The FB BJJ / MA Thread

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FuengiFuengi Frets: 999
With the other thread taking a few unintended turns, I thought I'd create a new dedicated BJJ / Martial Arts thread.

Really interested to hear anything @grungebob and @stimpsonslostson want to share about their training experiences, especially how they might keep their fingers from getting damaged, so they can still play guitar!

 I started in June this year, a couple of weeks before my 48th birthday and after three years of inactivity due to Achilles tendon rupture / surgery. I got the all clear from the surgeon - after an op in November - to start sports training again and went in at the deep end.

 After a few early injuries - ribs and shoulders kept me out for a month in July / August - I feel I'm getting somewhere. Slowly. It's a relatively new BJJ Academy so aside from the Professor we only have blue belts and white belts, plus the occasional visiting black or brown belt who knows the Prof and might train with us for a couple of weeks if they are staying locally. The blue belts have been training for around two years and a few of them are regularly winning tournaments, so I think the standard is decent. The Professor is a Black belt under Roberto ‘Gordo’ Correa in Brazil.  

 I've gone from being tapped in about 5 seconds in my first roll to being able to (sometimes) lasting 3, 4 or 5 minutes with a Blue Belt without tapping. I'm also starting to tap out other white belts occasionally as well as them occasionally tapping me out.

 It's a brilliant sport, challenging training and fantastic community.


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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 21329
    I used to roll but it killed my hands so I stopped, I just couldn’t risk damaging my hands again.
    I do Aikido here in Singapore now.

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  • CHRISB50CHRISB50 Frets: 2089

    I started training BJJ in 2002 with Wilson Jr who runs the UK arm of Carlson Gracie Academy. In those days it was quite hard to find instructors / classes, so I could only train once a week, and had to drive quite a way to get to classes, which were on a Friday night. I last about 6 months and jacked it in.


    I restarted a few years later with Ricardo Da Silva when he was still under Roger Brooking (Alliance) in Epsom, which became the MMA team Nova Forca. This time work took over and I missed too many classes to warrant paying the up front monthly fee.


    I supplemented the training with spending about 5-6 hours on a Saturday in a gym space in Croydon with one of my school mates who also did BJJ. We'd run through the stuff we learned in the week and spar from certain positions. My friend moved to the US, and the gym in Croydon shut unfortunately.


    I've now got a fair bit of free time on  my hands and I'm started to get bored of just lifting weights, so I am looking to restart after a hefty old lay off.


    My gi's are down from the loft and washed. I just need to pull my finger out.


    My nearest academy is Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood run by Nicolas Gregoriades and his students, so I am gong to give them a try. Will report back here once I have.

    I can't help about the shape I'm in, I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

    But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to

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  • I did BJJ for a while.  I found that taping my fingers really helped, not only protecting them but speeding recovery afterwards.

    Unfortunately because of schedule issues I can't do it at the moment, but I use a lot of what I learned in teaching judo groundwork.
    PSN id : snakey33stoo
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  • hywelghywelg Frets: 2043
    edited October 2018
    CHRISB50 said:


    My gi's are down from the loft and washed. I just need to pull my finger out.

    No idea what that means, but do give it a good scrub with a nail brush after you pull it out.
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  • MrBumpMrBump Frets: 698
    I've been playing guitar since 1985, and have been involved in many martial arts since then.  I damaged my fingers once while I was fighting in a Lau Gar semi-contact kick boxing tournament in my teens.  For the last 20 years almost, I've trained in Wing Chun - we train to strengthen fingers, so I think it's generally been beneficial.  One thing I'd say is that hitting a mok jong (wooden dummy) regularly has lessened the sensitivity in my hands a little.  

    This is what that looks like.



    It's quite easy to slip and damage a fretting finger.
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  • grungebobgrungebob Frets: 1285
    Have you got a spy camera on me @Fuengi ? I was in hospital today getting my left hand placed in a cast. Hurt it along with my ankle last night and although the ankle hurt more then, this morning my hand was killing. 

    Im 40, started BJJ beginning of June this year after getting tired/bored of lifting weights and punching a bag on my own. Loved it from day one. 

    I went from constantly tapping to surviving rounds without being tapped. Control is my objective at the moment, if I can keep control, I can tire them out then tap them.   

    Invest in some finger tape and tape either side of the knuckles that ache and soon they stop hurting. Of course this doesn’t stop you rolling over your own thumb backwards with a big dude on top but for the day to day stuff it works. 

    When i I first started cardio and claustrophobia were the big issues ( that and sore ribs), now though that all stopped. White belts go hell for leather all the time, calm it down and think more and you’ll progress. 
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  • MyrandaMyranda Frets: 2906
    For balance, other martial arts also exist.
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  • I've dabbled in various Martial Arts for years 

    I started Taekwondo as a teenager, but my university didn't have a club so I did Capoiera for a bit (fun but not really fighting), then tried Aikido for a year (interesting, but I could never really see it being "useful")... 

    I then moved house and did Krav Maga for 5years. This was brilliant. It's not a sport & often boils down to "kick em in the nuts". We trained guns, knives, sticks, hand to hand, ground, standing, scenarios etc. 
    Really varied & challenging- you never knew what was going to happen at a class. 

    Then I moved again & took up BJJ (& MMA). I've been doing it 7 years- though I don't take it seriously any more I'm a solid blue belt & tap purple belts if I really put some effort in. 

     I competed a bit, but realized that unless you dedicate yourself to it then you run a high risk of injury. Especially pushing 40! 
    Now I stick to training BJJ & light contact MMA, I try to train twice a week. 

    I've had my share of injuries, but with good physio I've always recovered. The worst was herniating two discs, getting sciatica etc & not training for 2 years! 
    Now I take more care of myself & do yoga as often as I can. Yoga for BJJ is superb- it doesn't have the faux spiritual stuff so prevalent in most yoga. 

    My wee girl has started Judo. Her coach spotted me wearing BJJ t-shirt & immediately started trying to get me to try it. I'm really tempted- it looks great, but I think the throws would be hard on my body & that the way the newaza isn't allowed to run to conclusion would irritate me. 

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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 154
    I used to train in savate for about 8 years. Sadly not much time the past 2 years, although I did have the most junior of the instructor licenses, and was a fairly experienced judge and referee. I've been a ring judge at the world finals, for example, so I know and have been around competition at a high level, although I was never very good as a competitor myself.

    Injuries to my hands weren't really a big issue. Boxing gloves and wraps, so your hands are fairly well protected, although the forearms can get pretty bruised up. Savate is fought in hard shoes, so blocking kicks needs care.

    I never took up MMA or BJJ because I know from past experience that I have pretty fragile knee, elbow and shoulder joints, and I'd just get injured all the time. It'd definitely mess with my guitar playing. With a kicking style, I knew that I could get hurt a bit, but it was generally nothing worse than bruising or a black eye, or the odd knee injury.

    I've not trained for a couple of years because I changed jobs, and now, I'd need a good 6 months or so to get back into the kind of shape I'd need to be to train at a decent level. The two local instructors are people I know well, so I couldn't just rock up and be treated like a total beginner.
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 999
    grungebob said:
    Have you got a spy camera on me @Fuengi ? I was in hospital today getting my left hand placed in a cast. Hurt it along with my ankle last night and although the ankle hurt more then, this morning my hand was killing. 

    Im 40, started BJJ beginning of June this year after getting tired/bored of lifting weights and punching a bag on my own. Loved it from day one. 

    I went from constantly tapping to surviving rounds without being tapped. Control is my objective at the moment, if I can keep control, I can tire them out then tap them.   

    Invest in some finger tape and tape either side of the knuckles that ache and soon they stop hurting. Of course this doesn’t stop you rolling over your own thumb backwards with a big dude on top but for the day to day stuff it works. 

    When i I first started cardio and claustrophobia were the big issues ( that and sore ribs), now though that all stopped. White belts go hell for leather all the time, calm it down and think more and you’ll progress. 

    Oh no! Is is broken?

    I've dabbled in various Martial Arts for years 

    I started Taekwondo as a teenager, but my university didn't have a club so I did Capoiera for a bit (fun but not really fighting), then tried Aikido for a year (interesting, but I could never really see it being "useful")... 

    I then moved house and did Krav Maga for 5years. This was brilliant. It's not a sport & often boils down to "kick em in the nuts". We trained guns, knives, sticks, hand to hand, ground, standing, scenarios etc. 
    Really varied & challenging- you never knew what was going to happen at a class. 

    Then I moved again & took up BJJ (& MMA). I've been doing it 7 years- though I don't take it seriously any more I'm a solid blue belt & tap purple belts if I really put some effort in. 

     I competed a bit, but realized that unless you dedicate yourself to it then you run a high risk of injury. Especially pushing 40! 
    Now I stick to training BJJ & light contact MMA, I try to train twice a week. 

    I've had my share of injuries, but with good physio I've always recovered. The worst was herniating two discs, getting sciatica etc & not training for 2 years! 
    Now I take more care of myself & do yoga as often as I can. Yoga for BJJ is superb- it doesn't have the faux spiritual stuff so prevalent in most yoga. 

    My wee girl has started Judo. Her coach spotted me wearing BJJ t-shirt & immediately started trying to get me to try it. I'm really tempted- it looks great, but I think the throws would be hard on my body & that the way the newaza isn't allowed to run to conclusion would irritate me. 


    A mate has just quit Judo for BJJ because of the injuries in Judo... 
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  • stevebrumstevebrum Frets: 4734
    As one of the posters responsible for the other thread taking an unintended turn - I hope I’m not excluded!

    My daughter does karate - she’s was 7 last month and will be grading for her purple belt in 4 weeks. Some weeks she trains 3 nights and I’m really proud of her dedication.

    The one that fascinates me though is Krav Maga. I’ve posted this link before - this guy lives near me and I’d never heard of it until I read the article. Maybe it’s the Krav Maga or maybe he’s just a nutter!

    https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/martial-arts-expert-injured-fights-14292503

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  • grungebobgrungebob Frets: 1285
    edited October 2018
    Scan on Thursday to see if I need an operation, fingers crossed I don’t. 

    I have mates who do judo who are thinking of switching too due to injuries etc and the fact it’s become so tightly run as a sport, it’s either ippon or stand after 5 seconds newaza doesn’t get a chance. 
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  • MyrandaMyranda Frets: 2906
    stevebrum said:
    As one of the posters responsible for the other thread taking an unintended turn - I hope I’m not excluded!

    My daughter does karate - she’s was 7 last month and will be grading for her purple belt in 4 weeks. Some weeks she trains 3 nights and I’m really proud of her dedication.

    The one that fascinates me though is Krav Maga. I’ve posted this link before - this guy lives near me and I’d never heard of it until I read the article. Maybe it’s the Krav Maga or maybe he’s just a nutter!

    https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/martial-arts-expert-injured-fights-14292503

    Be very careful in choosing a KM school - the various awarding bodies can give out instructor certifications after a week long course... so, while some will be legitimate plenty can be total BS.

    Oh, and there's a big public relations con going on for Krav Maga - I'm sure it works, but it is portrayed as some sort of magic martial art that always works, doesn't matter if the baddie has a knife, a gun, a tank, twenty other friends with machine guns... all martial arts pretty much say the same thing. As an example Wing Chun was re-developed by Ip Man to counter the common threat at the time - Japanese fighers who did karate and kung fu, perhaps western boxing, and then re-re-developed by several instructors for westeners... Jeet Koon Do, several MMA types, etc... there are even multiple "military" modern martial arts, from America to Russia, and KM is just the Israeli version - but it gets really good PR.

    I still want to give KM a go, but there's way too much sales pitch for me to take even a tenth of what gets said seriously.
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 154
    I used to know a fellow instructor who cross-trained in Krav, eventually becoming an instructor. He really liked it, and he was a good fighter. Sparred him a few times, and ref'd him in fights more than once. If he rated the club he trained at, I'd believe him that it was good.

    I don't buy some of the more elaborate claims about self-defence, though, and I only think that arts that spar regularly are much use. I think some Krav schools do a fair bit of sparring, and some don't, so I'm not in a position to generalise about Krav specifically.

    But ... every time someone talks about their reality based martial art versus combat sports, I remember all the times I've seen someone with reality based martial arts experience getting their arse handed to them in a ring by someone who mostly does prancy effete looking kickboxing (but who spars dozens of rounds every week).

    What puts me off about most of the Krav schools local to me, is that they are very much martial arts as a business. The franchise nature of the operation, and the fee structure has always put me off. Far from the only style like that, I've come across the same with JKD, and more than a few others, but still, it grates a bit.

    I don't mind paying a reasonable rate for instruction, but I don't want to have to sign up for all kinds of long "gym membership" style membership deals, where I'm tied in for a couple of hundred quid once I've taken a sample class. I'm intrinsically suspicious of that kind of thing. I don't mind paying a month at a time, but I'm stuffed if I'm paying for 3, 6 or 12.
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 999
    Will tape my fingers tomorrow to see if it helps, have a class in the evening. 
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 999
    Has anyone been on a BJJ Camp?

    There are several knocking around and the idea of rolling every day for a week whilst combining with yoga / beach / skiing / sightseeing quite appeals. 
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  • The Krav I did routinely had CRAZY sparring sessions. Being attacked by 5 guys with bats? Being mugged at gun point? 
    I particularly enjoyed a class where we all had to bring a white t-shirt we then fought with marker pens instead of knives. Moral of the story: regardless of how good you are, get in a knife fight & you're getting stabbed. Probably fatally. 

    In the few altercations I've ever been in I ALWAYS used my Krav rather than anything else- it's not a sport. Krav is about ending a confrontation and getting away. Some of the techniques are brutal, but work. 

    I agree that there is a mythology around it though & that there are any number of other systems that are probably as good. 
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 154
    Cool. Sparring against multiple people is fun. We used to do it as  fitness and technique drill in my completely non self-defence sport-orientated class, because there's nothing that gets you thinking about footwork, and gets you quite as shagged out, as trying to fight three people at once, especially if they are switching up and getting a breather.

    I've had poor experience with some reality based things in the past, either from sparring (or watching) people spar who had done then, or for some classes I've attended as tasters. You know the "grab my wrist" sort of thing, or even the, "here's how to disable someone with an eye gouge" type stuff, where the practice is so slow, and against such unrealistic techniques.

    I remember one class, where the instructor was genuinely a hard guy -- he'd have chewed me up and spat me out -- but he was demonstrating a ton of (on paper very nasty) defences against hooks, at a range that no-one who'd ever been shown how to throw a hook would throw it. I kept stepping closer to him, and he kept stepping back, because the thing he was trying to show was just not going to work at actual hook range.
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  • cpcompanycpcompany Frets: 108
    Used to go to a Pancrase gym, P's Lab in Osaka for years. Really good gym and very accomodating to me when I could barely speak Japanese. The owner fought some big names back in the day, both the Shamrocks and Bas Rutten.

    I didn't take it very seriously though, mainly just went for something to do. There used to be a youngun there I dsparred with in stand up a few times who was as soft as shite. He kept coming back though and ended up having a few pro fights. Just shows what determination and a good attitude can do.
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  • stimpsonslostsonstimpsonslostson Frets: 3716
    edited October 2018
    Fuengi said:
    Has anyone been on a BJJ Camp?

    There are several knocking around and the idea of rolling every day for a week whilst combining with yoga / beach / skiing / sightseeing quite appeals. 
    Christian Graugart (?) runs some under the BJJ Globetrotters banner. He’s a really cool guy-if you’ve read his book “BJJ Globetrotter” ( an excellent read) my friend Dan is the Scottish guy he meets in SE Asia. 
    His camps look great, I know a few people who’ve done them and they all speak highly of the experience. 

    https://www.bjjglobetrotters.com/

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  • After mentioning Christian Graugart and his book “BJJ Globetrotter”...

    what are your favourite Martial Arts books?

    I really enjoyed
    Pyjama Game: Journey into Judo by Mark Law. Lots of history and backstory of judo written by a guy who took up the sport in middle age. 
    Angry white pyjamas by Robert Twigger is similar- a Brit enrols in the Japanese Police Aikido course & details his experience. 

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  • MyrandaMyranda Frets: 2906
    The Krav I did routinely had CRAZY sparring sessions. Being attacked by 5 guys with bats? Being mugged at gun point? 
    I particularly enjoyed a class where we all had to bring a white t-shirt we then fought with marker pens instead of knives. Moral of the story: regardless of how good you are, get in a knife fight & you're getting stabbed. Probably fatally. 

    In the few altercations I've ever been in I ALWAYS used my Krav rather than anything else- it's not a sport. Krav is about ending a confrontation and getting away. Some of the techniques are brutal, but work. 

    I agree that there is a mythology around it though & that there are any number of other systems that are probably as good. 
    Although - almost no one is ever in a knife fight - normally someone just gets stabbed, or someone is trying to stab someone... if you're an honest legally sensible type you wont have a knife on you for fighting should someone pull one. And most people trying to kill you will pull knives more subtly than someone making a show of a knife (both people I know who got stabbed in fights say the knife was never on display... just a moment where "huh, my side hurts a lot, and is now all wet"). I think a better technique for knives is learn to run faster than other people

    I personally think that any system that promotes simple blocks/strikes or low kicks (anything about groin/knee makes you too unstable in a proper tussle), some ground work, proper sparring etc over "chi", "qi", mystical mumbo jumbo or other flowery non-sense should do fine... with one proviso: sparring in any form has a tendency to have a lack of authenticity in many ways (look at the tai chi master/student thing with little old guys flinging students twice their size about - it's often the student doing most of the flinging... or Aikido where people throw themselves into the throw a little/lot more than a real opponent would)... which is my personal take on why sport martial artists do SO well against any more traditional one (even though on the streets across the world there are countless stories of the same arts saving someone's life against multiple attackers..) - sports people have that drive to win at all times, they train not to get a belt/improve themselves, but to destroy/annihilate/win. ... personal theory based on my own experience, not empirical evidence or comprehensive study
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 999
    Fuengi said:
    Has anyone been on a BJJ Camp?

    There are several knocking around and the idea of rolling every day for a week whilst combining with yoga / beach / skiing / sightseeing quite appeals. 
    Christian Graugart (?) runs some under the BJJ Globetrotters banner. He’s a really cool guy-if you’ve read his book “BJJ Globetrotter” ( an excellent read) my friend Dan is the Scottish guy he meets in SE Asia. 
    His camps look great, I know a few people who’ve done them and they all speak highly of the experience. 

    https://www.bjjglobetrotters.com/

    I'd looked at them. Good to know they come recommended. 

    The only two martial arts books I have read / am reading are;

    Zen Jui Jitsu (White to Blue) by Oliver Staark - really useful guide to what Jui Jitsu is for beginners.

    Saulo Ribiero's Jui Jitsu University. Excellent technical guide to positions. 
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  • Sorry, I should have said “fight involving a knife” instead of “knife fight”. One knife is one too many! Thankfully running away is a good form of defence.
    A LOT of my class mates were bouncers in City Centre Manchester- they specifically asked for more knife/bottle training as that’s what they dealt with on a daily basis.
    I think that’s why we had such a “practical” approach- if you pulled your punches the bouncers would laugh at you (& the instructor was ex-army too so didn’t mind blasting us a bit). 

    There IS a lot to be said for keeping things simple- that’s part of what Krav (& any other good self defence classes)are based on gross movements rather than “this is the Wushi finger hold- place your pinkie here, and extend your index finger here...” in stressful situations “grip, rip and hit” are more likely to work. 

    Its one of the things I love about BJJ, I train full strength against a fully resisting opponent regularly. I KNOW my technique works as I’ve used it against someone who usually also knows what I’m trying for. 
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  • Good thread, thanks for posting - interesting to read about all the participant's experiences. 
    I've only done boxing in my youth, no Martian arts currently.
    I follow professional martial arts and my ex did MMA so been to the fair few shows here in UK.
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 999
    So, had an interesting experience at BJJ class tonight. I got paired to roll with a new white belt who has been rolling for only a couple of weeks. Without being a dick, it was like I had a super power and he didn't. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. 

    Having only rolled to date with more or equally experienced guys it was a revelation, but very quickly became unsatisfying.

    Far more enjoyable was taking stock and trying to help him understand what he was trying to achieve and how he might do it. 

    Reflecting now with a little satisfaction on what a few months of sold training has achieved.
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  • PSN id : snakey33stoo
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  • CHRISB50CHRISB50 Frets: 2089


    Tai Chi for me too. 


    Silk PJ's all round.

    I can't help about the shape I'm in, I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

    But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to

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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 3182
    I did old school japanese ju jitsu for a number of years and used to go to various camps where you could try different martial arts, kendo and bushido were particularly painful I seem to remember.  I did aikido once which involoved being thrown around and the instructor insisted on no mats as that would make sure you landed properly - he was right to be fair.
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 154
    @Fuengi I used to fence at a club that had. LoD of GB team members. They just flopped about barely playing attention and I could never touch them.

    Then one day I fenced another intermediate person like myself and it was like I had super powers. I could see every move, block and strike at will. It was freaky. Like they were moving in slow motion and I could see their intentions in advance. Didn’t happen very often, but when it did it felt amazing.

    Never really happened with kickboxing. I was fine. Neither terrible or really good. I did fine in sparring. But I never had that sense of total superiority.
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