The 21st All American Open in NYC


2016 Finalists


On June 18, 2016, IKO USA New York Branch (KKNY) hosted the All American Open International Karate Championships at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Approximately 100 competitors ranging in age from 5 to 55 and from 15 countries participated. In both the Men’s and Women’s open divisions, new champions were crowned. In the Men’s division, Russia’s GODERZI KAPANADZE is 2016 All American Open Champion, and in the Women’s division, Poland’s MARIA JASKO is the 2016 All American Yokozuna Champion.

Kapanadze v Milicevic

Jasko v Konovalova

Tusseau v Zuborev


Alvarez Kata

Kancho Shokei Matsui presided over the matches which were held under the newly revised IKO Official Tournament rules. Portions of the event were aired on the All American Open’s Facebook Page LIVE, and was covered by Fujisankei Communications International (FCI) which aired their sports coverage on the AM morning news seen in the USA, and online around the world on FCI YouTube page: All American Open on FCI-TV - Official Results are posted below.

The following day, Sunday, June 19 at the IKO USA NY Branch, Kancho Matsui led a Training Seminar with high ranking Shihans, Senseis, Senpais & IKO members from around the world, including 1st Women’s World Open Karate Champion, Anastasia KHRIPUNOVA and Men’s 10th World Open Karate Champion, Tariel NIKOLEISHVILI.

Official Results:


KYOKUSHIN All American Open JR/SR & KATA

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2016 ALL AMERICAN OPEN International Karate Championships in NYC

All American Open 2016 @ John Jay College, NYC
Saturday, June 18

The spring after the World Open is traditionally very quiet, as the elite fighters, who have just spent the last four years working towards the Worlds, take some time off while the young, up and coming fighters begin their long road to the next World Open. But this spring has been extremely busy in the Kyokushinkaikan. As we held our 50th anniversary in 2014, our next half-century journey is just getting underway. I believe the organization is embarking on a big resurgence.

I just returned from the IKO European Weight Category Karate Championships in Varna, Bulgaria, where a record 600+ competitors from 24 countries attended the 2-day event ranging in age from as young as age 5 to age 55 in youth, adult and senior divisions. The diversity of competitors in Europe prove that though competitive karate is only for a rare percentage of practitioners, those numbers are increasing, which illustrates how our organization is not only becoming larger, but ever stronger.

I also just returned from the 33rd All Japan Weight Category Karate Championships in Osaka, Japan, where the Japanese Team members, both men and women, many whom fought in the World Open in their divisions, performed exceptionally well again. Both events were excellently produced and showcased the young new fighters of the next generation.

Time flies, and next week, the 2016 All American Open International Karate Championships will take place: Saturday, JUNE 18 at John Jay College in New York City. 524 West 59th Street, just 2 blocks west of one of the largest shopping and residential tower complexes in NYC, Time Warner Center. This will be a new venue for the All American Open. John Jay College was founded as the only liberal arts college in the USA to specialize in criminal justice and forensics. The Kyokushinkaikan is honored to be able to bring the 2016 All American Open Karate Championships to John Jay.

Favorite fighters at this year’s All American Open in New York, include in the Men’s Division, local favorite and 3x US Super Heavyweight Champion, the “NY Giant”, Daniel MILICEVIC, France’s “L’Arme Secrete”, Antonio TUSSEAU, who fought for the IKO French Team at the World Open last November alongside his compatriot, and now Vice-Champion of the World, Djema BELKODJA, and All American fan-favorite and World Heavyweight Vice-Champion, Goderzi KAPANADZE, the “Russian Hurricane”.

Kyokushin Karate New York KKNY is working hard to put together another excellent world caliber event next week for our local members on Team KKNY, and for the visiting IKO members from around the world traveling to New York City for this illustrious karate gathering, the 2016 All American Open! I hope many people will make it to John Jay College next Saturday, June 18. Thank you for your support, OSU!





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IKO International Karate Friendship

Osu!! World Champion reunion!!

The IKO Kyokushinkaikan annual International Karate Friendship tournaments concluded last weekend in Tokyo, Japan. Over 1500 competitors from all over the world, ranging in age from 5yrs to 55yrs and up, competed in Kata and Kumite divisions over the two days. Training & demonstrations were conducted by current and former Kyokushin World Champions and the spectator event was free to all attendees. Click HERE for results.

Making it to the 2nd round in the Senior Mens division, from KKNY was Blago Petkov. Though he did not succeed to the title as he hoped, he vows to reach the top spot, and in fact continued training the very next day – at the Sosai Mas Oyama Memorial Training Camp at Mt. Mitsumine. Blago has a bigger challenge this weekend – he was honored to be selected as one of the 100 fresh opponents who will face 11th World Open Karate Champion, Zahari DAMYANOV, as he challenges the renowned “100-Man-Kumite” – Kyokushin’ s ultimate test of the human spirit.

Zahari Damyanov, World Champion challenges the 100-Man-Kumite

Before the 100-Man, many senior IKO officials are at Kyokushin Daikanyama Main Branch this week in Shibuya, conducting IKO Instructor Intensive Training Course. Shihan Stuart Corrigal, Shihan Kenny Uytenbogaardt, Shihan Francisco Filho, and senior ranked black belts from all over the world are working hard to confirm and standardize fluency in the Kyokushin curriculum for our members around the globe. Saturday, we will witness Zahari’s 100-Man-Kumite expected success, then I head back to NYC to prepare for the 10th annual “Japan Day @ Central Park” on Sunday, May 8, and the upcoming All American Open on June 18, in NYC.


Champions & Officials – International Karate Friendship, Day 2


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Kyokushin Spring 2016

Osu! Here it is spring time in NYC already… Much too long since last post, Osu.

Last November 2015, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan held the 11TH WORLD OPEN KARATE TOURNAMENT in Tokyo, Japan and crowned a new WORLD CHAMPION, ZAHARI DAMYANOV!  We at Kyokushin Karate New York were especially proud of the top 3 competitors, Zahari Damyanov (1st), Djema Belkhodja (2nd) and Darmen Sadvokasov (3rd) at the World Open, as they all rose to fame right here in NYC, at the ALL AMERICAN OPEN.

Top 3 of the 11th World Open!

In January 2016, Kyokushin Karate New York celebrated the New Year at “Kagami Biraki” with hard training and a wonderful toast and potluck party with students and family. Everyone took a hand at traditional “Omochi Tsuki” (rice pounding) and we all tasted the delicious, chewy results – thank you Senpai Coco for preparing!

Also in January, Team KKNY headed to Los Angeles, CA for the 11th Annual Kyokushin US Weight Category Karate Championships. We came home with trophies in almost every division – congratulations all, OSU!

KKNY @ the 2016 USWC

In February, Kyokushin NY team members participated in the annual, “Climb to the Top” for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Besides raising funds for research for a cure, KKNY members tackled the challenge of running up 67 flights of stairs to the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza! Some of us in UNDER 15mins!! Wha?! WOW!!!

Just last weekend we held the Spring Promotion Test here at KKNY, and everyone made excellent progress, congratulations! Testing is simply a mile-marker on the path to greatness … Keep moving forward ~ Osu! Results are posted at the Dojo and were emailed to all current members.

Teens & Adults Test 3.16

Next month, April 2016, KKNY will host our semi-annual GOODWILL TOURNAMENT – Inside-Dojo Karate Competition for all students to gain experience, have fun and raise funds for local charity. Kata, Tameshiwari and Kumite Divisions for all ages. Applications available now at the dojo and were emailed to students. *Be a part of it, Osu!

In May, KKNY is honored to participate at the 10th Annual “Japan Day @ Central Park”! Kyokushin Karate NY has performed every year since the event’s inception, and are thrilled to present the strength and spirit of KYOKUSHIN Karate to the 10′s of 1000′s of festival attendees! Come and check out the largest Japanese festival in the northeast, at the Rumsey Playfield (72nd & 5th Ave) on Sunday, May 8 in NYC’s Central Park! Then on Sunday, May 22, KKNY will take to the stage again in Harrison, NY at “The Matsuri”! Great food and performances all day at both events – come see us!

Coming this June 18, 2016 in New York City, KKNY is proud to again host the ALL AMERICAN OPEN International Karate Championships! Competitor Applications are available now for IKO competitors from your IKO Kyokushinkaikan Branch Chief, or by contacting the IKO Honbu International Dept. ***See you in June in NYC!

All American 2016 Preview Flyer


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All American Open, World Team Tournament Brazil & Summer Camps

All American Open Vice-Champion, Ilya Karpenko (Russia) & CHAMPION, OLEKSANDR IEROMENKO (Ukraine) at Hunter College in NYC, USA, displaying the ironclad camaraderie of KYOKUSHIN that transcends all boundaries, real or imagined, OSU!!

We just concluded the 2015 ALL AMERICAN OPEN International Karate Championships in New York last month and crowned OLEKSANDR IEROMENKO the All American Open Champion for the 2nd year in a row! Congratulations to all competitors from North, South & Central America and around the world, and thanks to everyone involved for your guidance, support and hard work to bring this event to fruition – KKNY’s 20th international championship event in NYC, OSU!

Excellent matches and phenomenal knockouts evidenced the unwavering power and dominance of IKO Kyokushinkaikan fighters from all over the globe. This event was the Final Selection Tournament for fighters striving for placement on their regional teams to attend the once-every-four-year pinnacle of full-contact karate competition, the Kyokushin 11TH WORLD OPEN KARATE TOURNAMENT in Tokyo, Japan in November this year.

Following the All American Open in NYC, USA, IKO Kyokushinkaikan hosted the WORLD TEAM TOURNAMENTTorneio Mundial de Kyokushin” in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Twelve Regional Teams from all over the world, consisting of 5 competitors, 1 in each of open divisions for Men’s & Women’s Kumite, Senior’s & Junior’s Semi-Contact Kumite & Kata, were invited to participate. For Team North America, All American favorite fighters, Mohammed Chikh & Julie Lamarre competed in the Men’s & Women’s divisions respectively, and KKNY’s own Senpai Marek Mroz fought in the Senior’s division. Team North America swiftly won their first round against Brazil Team B, but were eliminated from the semi-finals by the strong European Team A. Complete info on the event here.
The Champions of the day, Team Russia prevailed overall displaying the undeniable stronghold the nation has on the IKO Kyokushinkaikan tournament circuit at present. With so many talented Russians competing in Tokyo this November, it will be difficult for for other national competitors to make headway at the 11th World, but, CHALLENGE is what KYOKUSHIN karate-ka live for, not run away from… Good luck all, OSU!!

11th World Open Karate Tournament & World Karate Friendship
November 20~23, 2015, TOKYO, JAPAN

And so, summer is off to a brisk start in the northern hemisphere.  I just returned from the first IKO Kyokushinkaikan Greece Summer Camp, held in Skiathos, a remote Greek island in the Aegean Sea where the film, “Mama Mia” was shot. Difficult location to get to from the USA, 24 hours or so by air, by land and by sea, but after the journey I arrived at the stunning resort village surrounded by rocky cliffs and turquoise waters. About 50 IKO members participated in the camp, which was held on the beach and in the sea. Next week I head to the IKO Bulgaria Annual Summer Camp hosted by Bulgarian Kyokushin Association and Shihan Emil Kostov.

Next month in New York, KKNY will hold our annual Kyokushin Kids Summer Day Camp in the city. I teach many excellent camps for thousands of students around the world each year, but always look forward to our own KKNY-NJ camp for children & youths in Manhattan. We cover kihon basics, ido-geiko step work, and body conditioning, as well as Kata, Kumite & Tameshiwari for kids & teens ages 4-12, and 13-19yrs training together. Aside from the Dojo training sessions, which are held 3 times daily, we venture around NYC on group field trips, training & playing outdoors in the park (weather permitting), and to museums and events around midtown Manhattan. It’s a great bonding experience for all of us, and kids finish camp ready to face the rigors of the next school year. To register for Camp or more info, email us directly at:, or see our webpage link: – KKNY-NJ Brown & Black Belts should make the Kids camp counselor experience a community service priority and to prepare for testing. Email Shihan Gorai to volunteer.

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BUSY 1st half of 2015!

OSU! It has been a long time since last blog entry… It has been a very busy in NYC-NJ Dojos, and in the IKO Kyokushinkaikan. This November, IKO Honbu will host the once-every-four-year pinnacle of karate competition in Tokyo, Japan, the WORLD OPEN KARATE TOURNAMENT for the 11th time in history. Many fighters from around the world have been training hard to qualify to their national teams, and preparing for a competitive edge at the World Open. In the last 5months, I have traveled to Lyon, France; Messina, Sicily; Tehran, Iran; Berlin, Germany; and 3 times to Tokyo, Japan for national and selection tournaments and international training seminars and gatherings, with this in mind.

In NY, we successfully held our Spring Promotion Test in March with a record number of grading applicants, kids and adults, including 3 brown belts testing for Sho Dan, and one black belt testing for Ni Dan. Then in April we held our semi-annual inside-branch Goodwill Tournament, and raised hundreds of dollars to benefit UNICEF in their efforts on the ground to help the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Nepal.

In May, Shihan Liz led the IKO Kyokushinkaikan demo for Japan Day @ Central Park, and though we could fit only 40 students on stage, over 60 students offer to help! Many more students and families were in the crowd to cheer us on. It was an excellent turnout, with great media attention and thousands of spectators to celebrate spring the way only Japanese know how, in the heart of NYC.

Recently, our Kyokushin Karate North Carolina affiliate, Senpai Kenny Bufflaoe, and his family, including former All American Youth Champion, Christian Buffaloe participated in a university short film project that was just completed. The results are inspiring. Have a look here at “FIGHTING SPIRIT:

As we head into June, we are working hard to prepare for the 2015 ALL AMERICAN OPEN International Karate Championships on June 27, 2015 at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) on Lexington Avenue & 68th Street in Manhattan.
Besides offering Youth & Seniors divisions for Semi-Contact Kumite, the All American will also have a Full-Contact Knockdown Women’s division and Kata divisions for Intermediate and Advanced ranks, and a Team Kata division as well. Most especially though, this year’s All American Open,will be the Final Selection Tournament for any prospective fighters to win an invitation to the 11th World Open this fall. Many world-caliber fighters, who are already qualified to fight in Tokyo, have confirmed their attendance in NYC in order to test there skill and check out the competition, at this, the last open international knockdown tournament before the lead-up to the World’s. And the 2014 All American Open Karate Champion, Oleksandr IEROMENKO (Ukraine) will be on hand to defend his title!

*Competitor Applications DEADLINE: WED, MAY 27. Please submit via your IKO Branch Chief. KKNY-NJ members competing in Kumite, Semi-Contact and Kata categories, please contact:

Good luck all competitors! See you in June in NYC, OSU!!

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USWC15 Official Photo

Osu. Congratulations everyone at the US Weight Category Karate Championships this past weekend at the Aratani Japan America Theatre in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA.
Our Team KKNY did a great job in all their divisions. Trophy winners include Senpai Toshiaki Hashi: 3rd Place Sr Kumite & Sr Kata, Senpai Marek Mroz: 3rd Place in Men’s HW, Damian Kolano: 2nd Place in Men’s SHW, Danessa Rodriguez: 2nd in Women’s MW, Senpai Mariela Zarate: 3rd in Women’s LW – Plus, from KKNC, Christian Buffaloe took 2nd in Jr Boys 15, from KKFL, Zoltan Ilyes took 1st in Int Kata, and former KKNY, now Team Yokohama, Senpai Koto Hiraoka became US Women’s Lightweight Champion & took the award for Best Technique. I was very happy with the results of our whole team, including also, Luigi Scarcella, Stan Kondov and Leon Li from NY, and Senpai Javier Matos from FL.

The USWC15 was the first selection tournament for North American Team members to attend the 11th World Open Karate Tournament this November in Tokyo, Japan. From this event, the following IKO Kyokushinkaikan North American competitors were selected:
Shota Moriyama – USA
Simon Deguire – Canada
Mohamed Chikh – Canada
Mark Berg – Canada

The 2015 All American Open International Karate Championships, to be held this June 27, 2015 in NYC, will be the next and last selection event for competitors to the 11th World Open. Train hard everybody and good luck!

This April, the IKO will again host the Women’s World Weight Category Karate Championships, and this November will hold the 2nd Women’s World Open Karate Tournament, also in Tokyo. The latter will be only the second time in history that Kyokushin Women will have an Open Weight Championship. Good luck all ladies for a successful and prosperous 2015, OSU!

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Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu OSU!

Happy New Year from KKNY, OSU!!

Osu. Happy New Year 2015!

We just concluded the official New Year’s Training at the NY Dojo, “Kagami Biraki”. Thank you to all students and family members who attended and supplied the delicious food and mochi making skills, OSU!

Last fall 2014 was very busy with several events on the IKO International Tournament Circuit kicking off the start of the selection process for this year’s 11th World Open Karate Tournament – the pinnacle of IKO Kyokushinkaikan competition, to be held in Tokyo, Japan, November 2015.

I traveled to several countries last fall, and had the opportunity to observe exceptional prospective fighters, all eagerly on the path towards the World Open. The 2014 All Japan Open in November proved the strength and tenacity of the Japanese Team opposite the several international fighters from Russia and Europe brought in to up the ante and to heighten the anticipation of the World Tournament. With the Best 8 dominated, as expected, by the top Japanese fighters, the surprise victor in the All Japan this year was Darmen Sadvokasov of Russia. Shoki Arata came 2nd and Zenjyuro Mori finished 3rd.

Find the complete results here:

As we enter the New Year, the anticipation of the upcoming selection events are firmly taking hold. Here in North America, our first selection event will take place in just a few short weeks, at the US Weight Category Karate Championships in Los Angeles, CA. This will be the 11th anniversary for the USWC, and New York Dojo, KKNY is proud to bring a great group to challenge themselves at this event. Good luck all, OSU!
For info, and spectator tickets for the USWC, please click here:

Last year, 2014 marked the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the International Karate Organization (IKO) Kyokushinkaikan, the 20th Anniversary of Sosai Mas Oyama’s passing, as well as the 20th Anniversary of Kyokushin Karate New York KKNY. The New York Dojo was the last IKO Branch established by Sosai Mas Oyama himself. On accepting that honor, we were extremely humbled, and have put our future into the Kyokushinkaikan. Sosai’s trust in us, and challenge to reignite Kyokushin in the greatest city in the world, NYC, carried us to where we are today. The IKO USA NY Branch is blessed to have the legacy of Sosai Mas Oyama supporting us, and the fortitude of the IKO Kyokushinkaikan propelling us forward.

“One Heart, One Goal ~ World Peace. KYOKUSHIN” ~ Katsuhito & Elizabeth Gorai

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Back to Basics

IKO North American International Black Belt Conference, Banff, Canada

Osu. I got back from Banff, Canada Monday and the IKO North American International Black Belt Conference. Shihan Stuart Corrigal and IKO Canada host this biannual gathering in the snow covered Canadian Rocky Mountains. The camp was attended by IKO Black Belts from across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. It was led by Shihan Seiji Isobe, Brazil, Shihan Kenny Uytenboggardt, South Africa and myself. Both Shihans are my senior mentors and members of IKO International Committee. It was a pleasure to take their seminar as a student. It is always beneficial to go back to basics and train with a white belt’s perspective. I would like to share one quote by Shihan Isobe, “Karate training is similar to eating. Some students want to do kumite only. It means they only want to eat meat. To be healthy though, you must eat a variety of foods, such as meat, fish, vegetables and fruits, etc. Karate is the exactly same. To be strong, you must do basics, ido, kata, and kumite, etc.” This was a very clear comparison, and I believe all attending students were refreshed to practice all aspects of Kyokushin training with their inner white belt in mind.

I would like to introduce one more story related to the ‘Back to Basics’ mindset. I just read the current “World Karate Magazine”, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan official magazine from Japan. (Japanese only. Sorry.) Our former KKNY Black Belt, Koto Hiraoka was interviewed in the Female Karateka segment. The question put to her was, “Please tell us about a turning point in your karate life?” Senpai Koto’s answer was, “When I was in NY, I could not win in championships and was lonely in a foreign country. My training and matches were only targeted to win, but I was almost crushed by stress because I could NOT win. I was depressed and felt like I was hitting a wall. One day, one of the NY Dojo instructors told me, “Even though the result is important, you should value your competition experience, and enjoy the matches.” This simple advice reminded me of the time I started Kyokushin Karate when I was a kid. I was purely enjoying training and competing back then.” Koto senpai began to think positively and enjoy her training, for the training itself. This new mental approach refreshed her, and this June in Tokyo, Koto senpai took the Women’s All Japan Light Weight title for the first time.

The saying, “Osu no Seishin” means to persevere through adversity. Not only to fight through hard times, but to be positive in any challenge! It is easy to be positive when you are in good circumstances, but you should be even more positive when you are in trouble. Kyokushin training is hard. Why do we continue? Because for whatever personal reason, we enjoy the process. OSU!

“Following the Martial Way is like scaling a cliff – continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand.” ~Sosai Mas Oyama (translated)

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Kyokushin KIAI, all over the world

IKO Kyokushinkaikan members assemble at Sosai Mas Oyama Memorial site

IKO Kyokushinkaikan Training Camp / Mt. Mitsumine, Japan

Osu. Fall is a great time of year in New York. It has been warm, but now the trees are starting to turn color in Central Park. I am happy that I could really focus on our local NY-NJ Dojo’s this past month, and welcome many new, and many returning, children and adult members to the Dojo.

This weekend, I will travel to Banff, Canada for the 9th IKO North American International Black Belt Conference hosted by Shihan Stuart Corrigal. I will lead training sessions alongside Shihan Seiji Isobe, Brazil and Shihan Kenny Uytenbogaardt, South Africa. Before the end of 2014, I will go to Japan for the IKO All Japan Open Tournament, and to Poland for the IKO European Open Karate Championships.

Our organization has affiliate schools in approximately 130 countries around the world and I am honored to be able to go abroad often for the IKO Kyokushinkaikan. To be able to meet and train with people of all ages and abilities, and from all walks of life, is what it means to be a part of a real ‘International Karate Organization’. When you are sleeping, somewhere on the other side of the world, fellow IKO Kyokushinkaikan members are doing ‘KIAI’.

We are lucky that being in NY, many IKO members come here and make the effort to train with us. At the Promotion Test, IKO members came from North Carolina, this week members from Costa Rica will join in classes. Quite a few KKNY & NJ members already make the effort to participate at events in Japan and other countries as well. Senpai Otomo, for example, came to the IKO Netherlands Seminar in Amsterdam with me this March, for the first time training abroad. I believe the trip opened his eyes, not only to the scope of the Kyokushin world, but also the culture and history of the people we met there. I recommend all IKO members try to travel to Kyokushinkaikan events if your schedule allows. The best way to open our minds, to respect people and appreciate different ways of thinking is through experience first hand. We are lucky that we have such an extensive network of Kyokushin karate-ka that supports each other all over the world.

New York is my home base, and this cosmopolitan city is really a microcosm. In classes at the NY-NJ dojo’s we have students training together from across America, from Japan, Poland, Iran, Bolivia, Brazil, The Philippines, China, Taiwan, Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, France, and many, many more. For me, this is the beauty of IKO Kyokushinkaikan. The world may never exist politically conflict free, but wherever we are in the IKO Kyokushinkaikan, we can be friends with a loud KIAI and ‘seiken chyudan tsuki’.

“IKO Kyokushinkaikan surpasses discrimination based on national borders, ethnicity, race, politics, religion, and philosophy.”  Mas Oyama (translated)

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