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Ola galera,
For the 5th time I have visited the worldchampionship BJJ. I created a fantastic trip to prepare for biggest BJJ Championship. The cities which I crossed during my journey were Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, San Diego and Long Beach, all as known as BJJ hotspots :) The whole year I was looking forward and working for this trip, it would be a summary of all the trips I have made the past few years for the sport.
Getting ready for the Mundials
I tried to organize to go with a bunch of fighters from Holland, but this time the fightcrew were only my new friend AJ and me. I planned the trip around the Brasileiro CBJJ, Brasileiros CBJJE and the Mundials IBJJF. That means in practice: 2,5 week Rio, 2 weeks Sampa and 2,5 weeks California. However, how sweet this sounds for a traveler, I was on a mission.. The mission of kicking ass at the tournaments. The preparation included: training BJJ twice a day, cutting weight and rest..but yes, after the competition i calculated a little time for celebration and recovery. Well, the last word took a new place in my dictionary this time, unfortunately related to another new word: injury. Yes, i've been through many injuries, but this time it was a very bad timing though. I had a lowerback injury which just started about a week for my BJJ trip. I was ANGRY and I caught myself of not appreciating my health and even expected more of my body. I would do anything to get my 'old' back BACK! Lucky me, my sister is a physical therapist ( yes, we have a great balance in our family) and gave me a set of exercises and also knowledge for recovery. But one thing i couldnt control: the FLIGHT. Hmm, this might have been my longest flight ever, both literally and physical. It took me from Amsterdam to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Sao Paulo and from Sao Paulo to Rio, 24 hours total before i would feel any kind of relief. But my sacrifices would be awarded later!

Once I arrived in Rio with Anne Jean, Felipe Costa visited our apartment earlier the day and left a welcome message and gift for us. Thank you Felipe! I met Felipe 5 years ago when I was a white belt at his seminar in Holland. Since then I stayed in touch with felipe but never visited him in Rio. That would change for sure this time! I would meet him later in the week on the beach with his family and bb Michelle Mata but also go to his seminar in San Diego a month later.
Our appartment was located in the center of Copacabana just one block from the beach between Check Mat and Delariva Acedemy. I have been training for a few months in the past with Ricardo Delariva but the last time i was there was in July 2006. There is something about Brasil, and when i dropped by at the delariva acacedemy i remember very clearly what it was. it was that very warm hospitality energy they have! Serious, i didn't visited the gym for 3 years, but the woman of the administration said 'ola yasmin!'  They even remembered my name! Also later in the class it felt like a never left brasil at all..
Check Mat
For the morningclasses I spent my time at Check Mat with Ricardo Vieira and his team. Ricardinho also took the time to explain techniques in English which was very kind of him. The competition team contained only topfighters, Iwas one of the few lower belts with my purple belt..I was very proud of my big, strong and careca friend AJ who is a white belt but who trained as a warrior! He received some great complements from Ricardinho and the other fighters. For if you need to know who Ricardo Vieira is watch
Ricardo Delariva
It was also lovely to see mestre De la Riva again, an extremely technical and funny man. One of the best questions during my trip was Delariva asking me if i wanted to pass his guard during sparring. I did my best. I don't think it's necessary to explain how the roll was. If you ever consider to master his game, be aware of his legs and compare it with your own legs.., i dont think i ever met somebody with these kind of flexibility from his hips till in the ankles.
Felipe Costa
Another absolutely great fighter is Felipe Costa. It's amazing to see how this little man (55 kg) fights. He competes in the rooster division which is a small division, and sometimes I think people underestimate how good these small fighters actually are. When they are ranked in the mundials, believe me, they can give bigger blackbelts serious trouble. I also was very impressed after my visit of Brasa's social project in Urca. Felipe, Joao and Michelle are helping blind kids with BJJ. They learn by feeling, imagine! It's interesting that BJJ might be the only martial art which is safe for them to learn, that's how beautiful this sport is! It was great fun to roll with them and being their guest.
Furthermore i visited Joao Carneiro in Barra de Tuijica who is a blackbelt under Gordo. He use to teach in Amsterdam, but since a few months he is back in Rio.
Brasileiro CBJJ
I competed after a week at the Brasileiros. I lost in a short period a few kilo's (which I don't recommend). I didn't sign in for the open class because i just recovered from my lowerback injury and i had another injury in my forearm. Ricardo coached and AJ supported me with my fights which I really appreciated: muito obrigada guys! I lost in the semifinal on an armbar on my already injured arm. It felt as huge lost..losing itself is a lost, but also the consequense of this armbar on my injured elbow. My ego, my mind and my body hurted tremendous, I had to go through an enormous mood swing. Not so pleasant, but no matter what, I had to deal with this 'challenge'. My boyfriend tried to gave me a bit of peace with his email, but it wasn't that easy. I considered not competing in Sao Paulo, but after a lot of icing and anti flammatory I would still compete. It was nice to be in Rio in the Tenis Clube Tuijica. It wasn't packed like it use to be 'back in the days' with the worlds, but the atmosphere was good. And ofcourse, a very high selection of blackbelts competed since this is the biggest Brazilian championship.
After 2,5 week I took the bus to Sao Paulo. In 2007 I trained for 2 months with Marco Barbosa and Murilo Santana and here I was again, back on Barba's Mat. Since the mundials was close I felt that my mind was getting in competion mode, hmm, let me explain: a strong energy which kicked in pretty much every morning before training (it might have been strong coffee on a almost empty stomach though..) which was stuck in my small body, and my mind knew why. It isn't a comfortable feeling, knowing that we (the energy, my body and my mind) had to perform 200% soon. Almost time to show what we got (yes, still the united three). Fortunately, the best thing of training, is while you are doing it, you forget everything what's around you, so training it self was a good solution to manage this force.
Marco Barbosa is one of those fighters who is at another level. This lightweight is well known for his top and compact game trains some of the best fighters from Sao Paulo like Tiago Alves and Augusto Ferrari (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0C81NC2Cu8), but also Adriano Silva and last but not least yamasaki blackbelt Murilo Santana.
And being with the top of Sao Paulo, means being with the best in the world http://www.tatame.com.br/2009/03/17/TATAME-TV--Barbosa-JJ-entre-as-melhores  
Warriorspirit pur sang and extremely humble! These people really make me happy :)
Brasileiro CBJJE
In the finals of the Brasileiros CBJJE 2 weeks before the Mundials I fought Marcella Thomaz . It would be the third time I would face her. It was kind of a strange match because the ref. made a confusing mistake. see for yourself here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLdZCE0afQA.
I tried a different way of passing and the ref give me points for that BUT once you get points for passing it cant be like i have to start again with passing. Anyway, my armbarred injured arm hurted intens after the fight because my elbowjoint had to suffer from the pressure she put with her shin when she controlled my arm. What can I say, my right arm is being abused big time before Worlds, over and over again. I can't make a grip without having cramps spread through my whole forearm. I would say: 'What is BJJ without a good grip', but my new vision would be for the next coming two weeks: 'a fighter without injuries doesnt excist. Well', I promised myself to take care of the damage after 2 more weeks.
California.. my final destintion! The weekend when the AirFrance plane disapeared i flew from Sampa to LA. Waiting for ages to check in. It happened that the economic class was full, no seat was left for me. But yeee, they solved the problem with number 4c called: businessclas haha. Hmm, almost the whole flight i was thinking, is this for real?? YES, it felt special, a chair which you can transform to a bed, a 3 course meal and all the space you needed. But more happy i would be when i finally hit San Diego and seeing my teacher Cadu after a year. True,  it's very sad that he is not the whole year around, but serious, it's so nice to visit him in San Diego. I don't think I could wish more as a BJJfighter: being with my teacher in a big house full of other nice Brazilian BJJfighters with their lovely girlfriends and my teammate Ana, mats, a strong dog to wrestle with in the beautiful city of San Diego. Just a few days left to fix my game before the mundials in this BJJ paradise.
My diet the last two months payed off: 50kg lean. One of the stressfactors i hate before a tournament is making weight in a day before a competition, so I worked hard to cut that one out. My two female teammates won both their division in blue, i was very happy for them, i remembered how it that day felt for me when i won in blue in 2007. The pressure was on. Could I do it again in purple? Unfortunatel the answer is no, I lost to the worldchamp in the semifinals. She was a quicker and I had to fight in my defense, i was a step behind. I had to start with her controlling my back, but I was able to go halfguard from there, but too bad. No sweep.
My only way to truly perform was now in the hands of the open class which was scheduled right after. With the words of my coach cadu "solto bixo'' i entered the open class. I faced a Jennifer Weintz and I think this one of those example where 7 minutes of your life can be 7 remarkable minutes of your life (also a great philosopy topic). Our games where challenged to eachother to open up a good fight. She submitted 1 match before Sofia Amarante, the worldchamp of my weightdivision (who i lost to in the semi's) so this would be a great challenge. And it was. Eventhough i managed to come on top from the half guard, it wasnt the safest position being in her slick spiderguard, but I won. And just the few techniques which I applied in the fight made my day eventhough i would lose to strong Bia in the semi 20 minutes later. And with that in my mind, i know that not giving up after losing and continue for the love of learning and improving of the art is the true core of my passion for BJJ (and few things more ;)).
Ta mais!!! yasmin
Special thanks to my boyfriend Stephen who supported me with his emails, my parents&sister, my trainers Cadu Francis, Mathieu Peters, Remco van Baardewijk and all the BJJ-Dutchies, Fernando Yamasaki, my friend Anne Jean who travelled with me in Brasil, Ana Lowry, Gabi Bermudez, Felipe Costa, team Check Mat, team Dela Riva and team Barbosa:
Dank je wel, I really appreaciate your support!!
Chillin' after the mundials in San Diego with my trainer and friends
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Assalamo alaikum!
I just came back from Jordan and it was UNIQUE! The country has so much history, a rich culture, sweet people and magnificent nature, the trip was too short! The BJJ Capital Challenge was more then just a tournament, besides the huge moneyprices, they make it like a big show including danceperformances and Olympic fire!
I would like to thank Zaid Mirza, Ivan, Pedro Galiza, Carol Delazzer, Yuda, Bernardo Pitel, Nasser Ayman Majali, Tarek Akkawi, Ghalia Bagilly, Moussa Ma'ali, Tiago Alves, Carl Fischer, Igor Araujo, Adriano oSilva and ALL my friends (a lot :D) I met in Jordan!! I had the time of my life; SHUKRAN HABIBIS!!
Also, check stay tuned on http://combatbasebolton.blogspot.com/ by Carl Fischer, the fightphotographer& - reporter
Report black belt division
ps, i'm sorry about the Dutch directorion this blog. you can click on 'fotoalbum' ( photogallery) for more pics of my trip. 'volgende' means : next . Enjoy!
Abraco,Yasmin Tahira Sewgobind
Team Yamasaki
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Organizers announce Jiu-Jitsu’s big names in tourney

Work is already being done at a frenetic pace by organizers of Capital Challenge International, to take place on the 19th and 20th of December, in Amman, Jordan. And Jiu-Jitsu’s biggest stars have their eyes on the 150 thousand dollars up for grabs.

According to the organization, stars of the caliber of Andre Galvao, Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”, Braulio Estima, Romulo Barral, Sergio Moraes and Gabriel Vella are expected to compete. Now it’s time for the ladies to sign up.

“There’s a women’s division that was not in our plans for this maiden event, in December, but due to the large demand, we took this historic step forward here in Jordan,” said Zaid Mirza, Jordan Team's leader and main organizer of the event. “The president of the Olympic Committee, his majesty Prince Faisal Al Hussein is a great backer of the role and participation of women in sports in the region. His daughter, her royal highness Princess Ayah Al Faisal is a skillful Jiu-Jitsu practitioner,” add Mirza.

The prize money for the female absolute dispute is US$ 4,000 to the champion and US$ 2,000 to the runner-up. It’s worth remembering the organizers promise to pay US$ 100 for every submission achieved during the competition.
Interview Headorganisator Zaid Mirza: http://www.jordanjiujitsu.com/News-EN3.html
Day 1 December 16th
With this words in my head I'm on my way to Jordan! Unfortunately I can't convince any of my friends to go, so I go allone to the Capital Challenge. There is a strong power inside of me that guids me to the magic Middle East. My flight on 16th December is delayed in Amsterdam and I almost mis my connection in Budapest. But after a good sprint I make my transfer. Somebody of the organisation suppose to pick me up, but I can't see anybody at the airport and take a taxi to the Shepherd hotel. After checking in I have to buy some food and water and ask if I could walk outside. I have never been before in the Middle East, and I'm not sure how safe it would be for a woman to walk allone in the night. However it seem to be okay to me! Later that night I returned to my room, I hear some voices outside and open the door. It's Hashim who waited for 3 hours at the airport for me and a Brazilian girl, Carol Delazzer. 'She is staying with you' says Hashim and that's how I make my first friend in Jordan. Since that moment I have a partner in crime haha
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Day 2 December 17th 2008
Carol and I want to orient for the tournament and looking for the 5 star hotel Hyat where a bunch of fighters is staying. Her luggage got lost in Paris and she needs to manage the situation. During a sunny walk we see Kyra Gracie walking on the street, we should be on the right track and find the hotel easily. Immediately I recognise Tiago 'T DoG' Alves haircut in the lobby and join the group with headorganisator Zaid Mirza. After the meeting we need to buy some competionfood. We take a taxi and tell him where to go, only the day is young and the driver makes a suggestion to do a 'little' sightseeing. And that is how I meet my second friend, Moussa (like in Moses) the taxidriver who shows a Amman's hightlights: King Husseins fancy carcollection http://www.royalautomuseum.jo/main.asp , the Citadel and we enjoy the view at Jebel al-Qala'a.
Roman Amfitheatre
End of the day there is BJJ practise at Zaid Mirza's academy with Tiago Alves and Adriano Silva showing a great set up to an armbar from halfguard. I meet Ivan and Pedro. They moved from Brazil to Jordan to teach jiujitsu. Cool guys! After Igor Araujo, Caroline and I are looking for a place for dinner which turned out in a small fiasco since our arabic isn't great. Igor tried hard to communicate with the cabdriver using hands which results in a good ab workout for Carol and me :P
Day 3 December 18th
I call Moussa to pick me up at the hotel. I'm looking for a small trip to Jerash, but my friend recommend to go the the Dead Sea because it is a beautiful day. Actually it is 16 degrees Celcius, but how closer you reach the Dead Sea, the temperature is rising because you go down. When I arrive it is 25 degrees! A perfect day to float in the sea, to rinse my eyes and nose and soak my skin with the rich in mineral mud. It's amazing, you can't sink..Lying on my back in the sea, switching my hips from side to side, lift a leg in the air, definitely good preparation for the tournament tomorrow. The water is extremely salty and leaves a oily layer on your skin. It's not very pleasant if the water touch your eyes, but I can see clearly now...hahhaha
After the floating and the mudilicious skindipping it starts to get cold and it will be soon dinnertime. Near downtown there is a restaurant with the traditional cuisine and I try the national dish called 'Mansaf'. Cooked sheep served rice, chopped almond and yogurt. The meat has a stong taste. Moussa is loving it haha
In 30 minutes I have to be at the weigh in in the Orthodox Club. I don't have to go on the scale because I'm fighting in the open class, but it's formal procedure. Always good to check the competionarea before fightday, touching the tatame..which is very very slippery! Good for the guardplayers hehe
Later in the night I met Bernardo Pitel with his friend Yuda. Yuda is a profesional dancer from New York and is teaching danceclasses in Israel. And yes, my 3rd friend is born. He will be the hiphop pioneer on the mat. His moves will inspire the entire BJJ community at the Capital Challenge ;)
Bernardo is dissapointed because there aren't enough fighters in his division, so he have to fight a division heavier, but he is already changed his mindset and promise to show his skills on Saturday.
Bernardo Pitel
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Day 4& 5
Fightday December 19th & 20th 2008
In order to perform 100% I have to unique oppurtunatety to visit the Roman Amfitheater to absorb the ultimate performingsenergy! Together with Yuda & Carol I'm exploring the ancient theater. Also I'm getting some fresh baklava downtown for after the fight :D
I'm entering the Orthodox club in Abdoun around 2pm. It's filled with guys.
I will only have 1 fight, a superfight! It will be the first female fight in the Middle East with a pricemoney of $1000 for the winner! It's time to make history, opening the door for female fighters now! As a normal thing in BJJ tournament I'm waiting patiently for my fight, I have a lot of experience with that :P
Finally I can enter the mat, Pitel is the referree. My opponent Ghalia pulls quickly guard, I'm looking for base and try to control her flexible hips. She attempts to a gogoplata, but I already put pressure on her hip and try to pass her guard, Ghalia is defensing well and I can't flatten her out on her back so I get advantage but i'm able to take the back and mount and apply an armbar. Win by submission! I'm very very greatfull to the organisation and Ghalia Bagilly to fight. without them there was no fight. I'm very happy to perform at this special event.
Zaid Mirza, Ghalia Bagilly, Yasmin Sewgobind
After it's time for the blackbelt division, a line up with big names like Fabricio Werdum, Braulio Estima, Otavio de Souza, Tiago Alves, Adriano Silva, Tarsis Humphries, Lagarto, Michel Maia, Vella and I can continue this list. I don't understand how they kept this tournament like a secret. It's the highest paying BJJ tournament with big champs and Gracie Mag & Tatame magazine on it. Are people afraid for terrorism or are they lazy just before Christmas? I guess the fighters who came to fight here is a fine selection of crazy jiujiteiro's hahahha.
Tomorrow the finals but first time to party! Nasser, the anouncer of the tourmanent arranged something for me with his friend Tarek who own the place Shaman also in Abdoun. Since almost eveybody I know have to fight on Saturday I go with Yuda to enjoy the night. They treat me like a princess..Tareq and his brother truly give us royal experience in his lounge. The conversations are long, the narguilla is sweet ;)
Saturday December 20
Today is Carol time to show fight! She is facing worldchampion Kyra Gracie. Her luggage is still lost. She needs to borrow a gi from her teammate Michel Maia. We are meeting the brazilian fighters in the lobby and Carol receive the fightwear including the black belt of her coach Paradeda, special energy for her! Also Kaneka, a Japanese girk is in her bracket. Before the female fight there are great fights in the male division with a kick off from a breakdancegroup and a hiphopact of Yuda in Pitel's gi, it's awesome. There is music, fire (real fire!), adrenaline..The midsection is filled with the brazilian crews, Brazil is one equipe for a moment ;) The arabic teamspirit is strong! A man is yelling arabic phrases and rais his hand, the crowd is responding with something like 'HAJISH' , it's exciting. Werdum is encouraging them to do it again, a priceless moment..sorry, this is the part we you have to wait for the Capital Challenge DVD..check the results at http://www.graciemag.com/news/144/ARTICLE/12779/2008-12-21.html
My roommate didn't compete for a while in a big BJJ tournament but she keeps her rythym up with wrestling (she is in the brazilian national wrestling team!). I know she is focussed..She started in 2001 with jiujitsu and received her blackbelt last year. Tomorrow she will make history being the first female blackbelt fighting in Jordan!
Carol Delazzer
I meet Kanako, a Japanese girl, in the dressingroom, she is emotional. She tells me she just received her black belt today! I wish her all strength. She is small, superfeather like me, an example for me!
The first BB female fight is between Kanako and Carol. Carol taps the Japanese girl. It's a open class, there is about 20kg difference, but Carol never, never underestimate somebody. No matter belt or weight. After Kyra and Kaneka have to fight, Kyra is dominating, but Kaneka is a warrior! Too bad that all the bb matches are only 7 minutes. Kyra win by points. Now Kyra and CArol will fight for $ 5000! It´s a close match, Kyra takes the back quickly, it´s Carol mistakes, but there is no time to waiste anymore. Carol is able to pass the strong Gracie guard and has Kyra in a good side control. Only a knee on the belly girl..but no, the victory is for Kyra by 1 point!
Kyra Gracie, Caroline Delazzer and Yasmin Sewgobind
The days end with the finals of the open class between Braulio Estima and Leo Leite. Leo receives a penalty and in the end of the match Braulio attempt a armbar from his amazing closed guard.
All the champs receive a pretty box and an envelop with cash, bills of $100. Nobody could hide a smile ;)
Otavia de Souza, Braulio Estima, Tarsis Humphries
mestre Walter Mattos, Carol Delazzer, Fernando Paradeda
In the night Zaid arranges a party in the loungebar Flow for the fighters, it's partytime !
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Day 6 December 21
About 20-25 competitors is on their way to discover a wonder of the world: PETRA. It's beautiful, oohs & aaahwsss, picture here, picture there. Hard to describe, just enjoy the pics :)
Serginho @ camelo, Petra
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Day 7 December 22
Today I'm going with a small group, Tiago Alves, Carol and Lagarto to Jerusalem. At least, that's the plan..we are arriving at the border but we can't enter because the sitation isn't good at the Gaza. I call Moussa to pick us up and he brings us to Wadi Rum, the magic desert. It will be a day never to forget. It's about 3,5 hours from Amman, a bit further then Petra. Once we arrive we are taking a jeep tour with a very friendly driver.
I'm happy that I'm wearing my wintercoat from Holland because it's cold in the desert!
It's so beautiful, so pure. I would love to stay for the night and drinking tea, using the narguilla around a fire looking to the stars..but I'm leaving tomorrow, next time..! We are stopping in front of a Bedouin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedouin) house and there is a man playing on an instrument. He offers us tea and we sit in his house. It isn't cold inside. Lagarto is changing is clothes for a traditional outfit. It seems to fit him perfectly haha. The people are so nice! I notice something with the Bedouin people, it looks like they live in peace.
We continue the tour and later on we visit one more family with two adorable daughters. I have the chance to meet the mother who is staying seperated in on the other side of the house. Specially for Carol and me he says.

We are such small material comparing to the huge mountains and the endless space..this is the place you know that there are strong forces. We, humans, feels invisible, but there are greater powers and that is okay.
About Wadi
Wadi Rum is a protected area covering 720 square kilometers of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. Huge mountains of sandstone and granite emerge, sheer-sided, from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 1700 meters and more. Narrow canyons and fissures cut deep into the mountains and many conceal ancient rock drawings etched by the peoples of the desert over millennia. Bedouin tribes still live among the mountains of Rum and their large goat-hair tents are a special feature of the landscape.
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Capital Challenge features GP for women
In their own words, the organizers of the upcoming Capital Challenge Jordan, to take place next December 19th-20th, in Aman, want to put on a show that will shock the world of Jiu-Jitsu. In order to do just that, they have announced a total of 150,000 dollars in prizes. BJJ stars have started to flock to the Middle East. Names such as Rubens Charles, Braulio Estima, Sergio Moraes and others have already registered.

Now, they have announced a women’s GP. "Having the female division was not on our plan for this upcoming event in December, but do to the huge amount of inquiries we made this historic launch in Jordan", said GMA member Zaid Mirza. The idea has the support of the Olympic Committee President, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Al Hussein. The girls will be competing for 6,000 dollars in prizes.
Day 1 Tuesday 16th of December
With this words in my head I have to go to Jordan. Unfortunately I can't convince any of my friends to go, so I go allone to the Capital Challenge. There is a strong power inside of me that guids me to the magic Middle East. My flight on 16th December is delayed in Amsterdam and I almost mis my connection in Budapest. But after a good sprint I make my transfer. Somebody of the organisation suppose to pick me up, but I can't see anybody at the airport and take a taxi to the Shepherd hotel. After checking in I have to buy some food and water and ask if I could walk outside. I have never been before in the Middle East, and I'm not sure how safe it would be for a woman to walk allone in the night. However it seem to be okay to me! Later that night I returned to my room, I hear some voices outside and open the door. It's Hashim who waited for 3 hours at the airport for me and a Brazilian girl, Carol Delazzer. 'She is staying with you' says Hashim and that's how I make my first friend in Jordan. Since that moment I have a partner in crime haha


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