho continued to support the Ueshiba family and the Aikikai, often appearing at major events up until his death. Inoue Sensei (one of the main figures at the yoshinkan now) continues to do that. I have personally seen him at such events. I have met many of the senior instructors, and have not seen the characteristics your post describes.
Quote:
As English is not my native tongue had to use a dictionary to understand what you mean by that.
That is why I posted a definition.
Quote:
Maybe I misunderstood this, but it came across as deliberatly insulting, especially because it deals with what you find attractive, something in which I am not interested and against which no reasonable respons seems possible. Within dutch cultur this would be seen as picking a fight.
Within my culture, your original post would be seen the same way. Which is why I posted as I did. I thought that the similarities might bring you to reconsider your original statement. Oh well. I also believe that the other responses to your post and the discussions that have evolved from them give the same impression.

Ron Tisdale

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 06-10-2003 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 06-10-2003, 09:01 AM   #33
Edward
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
By the way are we talling about the same Kobayashi. If you are talking about Hirokazu Kobayashi could you point me to the interview. Actually doesn't matter if its the other one Yasuo ? - please point me to the interview.
You're right. The interview is with Yasuo Kobayashi. I read it a while ago on aikidojournal but then the whole interview was available to non-subscribers. Now it seems you have to be a member to read the whole article:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/new/art...?ArticleID=310
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:29 AM   #34
Charles Hill
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Peter,

What years did Tomiki Sensei teach at Aikikai Honbu? Also, can you recommend any sources of info on the history of Tomiki Sensei and his group?

Thanks,

Charles
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Old 06-10-2003, 12:29 PM   #35
Charles Hill
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Ron,

This doesn't affect the meaning of your post, but I think it is imporant to note that Morihei Ueshiba's Shinto related beliefs and the Shinto purported by the military were quite different. Remember that Onisaburo Deguchi was put in prison under charges of lese majesty and that his son-in-law (who was a close friend of M. Ueshiba's) was tortured so severely that it led to mental illness that lasted the rest of his life.

I also think that it is pretty clear that the Shinto faith was perverted by the military government to justify their actions and to encourage national pride. I disagree that Shinto, itself, led to any problems.

Again, this doesn't change anything you wrote. I just felt it needed to be said.

Charles
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Old 06-10-2003, 12:37 PM   #36
Ron Tisdale
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Good point Charles. I think it was worth saying. I wouldn't want to make the same mistake here that others have made and tar the whole bucket of apples with one broad brush...

RT

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:23 PM   #37
Dave Miller
 
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Tomiki's motivations:

I think that in terms of motives for his "offshoot", I think that Tomiki was fairly up front, at least with the information to which I am privy.

As an educator, Tomiki was concerned with taking the vast universe of techniques that is Aikido and condensing it and organising into a format that was more easily passed on. Hence the systems of kata that many of the Tomiki ryu schools share.

As far as the "competition" aspect of Tomiki, we need to remember that Tomiki was a student of Kano and a world class Judo player before he ever studied Aikido. It seems that his motivation for adding a "sport" aspect to Aikido was to help it spread, much as Judo has done. I think that if Tomiki had his way, Aikido would be an olympic sport right alongside Judo. In this regard, his desire was to see Aikido spread and become more popular as a martial art.

You shodokan guys might have a better grasp of the historical material I am trying to relay. Do I have most of the basic facts correct?

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 06-10-2003, 04:23 PM   #38
deepsoup
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Re: Tomiki's motivations:

Quote:
Mark Nicoll wrote:
I think that maybe you misunderstood my comment, or maybe I didn't get my point of view across correctly.

By the term "bad apple" I meant it for the minority of people that want to learn a martial art for no other reason than the 'dark side'. I am talking about the highly volatile and agressive people, that would do nothing other than harm, within a dojo. The bullies of this world to stereotype but one group.
Maybe I did misunderstand you then. The way I read it, the 'bad apples' were people with some interest in shiai. (ie: me and many of my pals! )

If you're talking about highly volatile and agressive people, I can't imagine any such people being interested in aikido anyway. From their point of view aikido (even as practiced by we aiki-thugs ) is boooooring!
Quote:
Mark Nicoll wrote:
In defence of this statement, our dojo in Macclesfield is one of friendship, comradship & uttermost respect, as I think all dojo's should be. We welcome all through our doors and I have heard of none being turned away.
I'm glad to hear that, but I'm confused. If you've never had to turn anyone away, how come you feel its a responsibility to "oust" the "bad apples" from the dojo. Where I train its the instructors responsibility to scare away baby elephants who might hide under the sink. (We've never had a baby elephant come in the door yet, but the day one does it wont be allowed to hide under the sink, no way!)
Quote:
Mark Nicoll wrote:
As I said, it is the minority. The 1% that shouldn't be given the privelage to learn such a fine and deadly art.
Some (though not necessarily me) might say that its that 1% who would benefit most from training in the "way of harmony".
Quote:
Dave Miller wrote:
You shodokan guys might have a better grasp of the historical material I am trying to relay. Do I have most of the basic facts correct?
I'm pretty sure you're bang on, Dave. (Though Peter R. is much better informed about these things than I.)

For anyone who's interested, theres some info about this historical stuff here on the Shodokan honbu website.

Regards

Sean "Bad Apple" Orchard

(I still like that.)
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Old 06-10-2003, 04:31 PM   #39
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Tomiki's motivations:

Quote:
Dave Miller wrote:
As far as the "competition" aspect of Tomiki, we need to remember that Tomiki was a student of Kano and a world class Judo player before he ever studied Aikido. It seems that his motivation for adding a "sport" aspect to Aikido was to help it spread, much as Judo has done. I think that if Tomiki had his way, Aikido would be an olympic sport right alongside Judo. In this regard, his desire was to see Aikido spread and become more popular as a martial art.
I recommend that you check out the available writings by Kano and Tomiki yourself rather than take someone else's word and interpretations about this.

Kano was very instrumental in bringing western sports into Japan and especially the schools, however, he didn't seem that eager to have judo become taken over by the sport or kyogi mindset. Read the translations available and make up your own mind.

Chuck Clark
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www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 06-10-2003, 07:01 PM   #40
PeterR
 
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First let me just say that Sean is very bad - downright evil.

Charles and Dave - the best source is the Shodokan Homepage which includes tons of information and needs some exploration

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/

Further information can be obtained at the JAA(USA) site http://www.tomiki.org

and Aikido Journal site has a whole series of articles on Kenji Tomiki and the current head of the Shodokan system, Tetsuro Nariyama. And as Edward mentioned other articles mention Tomiki frequently enough - always I might add in a respectful light.

Edward - thanks for the link.

Not that interested in who said it but one comment did bother me. Of course we are not all saints - I sure am not but that does not make me guilty of murder. Kenji Tomiki was the ultimate scholar and gentleman. A gifted and dedicated martial artist, and educator (Full professor at one of the most prestigious universities in Japan), his caligraphy is sought out by collectors, and I challenge anyone to find a fint of scandel in his life. I never met the man but know many that dedicated their lives to his teaching - and I mean that literally.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-10-2003, 07:28 PM   #41
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
To be blunt Edward I put the fragmentation of Aikido pretty squarely on Ueshiba K.'s shoulders. In the case of Kenji Tomiki he was esentially frozen out and then only after Ueshiba M. had passed away. I can't comment of Shioda S.'s reasons other than to say that out of all of Ueshiba's uchideshi he most clearly saw the future storm. The attacks on Kenji Tomiki went far beyond what will be discussed here.
The other side, of course is that K. Ueshiba actually offered to support and work together with K. Tomiki if the latter would agree to forgo the use of the name "Aikido" which, rightly or wrongly, the Ueshiba's regard as Ueshiba family property. Suppose (for the sake of argument) that you created your own Aikido organization and decided to call it "Shodokan Aikido"? Do you think that Nariyama would approve? Would he "freeze you out", and would that action be right or wrong?

As I understand these things, Shioda never broke with the Aikikai, the two organizations rather developed in parallel. Last I heard Moriteru Ueshiba was on the board of the Yoshinkan, and the Yoshinkan had a member on the board of the Aikikai.

From what I can tell, Kisshomaru felt that the Aikikai was in something of a competition for students with the Yoshinkan in the post-war period, but doesn't seem to have had any qualms about what they were practicing. Not so the case with Shodokan, with which he appears to have had philosophical differences with.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-10-2003, 07:44 PM   #42
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Ah but Chris - for the sake of argument Nariyama can boot me out at any time, I am his student. The question would have more relevance if I had problems with the next head of the Shodokan.

To paraphrase Tomiki - "Only the founder can excommunicate me".

The debate about the use of the name occured while Ueshiba M.'s mind was still sharp. The real problems started a few years after kaiso died.

That said - some things are necessary during a succession. Obviously Ueshiba K. felt that the lengths he went to discredit Tomiki K. (I heard that went far beyond Aikido circles) were.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-11-2003, 06:03 PM   #43
Mark Nicoll
 
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Blush!

Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
First let me just say that Sean is very bad - downright evil.

"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box."
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Old 06-11-2003, 07:20 PM   #44
Charles Hill
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Peter,

The website lists "Aikido Kyoshitsu" as a source of info on Tomiki Sensei. Does it go over the problems he had after the Founder's death?

Charles
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Old 06-11-2003, 07:58 PM   #45
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Peter,

The website lists "Aikido Kyoshitsu" as a source of info on Tomiki Sensei. Does it go over the problems he had after the Founder's death?
Of course not - why would it. The reactionary response is limited to us underlings.

However, it is an excellent book - I know of one Aikikai Shihan that uses it as a textbook for his Junior and Senior High School students. If you can read Japanese go for it - for us with lesser ability there is the English translation. It is reviewed on the books section of this site under Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:10 PM   #46
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Of course not - why would it. The reactionary response is limited to us underlings.
And then there were those secret Slam Books that used to circulate among the uchi-deshi...

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-12-2003, 04:49 PM   #47
Mark Nicoll
 
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So the conclusion is, the tree will still be a tree, even when a branch has broken off!?

The seeds from that tree will grow and mature on their own and become their own tree, but potentially be a part of the same forest!

Thankyou to all who have participated in this little exercise and to those who reply thereafter.

Respect to all.

"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box."
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