Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:20 pm

here's more info you might want to know (from my book "Hidden History of the Chinese Internal Martial Arts":

In 1984, Jia Zhaoxuan published a book in Henan province titled Shaolin Wushu (少林武术) presenting a routine
named “Xinyi Quan” (Heart Mind Boxing). Jia Zhaoxuan declares that his family was in possession of this boxing
method since one of his ancestors, Jia Shuwang, learned Shaolin Quan in the monastery. Jia Zhaoxuan explains that
his ancestor had hand copied an old manuscript in the monastery that described this set. This event occurred during the
reign of the Xangxi Emperor (1662-1723), around the time of Chen Wangting’s death. The set has the same sequences
of techniques as Chen Taiji Yi Lu (first form), the techniques have the same names, with numerous and definite
analogies.

(Note: this routine is very similar to the Qi Jia Quan 32 Postures routine practiced by descendants of Ming dynasty
General Qi Jiguang. According to “The Biography of Zhang Songxi” in The Government Records and Annals of Ningbo
City from 1683 kept in the Siming area of Zhejiang, this routine was also influenced by the teachings of Zhang Songxi,
A version of this set can still be found in the Siming Nei Jia Quan system.)

According to T. Dufresne & J. Nguyen, a Henan Shaolin master named “Zhang Aijun told us he knew this sequence
as “Xie Quan” (斜拳 - Oblique Boxing) and was practiced in Zhengzhou (郑州) and its environs. Zhengzhou is a
major city about fifty kilometers northeast of Shaolin, about forty kilometers to the east of the village of Chen (陈家
句) and the town of Zhaobao (赵堡镇). We ourselves have noted that Jia Songan (贾松安), grand-son of Jia Zhaoxuan,
this linage is currently in Kaifeng (开封) and Jiazhai (贾寨) under the name of ‘Shaolin Xiexingquan’ (少林斜行
拳) – Shaolin Slanted Walking Boxing, or ‘Xiexingquan of the old school of Shaolin Xinyi’ (少林古传心意邪行拳).
Aijun Zhang cited two other professors, now deceased, who taught the Xiequan. These are Zhang Rulin (张儒林) from
Xingyang (荥阳), twenty kilometers from Zhengzhou, and Li Xinfa (李新发) from Zhengzhou.”

If one lists the names of the techniques that are in common to both Shaolin Xiexing Quan and Taiji Quan, there are
more than twenty names, which is far beyond coincidence:

Ao - 拗,
Bai He Liang Xi - 白 鹤 晾 翅,
Bai She Tu Xin - 白 蛇 吐 信,
Da Hu - 打 虎,
Dan Bian - 單 鞭,
Er Qi Jiao - 二 起 腳,
Gao Tan Ma - 高 探 馬,
Hui Tou Wang Yue - 回 頭 望 月,
Jingang Dao Dui - 金 剛 搗 碓,
Jin Ji Du Li - 金 雞 獨 立,
Kua Hu - 跨 虎,
Lianhuan Chui - 連 環 捶 / Lianhuan Pao - 連 環 炮,
Long Chu Hai- 龍 出 海 / Long Chu Shui - 龍 出 水,
Qian Hou - 前 后,
Qixing - 七星,
Shi Zi Jiao - 十 字 脚,
Shi Zi Shou - 十 字 手,
Tong Bei - 通 背,
Wangong She Hu - 彎 弓 射 虎,
Xie Xing - 斜 行,
Ye Ma Fen Zong - 野 馬 分 鬃,
Yuanhou Xian Guo - 猿 猴 献 果,
Yunding - 雲 頂 / Baiyun Gai Ding - 白 雲 蓋 頂,
Yunü - 玉 女, etc.

Also. the Xiexing Quan / Xinyi Quan postures, includes other terms related to Chen Taiji Quan, such as Green Dragon Rises from Water, Subdue Tiger, jingang pounds mortar, and some with the exact same in every detail postures but with different names.

Continues T. Dufresne & J. Nguyen, “As we have already said, this Xiequan has the same structure and the same
techniques as in sequences of the Chen style Taiji Quan Yi Lu. However, the punch and its repetitions [found in the
Chen and Yang styles] are absent, as in the style of Taiji Quan Zhaobao. If the punch has been added to the Taiji
Quan, after its separation from the Xiequan, this addition is necessarily old. This punch is already in the Chenshi
Quan Xie (Compendium of Boxing and Weapons of Chen-Style - 陈氏拳械普), a manuscript which preserves the old
lists of sequences of Chen Style Taiji Quan. Therefore Xiequan is a close relative of either Zhaobao or Chen style
as it was formerly practiced. Note that this sequence is sometimes taught by practitioners of Changshi Wuji (苌氏
武技) (a boxing widespread in the area, claiming Chang Naizhou 苌乃周, 1724-1783). However, we do not believe
that this is its origin. Indeed, Xiequan techniques are quite different from those of Changshi Wuji that are particularly
characteristic.”

Thus, Shaolin Xiexing Quan and Zhaobao / Chen Taiji Quan may both have descended from the same ancestral root
style or Xiexing may have descended from the same ancestor as Taiji Quan. Some researchers think that this Shaolin
Xiexing Quan set may be a version of a Tongbei Xing Quan set that Xinyi Quan master Ji Longfeng had learned at
Qianzai Temple, introducing it to Shaolin during his visits (again connecting the origins of Xinyi Quan and Chen Taiji
Quan and suggesting that the two styles were drawing from the same original sources). According to ancient Tongbi
and Tongbei quanpu manuals, Tongbei Quan was developed in the early 1500s using Shaolin Quan as a base, as shall
be explained later in this book. There are also the Ji Longfeng influenced sets of Changhua Xinyimen (长护心意
门) and Xinyiba (心意把) in Shaolin Quan. Also, note that such people as the eighth century AD (the Tang dynasty)
philosopher Xu Xuanping (許宣平) developed a Chang Quan 長拳 or Long Boxing of 37 forms, which featured
postures named: Play the Pipa, Single Whip, Step up to Seven Stars, Jade Lady Works the Shuttles, High Pat on Horse;
and White Crane (originally Phoenix) Cools Wing. Thus, sharing the same posture names as found in Shaolin Xie Quan
and Chen / Yang Taiji Quan.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:29 pm

AND another section from my Taiji origins chapter:

Changes to the Original Chen Taiji Quan

When Tang Hao went to Chen village, he found there were five sets of “13 Postures Soft Hands” originally there,
only the first set 头套 was still practiced, the rest of the four were lost. In summary, these four were the sets created
by Chen Wangting and his cousins the Li brothers, also called “Taiji Cultivating Life”. To create them, they used the
Thirteen Postures Soft Hands principles, which they learned from Taoist Dong Bingqian, to alter four short sets of
Tongbei Quan, which they also had learned from Dong Bingqian. They did not change the names of the movements,
keeping them the same as in the original four short sets of Tongbei, which Tang Hao was able to discern on further
investigation.

In 1990, a copy was accidently found in Chen Xin’s hand writing of a Chen Village quanpu that contained various
Tongbei set names. One of these four sets was originally called “Tai Zu Xia Nan Tang”, which is one form from the Da
Hong Quan system that Dong Cheng had first learned (which shows that Dong’s Tongbei Quan was keeping its Shaolin
derived original roots, but changed their way of practice after Dong Cheng also exchanged information with Wang
Zongyue and later Zhang Songxi.

Altogether, there have been three Chen masters that have at some point mixed Tong Bei Quan with the Taoist 13
Postures routine. The first, of course, was 9th generation member Chen Wangting, and his cousins Li Zhong and Li
Xin, who learned from Dong Bingqian, etc. Another one was 17th generation member Chen Fake, who much later
mixed Tongbei Quan long fist into the Er Lu Pao Chui set. Some say he softened this Pao Chui set by merging it with
some Tongbei Quan ideas. Another was 14th generation member Chen Youben (陳有本), who did the opposite of Chen
Wangting by changing the Chen family’s version of the Taoist 13 Posture routine by mixing in Long Fist material from
Tongbei Quan. The first set that researcher Tang Hao saw in his visit to Chen village was the one that Chen Youben
created, in which he had mixed a Taizu Chang Quan -太祖长拳 set that came from Tongbei Quan into Taoist original
Thirteen Postures Soft Hand; this can be seen by comparing the movement’s names of Chen Yi Lu (first set) with the
names of the movements from the Thirteen Postures Soft Hand that was recorded by the Li family in the early Qing
dynasty. Chen family records showed that Chen Youben changed the old routines that Chen Wangting had learned from
Qianzai Temple Priests Bogong and Dong Bingqian together with his uncle Li Chun Mao and Li’s sons Li Zhong and
Li Xing.

Records found in the 1930s by Tang Hao showed that a new “Chen 13 Postures” routine was developed by Chen
Youben after reexamining the “reeling” principle of Tongbei quan. Chen Youben developed his own mix of 13 Postures
Soft Hands and material from Tongbei Quan (which was postures from a Shaolin Taizu Chang Quan set that Dong
Cheng’s Tongbei Quan system practiced). The matching Shaolin sets also were very closely related back in time
to Dong Cheng’s Tongbei Quan system, since Dong had once learned Taizu Chang Quan, Da Hong Quan, and Bai
Yufeng’s Shaolin Wu Quan, as stated previously in this book. Some branches of the Tongbei Quan style (Five Elements
Tongbei and Luoyang Tongbei) still possess a set called “Qi Xing Hua Ji Pao” that closely follows similar sequential
movements as seen both in various Shaolin sets and the Chen Yi Lu set. Various Tongbei masters from modern times
were able to see commonality with Taiji Quan once they learned the style themselves.

Chen Youben was later known for creating the Xin Jia (new frame) of the Chen Yi Lu and Er Lu sets. His grandson
was Chen Xin, who wrote a book to record the new form as he, like other Chen people by then, thought the new one
was greater. This set was the version of the “Chen 13 Sections” that Tang Hao saw when he visited Chen village in his
research endeavors. Also, a Bao Quan (Pao Chui) set that Tang Hao saw at Chen village was also derived from Shaolin
Da Hong Quan or Taizu Quan.

On the other hand, fellow 14th generation member Chen Changxing is thought (by Wu Yuxiang) to have preserved
the original version of this 13 Postures Soft Hands routine and later passed it to his famous student Yang Luchan, who
in turn merged it with other influences to create Yang Taiji Quan, which explains why Yang Taiji Quan’s some of the
main routine’s movement names are the same as in the Taoist 13 Postures Soft Hands rather than as the movement
names that now are in standard Chen Taiji Quan (for example, terms like “Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail” are in Yang Taiji
Quan and in the 13 Postures Soft Hands, but not used in Chen Taiji Quan).
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:19 am

Some branches of the Tongbei Quan style (Five Elements
Various Tongbei masters from modern times
were able to see commonality with Taiji Quan once they learned the style themselves.
I’ve learned Yang Taijiquan & Tongbeiquan(wuxing) from one of my teachers. Although I didn’t learn any sets/forms of TBQ, but just jibengong and drilling the elements either one by one or in combination of two or three, solo and partner wise. The forms I saw are quite short and had not any sequenceial resemblance to any TJQ form I’ve seen or practice. But my TJQ/TBQ teacher said TJQ is a form of TBQ and vice versa, at begging I could not really understand this, but when the Shenfa began to settle and came around naturally I began to understand.… the similarities are on a “deeper” level
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Bao on Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:04 am

Trick wrote:, but when the Shenfa began to settle and came around naturally I began to understand.… the similarities are on a “deeper” level


Agree though I have only had a brief intro to Tongbei. The same mechanics and many foundations exercises are also found in Bagua. The name Tongbei, “through the back”, says it all really. How to bring strength from the back/core/spine.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby HotSoup on Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:35 am

Trick wrote:
Some branches of the Tongbei Quan style (Five Elements
Various Tongbei masters from modern times
were able to see commonality with Taiji Quan once they learned the style themselves.
I’ve learned Yang Taijiquan & Tongbeiquan(wuxing) from one of my teachers. Although I didn’t learn any sets/forms of TBQ, but just jibengong and drilling the elements either one by one or in combination of two or three, solo and partner wise. The forms I saw are quite short and had not any sequenceial resemblance to any TJQ form I’ve seen or practice. But my TJQ/TBQ teacher said TJQ is a form of TBQ and vice versa, at begging I could not really understand this, but when the Shenfa began to settle and came around naturally I began to understand.… the similarities are on a “deeper” level


It's an interesting idea I also like to play with, sometimes. However, there's a mental trap. The nature of our mental process is that we synthesize everything trying to find a common denominator. So, the shenfa of a person studied multiple styles will be a disproportional combination of all of them. Have you ever thought that you didn't "find" the similarities, but rather "introduced" them by your cross-training? :) Or, in your specific case, those similarities could be introduced by your teacher through the same process.

At the same time, it's hard to deny that there are many concepts and their implementations shared across the whole spectrum of CMA. It's just hard to tell sometimes which are "true" similarities, and which are self-constructed.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Trick on Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:20 am

HotSoup wrote:
Trick wrote:
Some branches of the Tongbei Quan style (Five Elements
Various Tongbei masters from modern times
were able to see commonality with Taiji Quan once they learned the style themselves.
I’ve learned Yang Taijiquan & Tongbeiquan(wuxing) from one of my teachers. Although I didn’t learn any sets/forms of TBQ, but just jibengong and drilling the elements either one by one or in combination of two or three, solo and partner wise. The forms I saw are quite short and had not any sequenceial resemblance to any TJQ form I’ve seen or practice. But my TJQ/TBQ teacher said TJQ is a form of TBQ and vice versa, at begging I could not really understand this, but when the Shenfa began to settle and came around naturally I began to understand.… the similarities are on a “deeper” level


It's an interesting idea I also like to play with, sometimes. However, there's a mental trap. The nature of our mental process is that we synthesize everything trying to find a common denominator. So, the shenfa of a person studied multiple styles will be a disproportional combination of all of them. Have you ever thought that you didn't "find" the similarities, but rather "introduced" them by your cross-training? :) Or, in your specific case, those similarities could be introduced by your teacher through the same process.

At the same time, it's hard to deny that there are many concepts and their implementations shared across the whole spectrum of CMA. It's just hard to tell sometimes which are "true" similarities, and which are self-constructed.

Yes I thought about this, and thought carefully, and carefully tried to separate the basic practice methods, but as you say one can’t be fully assure. “Fortunately” I was away to another city for about half a year and there met a mother teacher of Yang Taiji and fully focused on that practice during that stay. When I came back I decided to focus on the TBQ stuff for a 6 month period, after that I got that feeling of their similarities……One thing I want to point out, and this is most certainly my own reflection. Before I moved to Dalian where I began to really focus on Yangtaiji and learn TBQ, I had been doing YiQuan for quite many years where the most fruitful years was the two in Beijing. I found what I got from the Yiquan system was very compatible with TJQ but not with TBQ . But “pure”(form practice) TJQ works for me very well with my TBQ basics. I get the same relaxed whipping strikes out from either TBQ or TJQ…… And to further point out, the XYQ I’ve learned work very well with the TJQ & TBQ I’ve learned……After many years now I begin to settle down with my own “symbios” of what Ive learned……But 8-) Just the other week I found out that one of my neighbors is into martial arts, and his favorite practice is with the bullwhip and the Xingyi-biangan, we decided I’ll begin to learn from him the whip-stick after the new year holiday………My slur here might not have made any sense, I’m back from a family new year dinner party and have a couple of “white-wine” shots inside the vest………Happy New (Pig)Year :)
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:44 am

Well, Zhang Ce, when he learned Yang TJQ, saw right away the commonality with his previous studies of Tong Bei AND Yue Fei.
In fact he wrote a book about it.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby HotSoup on Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:51 am

I personally have no problem with that, but, although, I see a lot of a common theme amongst many CMA styles, both northern and southern (+Okinawan), other people can't agree the Chen and Yang styles are essentially the same thing ;) What would be some objective way to tell what's common and what is not? So, that the individual subjectivity of a random zhang ce wouldn't play a role in it?
Last edited by HotSoup on Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby cloudz on Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:18 am

Thanks for sharing those extracts, really interesting info. It's the first I have heard of this Taoist Dong Binqian - do you have more supporting information or sources.. I've always personally favoured the taoist connection or lineage story, if you will. But the evidence to support it has always been of the mythical kind.

Also, note that such people as the eighth century AD (the Tang dynasty)
philosopher Xu Xuanping (許宣平) developed a Chang Quan 長拳 or Long Boxing of 37 forms, which featured
postures named: Play the Pipa, Single Whip, Step up to Seven Stars, Jade Lady Works the Shuttles, High Pat on Horse;
and White Crane (originally Phoenix) Cools Wing.


On the other hand, fellow 14th generation member Chen Changxing is thought (by Wu Yuxiang) to have preserved
the original version of this 13 Postures Soft Hands routine and later passed it to his famous student Yang Luchan, who
in turn merged it with other influences to create Yang Taiji Quan, which explains why Yang Taiji Quan’s some of the
main routine’s movement names are the same as in the Taoist 13 Postures Soft Hands rather than as the movement
names that now are in standard Chen Taiji Quan (for example, terms like “Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail” are in Yang Taiji
Quan and in the 13 Postures Soft Hands, but not used in Chen Taiji Quan).


I've always suspected that there was some kind of clue between the Chen being a 32 postures form and the Yangs being a 37 postures form.
Song Shuming also arrived in Beijing with no connection to the Chen or Yangs with a 37 posture taiji system as well as his own family classic writings. He was able to establish himself as a high calibre practitioner amongst his peers, who at the time included notable instructors such as Wu Chien Chuan.

It seems that the Yangs knew and believed in some of this information as well as other taiji lineage information extant in martial artist circles, well before Song came along, and made a real effort of modeling their core set on something reconciling with a 37 posture set which would have to logically predate the formulation of a 32 posture set (otherwise why bother?). I think this at least establishes a reasoning which I have found unclear before.
Last edited by cloudz on Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:54 am

Well, you should get my book on Amazon, I documented all the articles published in China (scholarly) that translated documents found in Li village that had all the info about how exactly the Chen's and their cousins the Li's created their martial art and qigong. very detailed.

By the way, this Li family was the very same war lord Li that rebelled against the later Ming and was eventually destroyed. Their village was and still is VERY well known for their Hong Quan and other Shaolin sets. And during the rebellion, the Chen's snuck over there and that's where they met this "Jiang Fa' mystery person.
So, the warlord Li feared that the Shaolin monks would block their rebellion and watched them from the next mountain. When he learned their schedule, he swept into their monastery while they were prone during prayers and ambushed the guard monks. He examined the materials that were in Shaolin's military arts library and hence that's how the Chen got a lot of Shaolin info, from the books that showed images, posture names, and how to do the movements.

When asked, one of the Chen big wigs said "best not to bring this up".
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:02 pm

"Also, note that such people as the eighth century AD (the Tang dynasty)
philosopher Xu Xuanping (許宣平) developed a Chang Quan 長拳 or Long Boxing of 37 forms, which featured
postures named: Play the Pipa, Single Whip, Step up to Seven Stars, Jade Lady Works the Shuttles, High Pat on Horse;
and White Crane (originally Phoenix) Cools Wing."

The thing is he made "long boxing" which is pretty much known as village kung fu in Henan, and all these posture names were later used in Shaolin routines, which eventually wound up in the routines that Chen/Yang style adopted as the frame for their Taiji.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby cloudz on Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:46 am

Thanks Sal, I think I will have to get your book!
cheers
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:23 pm

I have to say, I have watched so many people do Tai chi and its usually pretty lousy. Half of them are looking like a squid slowly chasing a jellyfish because "hey I am doing Tai Ji and this is how cool tai ji look like so everyone can tell I am doing cool tai ji, not just any kind of tai ji", yeah whatever. Kids. And then the other half just look like their minds are totally disconnected from their bodies. AND ALL OF THEM look like they have NO IDEA WHY the movements are the way they are, no idea why the sequence was made to be in such an order, and no idea of how to have meaning in their actions. They read somewhere that they will one day feel Qi and be super cool (I do feel Qi and I do feel super cool, but that's because I know EXACTLY why about everything i am doing, so I am being my form, thinking and doing simultaneously.)

And then people complain about Taiji being weak today and always maybe (except in the first 3 generation's times). Well, yeah, because you can't understand and execute applications without knowing WHY. And you can't do applications separately like a karate exercise. It has to be real, in action during the form. The real action takes places between the postures.

Why do you think that the first 3 generations (or more) were super cool? Because they knew WHY they did what they did in a form, and is because they already had a firm foundation in something that already taught them why (Hong Quan, Tai Zu, Liu He Men, Tong Bei, Yue Fei, Rou Quan, etc). In Shaolin, even the Qigong is used for self defense and can be used for stick fighting as well. IF you know that then you can do the whole Yang Long form as a staff fighting set, with out changing anything in the postures. As long as you know WHY

Now, I would I would think that everyone, no matter how long they have been doing tai ji would indeed want to learn WHY so that they can better do HOW.
I would like to show people all these things.
Last edited by salcanzonieri on Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Trick on Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:21 am

Even if you show others how cool yours Taiji is they might not want it, they might think it’s not cool, not for their mental state, not for their body’s physique.………Who are the ones often complaining about the “state” of Taijiquan, from my observation it’s mostly those who claim to have the “real deal” taijiquan. Why complain ? Go out hold some seminars, tour around with your taijiquan, spread the gospel, promote a book on RSF…………as fo examples
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:16 am

Just what we need more books and more seminars
How about just passing your art onto some good students
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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