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Old 08-20-2004, 12:00 PM   #1
Jeff Stallard
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Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Naaaaah, it ain't ever gonna happen, but would you support it if it did happen? On one hand, the high visibility would certainly swell dojo membership, but on the other hand, most aikidoka seem to frown on competitive aikido (including my own Tomiki sensei...I mean...my own sensei who teaches Tomiki).

So what do you think? Would olympic Aikido be a good thing?

"If I told you, you would not know; you simply would have been told. Study it thoroughly and I will ask you. You will answer and then you will know."
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:56 PM   #2
suren
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

They will need too many gold medals
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Old 08-20-2004, 07:06 PM   #3
Zato Ichi
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Oh god, let's hope not.

I get the feeling that if Shodokan aikido was ever to gain widespread popularity as a sport (as opposed to a martial art), a lot of dojo would concentrate only on the sport aspect, like the unfortunate state of many judo dojo nowadays. I think, for me, this can be summed up by two quotes:

Quote:
Jigoro Kano wrote:
In tournament competition, participants tend to abandon the basic natural style posture and assume stiff defensive positions. The resulting contest-style judo is far from idea.
Which is probably what would happen in aikido as well.

Quote:
Fumiaki Shishida & Tetsuro Nariyama wrote:
... if you want to discipline your body and mind through aikido, you must not forget that winning a match is a tiny private matter even in a big tournament.
And who am I to argue?
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Old 08-20-2004, 07:33 PM   #4
giriasis
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

I'd rather see them add kendo.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 08-20-2004, 08:20 PM   #5
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
I'd rather see them add kendo.
Egads, no! Get thee hence, woman.

While there are some groups, mainly based in Korea, that want kendo in the Olympics, the huge majority of us want nothing to do with it, seeing what happened to judo.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 08-20-2004, 08:36 PM   #6
Jeff Stallard
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

From the limited exposure I've had to kendo (and it's very limited), it seems pretty sportified already, so I can't see the olympics hurting it.

"If I told you, you would not know; you simply would have been told. Study it thoroughly and I will ask you. You will answer and then you will know."
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:04 PM   #7
xuzen
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Quote:
Jeff Stallard wrote:
From the limited exposure I've had to kendo (and it's very limited), it seems pretty sportified already, so I can't see the olympics hurting it.
Agree, it is so much a sport discipline, putting it into the olympics is IMHO gonna do it much better in terms of popularizing it. As for Shudokan, we've already got judo! And Western style fencing is very different from Kendo, just in case someone is going to argue on its similarity.

Cheers,
Boon

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Old 08-20-2004, 09:39 PM   #8
Kent Enfield
 
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Kendo as a Sport!

Jeff and particularly Boon, what is your experience in kendo? I'm just curious as you both seem to think of it as a sport.

Have you actually practiced it? If so, for how long? Where and with whom? If you've only seen it, what have you seen? A local demonstration? A local tournament where most of the participants were children or low-ranked adults? The All Japan Championships? Or maybe the hachidan taikai in Kyoto?

I'm sorry if I come across as an ass, but people with little or no kendo experience telling the world how kendo "is so much of a sport discipline" is one of my pet peeves. I suppose if my only exposure to aikido was a demo in the park, I could declare, "It's so dance like that setting it to music couldn't hurt it. In fact that would help it become more popular." It would have as much validity.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:39 PM   #9
Devon Natario
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

I think it would be great for Aikido personally. BJJ has tournaments, but it didnt stop Jujutsu, Aikijutsu, Jujitsu, or any of the other arts to change to the sporting ways.

I dont think there would be an issue with sporting Aikido either. They would just open it up more. People would see both forms of Aikido rising. It does nothing but promote the arts to have them in the lime light.

I remember when BJJ became really popular, it brought tons of people to our Dojo.

Our mission as Aikido instructors is to bring it to the world, what better way is there? The movies can only do so much for us.

Of course, I dont instruct Aikido, so I cant talk hehehe.

Devon Natario
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:50 PM   #10
maikerus
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

I've been watching the Olympic Judo a little bit and other than being happy when Japan wins a medal, I just don't get it.

Why do both "players" look up at the referee after they fall to the ground to see what happened? Don't they know?

Why is it when you fall down on your hands and your "opponent" is standing/squatting over you with your neck in a really vulnerable position are there no points awarded? Isn't that a dangerous place for you to be?

Why is it when you get thrown onto your back where you can still do some good because you've got hands and feet ready and you can see your "attacker" do you lose?

Okay...I do know the answers to these questions (I think) but I would really hate to see the Aikido I've learned to appreciate be diluted into something that can be called a sport.

Also, for the record, I have trained at Judo dojos and watched Judo where there is an emphasis on the "non-sporting" aspects of the martial art and where it came from. I know its not all like that.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 08-20-2004, 10:05 PM   #11
xuzen
 
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Re: Kendo as a Sport!

Quote:
I'm sorry if I come across as an ass, but people with little or no kendo experience telling the world how kendo "is so much of a sport discipline" is one of my pet peeves. I suppose if my only exposure to aikido was a demo in the park, I could declare, "It's so dance like that setting it to music couldn't hurt it. In fact that would help it become more popular." It would have as much validity.
Kent,
Well, schucks, then I got my bearings incorrect. To a spectator like me, it seems so sport like.

Boon.

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Old 08-20-2004, 10:15 PM   #12
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Interesting concept,

I'm not sure if Olympic level competition was one of Tomiki's dreams (I know he wanted Aikido and Judo to be on par in many ways though.)

The thing is though, the "sportification just like Judo" thing is really a choice of the instructors. As a Shodokan instructor, I personally use the training methodology we use for competition to keep things in a more self defence and budo slant, as that is what is of greater need in this country right now. However, for any one who wants to compete seriously, I merely focus on a specific training regimen geared towards competition and its rules so these folks can hone these particular skills alongside the others we regularly train. For these folks the transition between both areas of training is simple and at no point do they think they are doing Aikido as primarily sport, it is Budo with a sport aspect if one so desires.

I think the negative or positive aspects of sportification has a lot to do with how folks approach their Aikido. If one sees it as a sport from the beginning, then its Olympic inclusion will not change the way they perceive things and train. The same goes for those who view their Aikido as Budo or something else.

The thing is though, just like in other sports, there will possibly be an upsurge of "sport only" clubs that train only for sport and competition, leaving out all the other Aikido stuff. I guess these clubs would not even want to be called martial art or Budo schools as they know their focus is utilitarian towards the area of competition alone. The good thing is since most of Aikido is not "sportified" it sort of acts as an anchor where the sheer numbers of people doing Aikido for sport alone will (hopefully) always be in a minority as compared to the rest of the Aikido world (including the Tomiki folks who choose not to focus on competition alone).

So I think, unless all the major Aikido organisations decide to change their training regimens to one geared towards competition, there will always be a group of people that train Aikido as Budo, who most likely would be in the majority, as against Judo, where it is difficult to find schools that teach the entire syllabus as Kano had created, with both Budo and Sport elements. Today, sport Judo schools have outnumbered the "traditional" schools in many places, and as a result we have certain effects of sportification at an olympic level. For Aikido though, I think it will go a long way towards popularisation of the Art and "getting the word out there" so to speak.

Just my thoughts.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 08-20-2004, 10:21 PM   #13
maikerus
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Quote:
Devon Natario wrote:
Our mission as Aikido instructors is to bring it to the world,
Is it? I've heard that the Yoshinkan Hombu (until recently) didn't care if there were students or not. It was a place for Kancho Sensei to train and do his stuff and that was it. Everything about the place was about him. Students were just a necessary evil because they were needed to be uchideshi and generally tossed about.

Of course, with the advent of the IYAF we are supposed to promote Yoshinkan Aikido, but I don't want to see that come at the expense of diluting the style or Aikido in general.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 08-20-2004, 11:38 PM   #14
Devon Natario
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

But think of this... Already the original style of Aikido has been diluted. Each person interprets things differently, each person deletes what he or she does not like, each person adds a touch of themselves to their Aikido. This is why there are so many forms of Aikido today. You can not stop this process, you can embrace it and hope that it turns for the best.

Even with your example, Aikido has been dilute., O'Sensei wanted Aikido to be brought to the world. How many instructors believe that? If you don't, you are changing Aikido. Aikido is more than techniques, it is theory, state of mind, use of Ki, etc.

Anyways- the point is that its going to evolve no matter what anyone wants. You cant stop evolution, heck without evolution in the arts, Aikido would not have been created.

Devon Natario
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Old 08-20-2004, 11:46 PM   #15
maikerus
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Quote:
Devon Natario wrote:
Anyways- the point is that its going to evolve no matter what anyone wants. You cant stop evolution, heck without evolution in the arts, Aikido would not have been created.
Good point. But I'd like to think there is a difference between evolution and dilution.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 08-21-2004, 01:46 AM   #16
xuzen
 
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Re: Kendo as a Sport!

[quote]
Quote:
Kent Enfield wrote:
Jeff and particularly Boon, what is your experience in kendo? I'm just curious as you both seem to think of it as a sport.

Have you actually practiced it? If so, for how long? Where and with whom? If you've only seen it, what have you seen? A local demonstration? A local tournament where most of the participants were children or low-ranked adults? The All Japan Championships? Or maybe the hachidan taikai in Kyoto?


Kent,

My experience with Kendo is as a spectator and some occasional kidding around with some fellow aikidoka from my dojo plus occasional reading from any related material (mag, website, books) that is it. My experience has made me perceived Kendo as a sport. What about you? How do you view it is entirely conceived from you experience. What has it got to do with some Hachi-whatever-dan in Kyoto (I am not even sure if this is a personal title or a collective title)?

Kendo as a sport, a way of life a martial art are all perception formed by individual judgemental people. How you view aikido is entirely on your experience. If you have seen aikido in a park and made your assumption that it is a dance, then be it, it is after all your perceprtion. As a outsider (non serious practitioner) this is how Kendo has been shown to me. Until I am shown more I am entitled to reserve my perception.

I understand also that trying to put kendo as an olympic event is not an idea unique to me alone. I presume that you have already made a firm perception of what or how kendo should be perceived. Lets speculate that if tomorrow, the hachidan in Kyoto were to declare that Kendo is a sport, are you going to change your perception? If your answer is no, then how will that change my perception or how I view it?

There, long post, I hope it has satisfy your curiosity.

Boon.

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Old 08-21-2004, 07:15 AM   #17
Jeff Stallard
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Re: Kendo as a Sport!

Quote:
Kent Enfield wrote:
I'm sorry if I come across as an ass, but people with little or no kendo experience telling the world how kendo "is so much of a sport discipline" is one of my pet peeves.
I'm sorry it's a pet peeve, and I understand what you're saying, but whether you like it or not, that's how outsiders view it, and you have no right to tell them not to form opinions. I did state, twice, that my conslusion is based on limited exposure. As I get more information, my conclusion will probably change. My conclusion has already changed slightly after reading your response.

I've seen maybe two hours of kendo footage, plus I know a few guys who study it, plus I observed two classes. I'd say that's plenty of exposure to have an informed opinion. Two guys I know study classical kendo, which they say is less sportified. My main reason for saying it's sportified, however, is because of how far removed it is from kenjutsu. I like kendo though; I'd like to study it some day. I'm not saying it sucks because it's a sport, just that it's a sport. I've also doen western fencing for 10 years, which is FAR removed from its true martial background, but that doesn't make it BAD.

"If I told you, you would not know; you simply would have been told. Study it thoroughly and I will ask you. You will answer and then you will know."
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Old 08-21-2004, 05:20 PM   #18
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Kendo as a Sport!

Quote:
My experience with Kendo is as a spectator and some occasional kidding around with some fellow aikidoka from my dojo plus occasional reading from any related material (mag, website, books) that is it. My experience has made me perceived Kendo as a sport.
Unless I'm misreading you, you're saying that you have no actual experience practicing kendo? And since you used "spectator" I'm guessing your viewing experience has been mostly tournaments. Is that right? Then you probably havn't even seen skilled kendo. That's why I asked about your experience, and what you've seen. There's a huge difference in the skill level and approach of a bunch of sho- and nidan in a local tournament, the participants in the All Japan Championship Tournament (the zenith of "competitive" kendo), and the entrants in the Hachidan Taikai (a "tournament" where you have to be eighth dan to enter). If what you've seen is a few small, local tournaments, that's not much to base an opinion on. Much less to start pronouncing publicly on the nature of kendo. If kendo is such a mere sport that it can't be made more into a sport, what are those old guys practicing thirty, forty, or fifty years after their competitive careers are over, if they had any to start with?

Quote:
What about you? How do you view it is entirely conceived from you experience.
That's right. My perception is formed as a practitioner. Yours is formed as a non-practitioner. Which one is more likely to be right? It's like you're outside a room telling people there's no sofa in it, while I'm in the room sitting in it.

Quote:
whether you like it or not, that's how outsiders view it, and you have no right to tell them not to form opinions.
You can form an opinion, but when you express it, expect those in a better position to judge to correct you where they disagree. Or are you saying that all "opinions" have equal weight, regardless of the qualifications of their holders? I guess my opinion on how to treat cancer is just as valid as an oncologists. After all, I've read some magazine articles and several of my relatives have had cancer. I think that's enough to have a valid position on the

Quote:
I've seen maybe two hours of kendo footage, plus I know a few guys who study it, plus I observed two classes. I'd say that's plenty of exposure to have an informed opinion.
See me previous statements about cancer.

Quote:
My main reason for saying it's sportified, however, is because of how far removed it is from kenjutsu.
Which kenjutsu? It's not like classical Japanese sword arts are a unified monolith. If you're comparing it to, for example, Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, of course it's going to be dramatically different. Modern kendo has no connection to that school. Now, if you compare it to, say, Hokushin Itto Ryu, the differences aren't as great as you probably imagine, though they are still there.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 08-21-2004, 07:44 PM   #19
Chris Birke
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Your hostility warrents abruptness.

People think kendo is a sport because it is one, and it is so by any number of definitions.

This might cause you some insecurity, but until you are a professional sword-killer warrior, you are playing the japanese equivalent of paintball. Yes there are non sporting components, but that is true of nearly every endavour.

Perhaps instead of arguing nonsensically against what is plainly true, you should raise your opinion of sport so that you are not offended.
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Old 08-22-2004, 11:25 AM   #20
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Speaking about Olympics though, I think we have an interesting problem, as Aikido is already included in the World Games, which hosts games not included in the Olympics. So I don't think Aikido can get into the Olympics any more, as it already has a place at thw World Games level (the organisers of which have some agreements with the IOC regarding what games are included). The World Games site is here - http://www.worldgames-iwga.org/vsite...m-item,00.html .

The thing is though, only Aikikai schools can "compete" at the World Games (only schools recognised by the IAF).

Go figure.

LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 08-22-2004 at 11:34 AM.

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Old 08-23-2004, 01:53 AM   #21
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

I though I might put my 2 cents in, I hope I don't offend, I personally thank of Kendo as a sport (manly because of it's competitive nature alone) and would Love 2 C it as a Olympic event. Actually I already though it was, I was even looking 4 it until I saw all the events on a site and it wasn't on there. I kind-of thank of Kendo to be in the same category as say fencing, but than again what do I know about it. I don't have much room 2 talk C-ing that I haven't even started training in Aikido just yet, but when I am years into my training I would like 2 cross train in Kendo as well as other martial arts. I try not to talk about stuff I don't know about so I should stop now.

P.S. I love this web site, U all Rock

O-Ren
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Old 08-23-2004, 03:13 AM   #22
Peter Seth
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Competition! Competition! Tomiki Aikido is very good in its own right, it gives those who want, a chance to 'test' their skills. But, personally one of the things that attracted me to Aikido many, many years ago was the equally important philosophical element of the art. Which I translate as 'the hardest competition you will ever face, is with yourself'. Besides don't we all 'compete' as we practice to perfect our art. I must have 'competed' many thousands of times, but not for the approbation of others or to bring in 'that' ego word. The aim I think is to try 'to be one with', if you get my drift. The whole focus of Aiki is to blend, to become one with, to lead energy, to balance any imbalance, etc, etc.
Direct competition in aikido tends to change it to another art. Other arts and their competitive bias (Aikijitsu, jujitsu, judo, karate, - I could go on and on), are brilliant to employ as a back up when your aiki movement is compromised. But, they are not ai-ki-do. (Saying that aikido embraces parts of all other arts and I sometimes incorporate elements of other arts to complement my training).
When you focus on one goal, 'winning', you sometimes miss the whole point of the exercise and you lose sight of the wider picture.
But, each to his own!

PS: I have experience in other arts so I think I am in a reasonable position to comment, compare and contrast.
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Old 08-23-2004, 08:04 AM   #23
ian
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

I think competition can bring a level of intense training and seriousness to an activity, as well as a way of measuring yourself, which is otherwise hard to achieve. I would rather see aikidoka have a period of 'real training' where they go in to trouble spots to help out law enforcement officers or military personel. Obviously there would be a lot of deaths, but those who survive would have the only real measure of how to use aikido in a real situation!

Many judoka curse the changes that have occurred to Judo since it became a sport. Although Tomiki had a point, I think there should remain the seperate tomiki and non-tomiki forms of aikido.

Also, being the 'best' at aikido I do not see as the purpose. The purpose is to be the best YOU can be (since self-defence isn't about beating someone in the same weight category, it is about surviving).
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Old 08-23-2004, 09:20 AM   #24
Bridge
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Sort of a vision for the future:

IF tomiki aikido became an Olympic sport, it would raise the profile of aikido in general.

But what sort of people would it attract?

What sort of people, who would perhaps already consider taking up aikido, would it put off?

Imagine the kind of people who would otherwise take up tae kwon do (perhaps) walking into your dojo keen to be like some Tomiki gold medallist that they saw on the TV?

And can you imagine the existing people in your dojo instead of just being generally excellent, knowledgeable, interested in learning and sharing knowledge, being replaced by types who get competitive and psyched up for the next competition?

And Joe Bloggs Aikido World Champion and Olympic gold medallist appearing in posters and adverts promoting Brand X tantos, gis and nutritional supplements?

Weird. Yes?
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Old 08-23-2004, 10:17 AM   #25
jester
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido As an Olympic Sport!

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Many judoka curse the changes that have occurred to Judo since it became a sport.
I heard the same thing from some older Judoka. Once they introduced weight classes, the quality of technique went down.
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