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PostPosted: 01 Oct 2009, 03:11 
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Agooding2 wrote:
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You didn't see Guoliang serving with the inverted side much, even though he could twiddle to receive serve and counterloop with the inverted side.

That is a good point, Andrew!

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PostPosted: 01 Oct 2009, 03:17 
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agooding2 wrote:
Kees wrote:
You didn't see Guoliang serving with the inverted side much, even though he could twiddle to receive serve and counterloop with the inverted side.

It might be due to the fact that Liu had used and trained for pips play for so long.

Besides, the 802-40 SP (allegedly) he used were spinny and could generate serious spins.

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PostPosted: 01 Oct 2009, 03:24 
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amateur101 wrote:
agooding2 wrote:
Kees wrote:
You didn't see Guoliang serving with the inverted side much, even though he could twiddle to receive serve and counterloop with the inverted side.

It might be due to the fact that Liu had used and trained for pips play for so long.

Besides, the 802-40 SP (allegedly) he used were spinny and could generate serious spins.


Both true, the 799 or Spectol that Wang Tao/Li Jia Wei used aren't so spinny.

But Chen Longcan got a lot of spin out of 799/651/889 none of which are that spinny.

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PostPosted: 01 Oct 2009, 03:50 
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Johnny1996 wrote:
Johnny's serve is not as professional as Liu Guoliang. He is not relied on serve to win a point. It may not appropraite to focus his serve. But, his 3rd ball attack is very good due to his strong forehand stroke.


I would not exactly characterize Huang's serve as "not as professional" as Liu's.

IMHO, penholders like Liu have a distinct advantage in service due to wider range of wrist movements and variations afforded by the penhold grip. But I would have to concede that Liu's service skills are more developed and varied than Huang's.

I still believe that it is important to focus on Huang's serve because that is the foundation of an effective 3rd ball attack. Without a good serve, there will be no opening available for any 3rd ball attack.

Huang's style absolutely requires him to open up with his fast paced hits as soon as possible and his simple looking serves (usually low half-long sidepin/underspin with sidepin/topspin or no-spin variations performed with that distinct stabbing down motion) are brutally effective in providing exactly that opportunity.

There is also an advantage in simplicity. Huang only needs to perfect a basic set of serves and its variations. (I don't think the style really gave him much choice but his wins over top players speaks volumes on its effectiveness.)

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PostPosted: 02 Oct 2009, 03:09 
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Kees wrote:
Baal wrote:
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JH is the only guy in history who had any success with this style. There is zero margin for error. and he was pretty up and down in terms of how he played from match to match.

I am not so sure there weren't/aren't more players like Huang in China we've never heard of. It seems unlikely he invented and developed the style on his own. There's probably a school of some sort of this, as in China this seems to be the case which all styles. It is true the style leaves little margin for error, but the same applies to single-sided styles (pips or inverted), so that is not unique to Huang's game. It is also true he wasn't very constant, but again the same applies to a lot of other professional players, even in the top 10, like Li Ching, or Ryu Seung Min for instance, or Michael Maze; maybe this has more to do with their personality than with their style.


There is an interesting book by Daniel Coyle entitled "The Talent Code" wherein he dispels the perception that great talent is inborn. The truth is that great skill in any field such sports or the arts can be grown.The required elements are practice (lots, lots, lots and lots of them- repeat 1000 times :!: ), masterful coaching, and ignition (or focus/determination).

Thus, I believe that Johnny Huang's success in his style is not a fluke and can be replicated by others (dedicated enough and properly trained).

I agree with Kees that Huang was a product of a school in China that advocated the all pips style and he had received proper good coaching and training. Take note that in the 1970s and 1980 (Huang's era) , short pips style was still very much alive in China given the success of Jiang Jialiang, Chen Longcan, and Geng Lijuan. It is doubtful that Huang would have been able to develop into a world class level player all by himself without the help of coaches to guide him. Probably there were many other very highly ranked and skilled all SP shakehand players in China but Huang rose above all of them.

Huang was fortunate that the Chinese authorities granted him permission to leave and more importantly - to play abroad. I believe this was also due to the policy shift of Chinese table tennis in the late 1980s and the early 1990s to focus less on pips and adopt the shakehand grip and the inverted-rubber based European looping style in view of the sudden rise to success of players such as Waldner, Persson, and Gatien. The Chinese initially failed especially in the period 1989-1993 when Europeans took the world singles championships but China came back to sweep all titles at Tianjin in 1995 with a new breed of players like Kong Linghui, Liu Guoliang, Wang Tao, and Ding Song.

Whether another person, whether in China or elsewhere, in the future will be purposely trained and groomed to play in the shadow of Johnny Huang is highly doubtful, but the possibilities for world class level play of this style cannot be cursorily dismissed...

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PostPosted: 08 Aug 2013, 04:11 
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Baal wrote:
JH is the only guy in history who had any success with this style. There is zero margin for error. and he was pretty up and down in terms of how he played from match to match.

Denis Neale had some success with this style getting to WR 15 and beating 5 world champs in his career. He also knocked the great Hasegawa out of the world's when Hasegawa was reigning champion. At his peak Neale used Stiga Cobra pips out which in current terms would probably equate to something like 799.


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2015, 17:58 
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Since this thread is stickied, I feel okay about responding so late.

As a shakehanded 2 sided short pip player, I loved every word of this article. Thank you, Kees! If it helps to convince you to keep writing more stuff like this, let me say that SP players are still here, and neither new rules nor new balls will stop us from playing the way we play.

Also, if anyone has any footage of Johnny Huang, I'd love some links. I've got access to the JH vs Matsushita, JH vs Ding Song, JH vs Waldner (some clips of the two different matches), JH vs Liu Guoliang (a clip), JH vs Kreanga, JH vs Samsonov, and maybe one other one. Anything else that someone might have would be greatly appreciated!


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