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Author Topic: help fighting a particular opponent  (Read 3543 times)
obliviondoll
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2020, 09:00:30 AM »

hes on the taller side, has longer arms.  Theres a particular move he always gets me with, where he just raises his arm a bit, saber diagonally pointed down, and lunges in. When I asked him why it is that I cant seem to last against him, he says I keep doing the same move, though I think its more than that since other attempts have failed. In addition, in part thanks to his heavy-grade saber, he has great strength.

Height/reach is an important advantage in a fight, so that alone means you're at a disadvantage. Strength is less critical but is, as shown by your description, also a factor in his favour. You need to focus NOT on trying to overpower him, but on getting inside his reach to mitigate the advantages he has.

WHen I duel one-handed, my strikes against him get batted out of the way if he even slightly touches my blade, and he will frequently power through my own blocks. when I go two handed,though, I get quickly beaten by his range.
(note, no stabs nor strikes above shoulders are allowed at my dueling club, just FYI)

My personal opinion would be that your best bet is a two-handed approach, letting you guard more effectively, while trying to rush him down and force him into closer quarters than he's comfortable with. If you rush in while deflecting then go for a hit, there's a good chance you'll be able to land a hit before he can regain control of the fight.

Instead of letting the fight remain all about strength and range, turn it into a fight over spacing, and get in close.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
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Frenzi3d_Ronin
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2020, 08:49:42 AM »

UPDATE:

Its been some time since I first started this thread, and my problems still persist against this opponent In the past 2 months, Ive gotten the chance to spar him and test some of the advice that's been given. The results are the same. simply put, I still get my ass beaten. From whats been suggested to me, here's what Ive done:

-Ive tried faking him, setting him up and then executing a different move. The problem is, I guess he can read me easily, and I die trying
-Ive tried doing a kramphau (is that how you spell that?) on his blade and going from there. While in theory it is good (he even pointed that out), the problem lies in striking. since he holds his cross guard sideways, I cannot just slide up and tag him. additionally, when I try to do something, like a strike to his chest, he simply slides his blade down and hits me, while I can't hit him in that time since I'm trapped by his crossguard. the most Ive been able to do with that is a double kill (we both die)
-going for legs is almost completely out of the picture, since He will just rotate his wrist and hit my arm way before I hit his leg.
-Ive gone two handed to increase my block power. Thing is, that doesn't amount to much, as he will reach me faster and further than I can hope to reach him, though I have been blocking SLIGHTLY more of his strikes.

The ONLY glimmer of hope I have is that he seems to at least PARTIALLY scared of someone getting too close, as he kept trying to make distance between me and him, though this may just be him using his very long reach to his full advantage.

Now that Ive updated, I am BEGGING for more advice. Not to sound like a child, but Im getting sick of just getting humiliated almost each and every time and being frustrated by this after each practice.

Thanks, m8s

Frenzi3d_Ronin

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There's nothing, no opponent I cannot beat (eventually).
light side, dark side, why not relish both?
I relish the fight, shall never back down, and will win no matter the cost.
In a battle, 1, 2, 3 opponents against me, their sabers against my own, that is my home.
I serve no master or side, for I am my own, but I will always fight the good fight.
I am a ronin, and this is my oath.

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janx
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2020, 10:26:58 AM »

Good info.

I see the no-stabbing rule as a no-thrusting rule.  That aligns with the FFA preference for flashier fighting, and as you said, with no armor, it's safety issue.

You've come to the same conclusion, that you need to close the distance with the guy, he's got reach advantage so you'll never counter that while in his optimal range and your sub-optimal range.

Now for attitude.  Do not see this as humiliation.  The smartest thing you can do in karate class is spar the best fighters.  You will lose every time. Their victory is not the point.  What you will gain is better skill at blocking and attacking and endurance which you will see when you spar somebody in your training bracket who didn't do that.  You're goal with him is to get hit less and hit him more.  Not win, that is irrelevant to your training.

Since you haven't questioned it, I am assuming this guy has good control and is not using too much force.  The fact that he can bat your blade away says otherwise.  It's something to consider as he will always have a strength advantage.  Your clue is if his hits hurt more than other fighters.

Let's look at how to close with the guy.  When you swing to attack or block are you stepping?  Learning to combine movement with your blade is how you'll close.  The moves I learned involved stepping in as I block, then pivoting my blade to strike or stab the enemy.  Some of that doesn't work quite the same with light sabers because you can't touch the blade (I started with swords). You might also consider dodging.  if he swings and whiffs, now his blade is past yours for you to step in with the tip to his arm and your blade guarding against his return.



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Tazflyr
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2020, 06:15:49 PM »

Keep this going guys! I'm learning a lot about tactics here...points to you both and thanks!
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« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2020, 12:30:26 PM »

What are your club's rules on stepping off line.  I ask because I have seen some clubs that do not allow for side stepping or the like.  From all you have said he is strong, fast and observant.  This will make him tough to beat...but not impossible.  As someone else asked is there a way you can film your fights?  It will help I assure you.  If I missed It I apologize but what is your background if any?  Do you have some experience before hand in weapons or did you go in fresh, also what is your training like outside the club.
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« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2020, 05:41:48 PM »

UPDATE:

Its been some time since I first started this thread, and my problems still persist against this opponent In the past 2 months, Ive gotten the chance to spar him and test some of the advice that's been given. The results are the same. simply put, I still get my ass beaten. From whats been suggested to me, here's what Ive done:

-Ive tried faking him, setting him up and then executing a different move. The problem is, I guess he can read me easily, and I die trying
-Ive tried doing a kramphau (is that how you spell that?) on his blade and going from there. While in theory it is good (he even pointed that out), the problem lies in striking. since he holds his cross guard sideways, I cannot just slide up and tag him. additionally, when I try to do something, like a strike to his chest, he simply slides his blade down and hits me, while I can't hit him in that time since I'm trapped by his crossguard. the most Ive been able to do with that is a double kill (we both die)
-going for legs is almost completely out of the picture, since He will just rotate his wrist and hit my arm way before I hit his leg.
-Ive gone two handed to increase my block power. Thing is, that doesn't amount to much, as he will reach me faster and further than I can hope to reach him, though I have been blocking SLIGHTLY more of his strikes.

The ONLY glimmer of hope I have is that he seems to at least PARTIALLY scared of someone getting too close, as he kept trying to make distance between me and him, though this may just be him using his very long reach to his full advantage.

Now that Ive updated, I am BEGGING for more advice. Not to sound like a child, but Im getting sick of just getting humiliated almost each and every time and being frustrated by this after each practice.

Thanks, m8s

Frenzi3d_Ronin
First, again as was mentioned, it should not be humiliation, it should be learning. Suggested slight outlook adjustment "I never lose. Either I win, or I learn."

Second, yes, losing every time gets real frustrating really fast. Been there, hated that.

Third, as I mentioned in your other thread, movement is key. Don't block, avoid. Or, to put it another way, the best block is to not be where the strike is made. Failing that, don't just block. Blocking tends to be static, just putting your blade in the way of his. Which is how he can either just move your sword out of the way, or push through the block. Instead, at worst, hit his blade. At best, redirect his blade. This can actually work to your advantage if he's trying to keep his distance from you.

Example: Simple cut horizontally across the chest from your opponent, going from your left to right. You need to move back slightly to avoid the cut, or put your blade up as if you were to block, but rotate your saber around under his (if you're fast enough at this point, you can actually move in for a cut to the legs. Aim for the mid-inner thigh, which should cut the femoral artery, and is pretty much guaranteed to be lethal) so that you're now pushing his blade in the direction it was already travelling. Step forward and slightly to your right, so that if you were to walk past him, you'd be right about shoulder to shoulder. Keep going forward, moving your blade parallel to his, but towards him. Cut him and he dies as you continue to move towards/past him.
His defensive options to this: A common reaction to this is to try to bring the blade up to block your cut. Except his sword is longer than yours and your sword is above his, which means if he tries to do this, he ends up pushing your blade into himself. Another reaction can be to turn the sword vertically point down, handle up, and try to bring his sword back to block yours. Except if you keep moving past him with your cut, he won't be able to get there in time, or at worst, you'll end up cutting him arm instead of his chest. He can try to reverse the direction of his cut, and bring his blade up and back across to block yours, but his momentum has him essentially moving away from you as you step to the side and forward, even more so if you've given his blade a push as you move in. He'll have to rotate his entire body to be able to hit you, which is much further than you have to move to hit him. So he would have to stop his momentum and reverse his swing back around to you and again, if you keep moving past him, he'll have further and further to go to get to you. His best defense would be to step back and to his left, turning to face you as he goes, which would move him out of the way of your cut, but still does not put him in a position to hit you right way. If he does this, turn so that you're facing him as you step, instead of just moving past him.
Last note on this, the real best counter to what you'd be doing in this situation would be to simply stop the cut and thrust forward, killing you. As thrusts aren't allowed in your club, you don't have to worry about that, but if you're every sparring with someone outside of those rules, you should be aware of it.

That's just one example of dealing with one attack, but you should be able to see the basic principles of avoidance, movement, and footwork. As Ender said "There is no combat without movement."

I know recording your matches with him as been suggested, which is a great idea, but is it also possible for you to watch him spar with others, to see how they deal with him? At worst you can add to your list of things not to do, and at best you'll pick up some things that do work.

As Tepes said, he's strong, fast, and observant. Of those, fast is the most important and difficult to overcome. Speed kills. If you have speed, you do the killing. If you don't, you get killed. A faster opponent can generally (but obviously not always, depending on the type of combat) defeat a stronger one. Observant is the second most important of those, since it allows you to know when and how to use the speed. Strength is the least important of those (which is not saying it's not important, just less so in a comparative manner), as the other two can overcome strength. Technique and skill can overcome, to an extent, any or all of those. And it can make you predictable, which can be its own trap. And which is why someone with no training just flailing around can still be dangerous.

I know I gave you more philosophy than actual "try this move" advice, but hopefully it helps. Keep us updated, we look forward to hearing how you do.
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Frenzi3d_Ronin
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2020, 03:35:22 PM »

What are your club's rules on stepping off line.  I ask because I have seen some clubs that do not allow for side stepping or the like.  From all you have said he is strong, fast and observant.  This will make him tough to beat...but not impossible.  As someone else asked is there a way you can film your fights?  It will help I assure you.  If I missed It I apologize but what is your background if any?  Do you have some experience before hand in weapons or did you go in fresh, also what is your training like outside the club.

There's no " stepping off-line" rules in our club. Hence we can move around our opponent in any way we want. 
Now, if you really wanna know, My prior experience before lightsaber club was german pompf medieval weapons combat, particularly polearm, staff, longsword, and broadsword/shield Though I started doing that only less than a year before I started lightsaber dueling, I had gotten enough prior experience so that I had small background before I started lightsaber fighting. In addition, it makes me really want to learn/use saberstaffing. However, as of now I'm stuck with fighting single blade since my club is somewhat uptight about having specific training (which is ironic since not only have I fought with polearms/staffs before, other members of my saber club have taught me tips on how to use the saberstaff multiple times), though I really want to see how staffing might change fighting against my nemesis.

You've come to the same conclusion, that you need to close the distance with the guy, he's got reach advantage so you'll never counter that while in his optimal range and your sub-optimal range.


Since you haven't questioned it, I am assuming this guy has good control and is not using too much force.  The fact that he can bat your blade away says otherwise.  It's something to consider as he will always have a strength advantage.  Your clue is if his hits hurt more than other fighters.

Let's look at how to close with the guy.  When you swing to attack or block are you stepping?  Learning to combine movement with your blade is how you'll close.  The moves I learned involved stepping in as I block, then pivoting my blade to strike or stab the enemy.  Some of that doesn't work quite the same with light sabers because you can't touch the blade (I started with swords). You might also consider dodging.  if he swings and whiffs, now his blade is past yours for you to step in with the tip to his arm and your blade guarding against his return.

I certainly agree that I need to get close. However, I don't know if that's gonna do the trick alone. Being close up might allow him to use the full power of his crossguard as a blocking tool, as the chances of him trapping my blade may increase. Additionally, he doesn't have to move his saber far enough to reach me anymore, meaning he can hit me faster, especially if he gets past my blocks and since he has good blade control.

I also agree that combining movement with bladework is a very good idea. However, I will admit that I'm not so good at doing that. When I do this, I feel like my movement is clumsy or slow when doing this. Maybe this is due to lack of experience or muscle memory, or perhaps my body isn't good at doing multiple things at once IDK.
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There's nothing, no opponent I cannot beat (eventually).
light side, dark side, why not relish both?
I relish the fight, shall never back down, and will win no matter the cost.
In a battle, 1, 2, 3 opponents against me, their sabers against my own, that is my home.
I serve no master or side, for I am my own, but I will always fight the good fight.
I am a ronin, and this is my oath.

Sabers:
Dominix LE v4 stunt GB
Dominix v4 stunt w/windows and A/V switch BR
Grab Bag Saber--Dark Apprentice v4 stunt GB

janx
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2020, 09:04:04 AM »

Well, you're gonna have to work footwork then.

I don't know what you know, but I learned some basic german longsword attacks.  Hold your lightsaber like a baseball bat and you're at home plate (over your shoulder, not resting, two handed grip, hands near your ear).  Now I learned to attack along 8 vectors (for really, the other four are just mirror images).  Overheard straight down (not allowed for your club), upper to lower 45 degree, straight across.  Or lower the blade down and swipe from lower to upper on the 45. Everything else is just switch hitting.

If you're right handed, the sword is over your right shoulder.  Right foot is back, left foot forward.

Assuming you can handle those cuts or close enough, every time you swing, you step. On the attack, your right foot comes forward.  At the completion of the swing, you left foot is back, so your home position is your left shoulder, park that blade there unless you are immediately attacking (and stepping). You swing, your back foot becomes the front foot and your blade parks on the back foot side.

In class or out at a ad-hoc demo, we'll practice a star pattern.  From the right shoulder, we attacker lower to upper on 45. Then attack from the left at horizontal.  Attack from the right at horizontal. from the left, drop the blade to do lower to upper 45.  Then attack from the right to an overhead strike.

It forms a star pattern as you alternate sides (because when you swing the sword is now on the opposite side).

Everytime you swing, you step.

Here's the extra fun part.  Swinging is blocking in this style.  Notice that if all german longsworders park their blade on their shoulder, they gotta move it to block.  The attacks are also blocks (I'm lying, there's a few other block alternatives).  So get a buddy and they can defend against this in the exact same way.  But instead, they step back.  Which means their front foot becomes their back foot.

You can do this in you backyard by yourself.  Start at one edge and advance until you can't.  Then do the blocks while you step backwards. Infinite combat space.

I picked this up easily enough because of karate.  You always advance with your attack (except when you don't). We had to do half moon steps, you can just step.  Get it in sync.  Come back when you got it down.

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obliviondoll
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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2020, 04:52:28 AM »

I also agree that combining movement with bladework is a very good idea. However, I will admit that I'm not so good at doing that. When I do this, I feel like my movement is clumsy or slow when doing this. Maybe this is due to lack of experience or muscle memory, or perhaps my body isn't good at doing multiple things at once IDK.

It's DEFINITELY about practice. Nothing about this is "I can't do it", just "I don't know how to do it well yet". Practice moving your body with your blade and it'll become second nature. Nobody's body is automatically good at doing multiple things at once, but everyone can teach themselves to do it freely and easily if they work on it.
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2020, 08:18:49 AM »



I also agree that combining movement with bladework is a very good idea. However, I will admit that I'm not so good at doing that. When I do this, I feel like my movement is clumsy or slow when doing this. Maybe this is due to lack of experience or muscle memory, or perhaps my body isn't good at doing multiple things at once IDK.


There is no doubt some people have natural abilities for  things and some do not.  But Practice will always make the bad good and the good better.  Start working on footwork drills.  Then when you think you have a decent grasp on those start adding saber movements to it. 
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« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2020, 10:36:46 AM »

Many mentionable things here.

For me though, this is all conjecture. Good conjecture, with some very helpful strategies. I would personally need to see a video or example to give proper tips on how I would approach this in the FMA mindset.

One thing for certain. Being " overpowered " is typically a structure/technique approach. If it becomes an overall issue though, it's nothing a cambiada cannot overcome.

On another note, Practice. Practice and then Practice some more. Which has already been said. The video reference material that was shown from VCU is also a very good approach. They are using lightweight training feder's. which is personally my favorite way to spar/compete
 (I suggest using a competition Feder to get use to the weight). Soooo much fun.

Kali is a great way to get the left and right side of the Brain to communicate, which is a primary key for good footwork combined with blade work. I always start students with double stick for overall coordination. I would suggest that here, even if you only fight with one blade. Your offhand needs to be just as coordinated. Which can ultimately throw your opponent off if you are good at transitioning from side to side.
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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2020, 08:39:55 AM »

Hey guys time for a new and sullen update

So, not much change, sadly. I've been trying a number of the tactics you've suggested.
Tried going in closer, still dying constantly
Tried going two handed, still dying constantly
tried combining footwork with striking. still dying constantly.
I haven't even managed to get a single kill on him since I last updated a few weeks ago.
The only good news I really have right now is that I'm lasting just a little longer than previously. While my fights against this "cheater" used to be like 5 seconds, they are now like 10. Still no actual wins for me.
To add insult to injury, it seems like he just blows me off, like he's not even really trying. He still gets me in the same areas, because apparently there's not enough time to dodge his strikes. The most BS part about this is that Even when Im close, he STILL somehow gets out of my reach or hits me first, and its almost impossible to hit him first since he can predict where I can hit him. This is because the way he holds his huge fricking crossguard narrows down the number of areas I can actually target to a few specific areas. I know people keep saying that the crossguard saber isn't that much of a monster, but in this case IT IS.
So yeah, Even though I'm trying my hardest, my ass is constantly getting beaten and I'm getting increasingly frustrated because its always like I'm just a nanosecond too late or less than an inch off.
What the hell am I missing? Im trying whatever I can that's within the bounds of my club rules, with no true results. Do I seriously have to BUY my way to victory by making my hilt longer? Or am I just not gonna be able to find a way past him with single blade?
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There's nothing, no opponent I cannot beat (eventually).
light side, dark side, why not relish both?
I relish the fight, shall never back down, and will win no matter the cost.
In a battle, 1, 2, 3 opponents against me, their sabers against my own, that is my home.
I serve no master or side, for I am my own, but I will always fight the good fight.
I am a ronin, and this is my oath.

Sabers:
Dominix LE v4 stunt GB
Dominix v4 stunt w/windows and A/V switch BR
Grab Bag Saber--Dark Apprentice v4 stunt GB

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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2020, 11:48:28 AM »

Like I said. Cannot help If you do not have a visual reference.

Question. do you train somewhere? Whether its traditional, modern. Weapons specialization. If the answer is No. That is the solution to your issue. Go to a physical location and avoid online tutorials if this is important to you. You need the " critical eye " of an instructor. Once the basics of a system are learned, it will be easier to look at other techniques and modify them to your " Baseline ". Baseline = whatever Art or Arts you train in.

No baseline = no success.

If the answer is Yes. Then start paying attention to his movements ( I know you said you have but think if it this way....). Often, many practitioners will use the same handful of techniques over and over. Especially if it's having a high success rate. Where I teach, we call this " Going to the well ". One cannot go to the well too many times. For example. Angle 5 ( a thrust - high/mid/low) is very common in many arts. If my opponent scores the 5 line multiple times, despite what im doing. I do not really adjust my strategy other than knowing that attack is coming. Don't anticipate. Pay attention to their body movement. ( or body English ). They will have a telegraph before the movement comes. You will know this, because they have continued to score this same shot on you over and over.

So really, what you need, is situational awareness. Blur your vision and look at his collar bone/sternum. Wait to see body mechanics/shifiting. Peripheral vision is 30% faster than direct vision. Another tip. Which you will hear over and over. Do not think about the problem. Think about the solution.

Like I said, you give me a video and we do a little Skype session. Problem solved. It's what I do for a living my good friend.
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« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2020, 03:45:36 PM »

yeah, what the Master Resolute said.

We are just spitballing here, giving generic advice like Footwork.  We're right, but there's more to it.

Hand your phone to the 3rd guy.  Film the match from a stationary position or at lest perpendicular to your fight so we can see both of you.  Upload it to youtube or twitter so it can be publicly viewed (use a fake name if need be).

Also, define what you mean by killed in 10 seconds.  Yeah, obviously, I know you're not dead.  But most bouts should score to 3 to 5 hits total to count as a lose AND most rulesets call for a withdrawal so the two fighters can reset.  If you count his first hit as you losing, that's not functionally useful as a metric.

Until we get a video, all you'll get is generic advice, but since that's fun, here's some more:

practice that "blurring out" as Master said.  Kind of widen your eyes, lose focus on the immediate foe.  It's like a wide-lens view of the opponent. do NOT stare at his sword.  If anything, watch his shoulders (as I learned it). They'll dip or shift as he moves and swings telling you where the sword is.

Next, reinvent the game.  Remember from Ender's Game, the enemy gate is down.  When you stop playing his game, he has to play yours.   Stop attacking.  Set your blade in front of you and point it at his eyes.  Practice blocks where you shift the hilt (not the tip) left or right to block upper/mid.  Swing it down to block low.  Basic fencing blocks.  Get good at those make him be your trainer. Practice other blocks.  The idea is to go FULL DEFENSE.  You're tired of dying, practice not getting hit.  He'll complain that you're not attacking him, but frankly, that's his problem and after the frustration you've had, he can choke on it.

Later, you can work on riposte, the counter-attack after you block.  But first, I want you to live for three minutes untouched.

And get that dang video. Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2020, 10:50:13 AM »

Plenty of good advice here, but I agree that without live instruction/mentoring from an experienced martial artist, your chances of improving are low. If live instruction is not possible for you, I would echo the other advise of working hard of your footwork footwork footwork. Practice solo drills and partner drills until you drop. Footwork is the fundamental of sword combat and allows one to overcome any number of disadvantages. Finally, do not get frustrated from defeat and let it influence your future outcomes.  Take a moment before your next sparring session and visualize yourself scoring clean strikes on your opponent. See what it looks like and feels like in your mind, then execute. Stay positive.
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