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PostPosted: 24 Jul 2013, 00:31 
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timeout wrote:
I have the same blade

I have one on the way and I'm pretty excited! But it's flexible! :-o

timeout wrote:
I also admire Gao Jun and seen her play live...I bet you that she could switch to long pips and play like that other chinese girl.... :rock:

Do you mean Deng Yaping?? She probably could but I'm pretty sure that the temperament is different. :-)

Thanks for your reply.

I'm curious which of these is the case:
a) her hitting and flexible blade are such that it never bottoms or
b) it bottoms and she uses that
I suspect b.


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PostPosted: 24 Jul 2013, 00:52 
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Zhou Xintong, the girl who beat Kim Minhee.

The Matsushita Pro is used by many pros. About the "bottoming" out part...I've never experienced that on this blade but I have on a BBC ALLROUND and also a Bomb 729, both with 1.5mm inverted on block shots.

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PostPosted: 24 Jul 2013, 01:42 
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timeout wrote:
Zhou Xintong

Oh, she belongs in my Platonic circle too!

timeout wrote:
both with 1.5mm inverted on block shots.

For you, was that a reason to immediately switch to something thicker, or did you "use" it?


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PostPosted: 24 Jul 2013, 02:55 
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Zhaoyang wrote:
timeout wrote:
Zhou Xintong

Oh, she belongs in my Platonic circle too!

timeout wrote:
both with 1.5mm inverted on block shots.

For you, was that a reason to immediately switch to something thicker, or did you "use" it?


Just experimenting at that time and still now...

I was using a 1.5 mm 729 sst cross on both, very hard sponge, and as I recall I found it strange that a hard hit top spin just felt dead on my blade... but both of those blades are quite stiff.

I use 1.5mm Tackiness Chop on my Tibhar Cos3 blade which is more flexy and I havent noticed any bottoming out. I've been using this blade for 1 month, almost everyday for at least two hours.

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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 07:56 
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With a Matsushita Pro and standard Challenger Attack 1.5 I must hit it exaggeratedly hard to make it bottom (judging from the sound). I don't think she hits that hard. For example, the last shot in 2008 Golden Western Open - Gao Jun vs Crystal Huang - game 2 sounds normal. So no, to answer my question above, I don't think she employs bottoming.

Her setup is surprisingly spinny. The blade is not flexible enough to bother me; the surface is hard and the overall feel is still hard. [Edit: ...measured on the scale of my experience, Mazunov = hard to Clipper = soft.]

But it is quite a bit more difficult to hit straight - the clean rapier thrust - with it compared to my Mazunov + 802-40 or 08-clone + 802. So it's more expressive than that, say a little bit like a paint brush. Have you ever tried Chinese calligraphy? It's harder than it looks, like Gao Jun. :-)


Last edited by Zhaoyang on 03 Aug 2013, 20:54, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 10:53 
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Zhaoyang wrote:
With a Matsushita Pro and standard Challenger Attack 1.5 I must hit it exaggeratedly hard to make it bottom (judging from the sound). I don't think she hits that hard. For example, the last shot in 2008 Golden Western Open - Gao Jun vs Crystal Huang - game 2 sounds normal. So no, to answer my question above, I don't think she employs bottoming.

Her setup is surprisingly spinny. The blade is not flexible enough to bother me; the surface is hard and the overall feel is still hard.

But it is quite a bit more difficult to hit straight - the clean rapier thrust - with it compared to my Mazunov + 802-40 or 08-clone + 802. So it's more expressive than that, say a little bit like a paint brush. Have you ever tried Chinese calligraphy? It's harder than it looks, like Gao Jun. :-)


Hi Zhaoyang:

Do you have a Matsushita Pro as well? Sounds like you do.

I think Li Qian uses it as well.

So it's by both shakehanders and penholders - great blade.

I find that it is on the fast side for at the table chop blocks even though overall it is classed as a def blade. I've tried 755 OX and P1R OX and feint long 2 0.5 and it still feels like there is a little spring against hard fast topspin.

What do you think? (The extra speed that I sense makes it good for attacks imo, relatively speaking).

BTW you're right about Chinese writing systems...that's even harder than ping pong!

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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 11:23 
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timeout wrote:
Do you have a Matsushita Pro as well?

Yes, I was very lucky to find one.
timeout wrote:
I find that it is on the fast side for at the table chop blocks even though overall it is classed as a def blade. I've tried 755 OX and P1R OX and feint long 2 0.5 and it still feels like there is a little spring against hard fast topspin.

What do you think? (The extra speed that I sense makes it good for attacks imo, relatively speaking).

I'm not qualified to answer your question. I don't chop block and my experience with long pips and OX are nearly zero.
It's slower than my Mazunov. "A little spring"? Yes, but not enough to bother me. It has more throw without any doubt. (I regret a little not starting with 802-40 on it so I could isolate that; the Challenger Attack is certainly grippier than 802-40, feeling it with the fingers. Edit 30MAY14: It's softer, more rubbery feeling, but I can't say for sure that it is spinnier.) The Mazunov is just a simple solid block of wood in comparison.
timeout wrote:
BTW you're right about Chinese writing systems...that's even harder than ping pong!

I've been studying for six or seven years. Part of my infatuation with penhold is the "Eastern" flavor.

Since the thread is about Gao Jun's technique, I wanted to say that I won all of my rated matches with it tonight, and I have not even officially switched to penhold! BUT... I must confess that I did not do it looking like Gao Jun! [Edit: Meaning, I pulled out my old inverted strokes.]


Last edited by Zhaoyang on 31 May 2014, 01:16, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 11:37 
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probably, she's using 2.0 mm or thicker than 1.5 mm sponge..her photos...


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 13:34 
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:hai: deva and zhao:

I saw her play live against the best player at my club (top 100 can) at an exhibition.

I can tell you just by looking at her that she is really down to earth and very nice. Cute too.

I would love to be a penholder but I find that the grip requires strength with the index finger and the thumb as you can imagine and that takes a while to build up... I would have to start over again. Not an option for this life maybe my next...

Maybe i got this OX LP all wrong... maybe I should get 2.0 sponge and close block everything ;)

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PostPosted: 05 Aug 2013, 08:56 
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Would someone help me please?

Which one of these do you think is the case?
1) Her sponge is thicker than 1.5mm; it's thick enough that she doesn't bottom it.
2) Her sponge is 1.5mm but she doesn't hit hard enough to bottom it.
3) Her sponge is 1.5mm, and it bottoms on her hardest hits, but she adjusts the angle accordingly

Those correspond to the following fixes:
1) use thicker sponge
2) don't hit so hard; stay within the "envelope"
3) learn how to use it bottomed, hitting even flatter

In my own games with Mat Pro + Challenger Attack 1.5 it sails long when hit too hard, just like 802 1.5.

Would you share your opinion please?

Edit: Kees himself said in 2007 "...I try to copy Gao Jun". I wonder, did he pull back and play "within the envelope" or not?


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PostPosted: 05 Aug 2013, 11:44 
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Zhaoyang wrote:
Would someone help me please?

Which one of these do you think is the case?
1) Her sponge is thicker than 1.5mm; it's thick enough that she doesn't bottom it.
2) Her sponge is 1.5mm but she doesn't hit hard enough to bottom it.
3) Her sponge is 1.5mm, and it bottoms on her hardest hits, but she adjusts the angle accordingly



She was our club head coach for two years. She gave me two black Challenger Attack rubbers Butterfly made specifically for her. The sponge thickness is 1.9mm and that's what she's used all these years, and still does.


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PostPosted: 05 Aug 2013, 12:01 
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Thank you deva sarjan.
Thank you roundrobin.
I see your other posts about it too.


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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2013, 03:25 
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Here is Gao Jun stretching her wrist:
Mmm, I can't go that far. Can you?


Attachments:
wrist.PNG
wrist.PNG [ 115.39 KiB | Viewed 1263 times ]
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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2013, 04:01 
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Gao Jun's grip:

Cpen grips are sometimes referred to as "narrow pincer" and "wide pincer". I would rather classify them as "thumb anchored" and "finger anchored".

"Thumb anchored/finger steered" can be seen in e.g. He Zhiwen; the thumb is firmly in place deep into the blade and the forefinger is a lever that pushes down for the backhand. The handle lays back pretty far or all the way into the notch between the finger and thumb. It's very stable.

Gao Jun's grip is "finger anchored/thumb steered"; the finger is curled around to the front edge of the handle and stays there, while the other edge of the blade rolls under the ball of the thumb between forehand and backhand. Edit: See my update below, 29JUN14. Some players pull the thumb up and out to use it as a lever against the side of the handle, but I don't think Gao Jun's thumb ever comes out like that. And also, her handle is not anchored down in that notch.

So, Gao Jun wields the blade more flexibly, more like a calligraphy brush as I opined above. There's more potential, more small muscles to train, but more to go wrong too.

For example, when laid out on the forefinger as in the photo there is no doubt that the blade can be closed farther more comfortably, but it means letting go of the "killer grip". Here the thumb is up and the handle is not anchored:
Attachment:
backhand.PNG
backhand.PNG [ 120.57 KiB | Viewed 1248 times ]


(As I can see in other, clearer photos) her forehand rubber appears to come all the way to the handle, so the pad of her finger is on the slant, not on the forward-most cut.
And, the fingers on the back are curled modestly under the forefinger, maybe 1"/2.5cm from the handle; there is very little blade face in her hand!

All this is probably why she doesn't look as awkwardly twisted on the backhand as e.g. He Zhiwen, and I'm sure the fingers are faster than the upper body.

Edit: Today 10AUG13 I received expert confirmation of what I said above. If you want to learn cpen the Gao Jun grip would add another layer to the learning curve, with some potential reward in flexibility. I myself will be training with the thumb anchored grip. Edit almost a year later: This grip is working well for me, see my follow-up below, 29JUN14.


Last edited by Zhaoyang on 30 Jun 2014, 11:59, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 03 May 2014, 04:04 
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You can get a very good look at a grip like this in action in the following slow motion video of Lay Jianfang:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cvYC2ReF9o But, there's a slight delay in her transition from forehand to backhand as the thumb is repositioned, and so she usually prepares for a backhand. (Edit: You can see this best when for some reason she hits a backhand with her forehand grip at 3:00 and then shifts to the backhand grip at 3:05.)

I have Gao Jun's instructional DVD with slow-mo segments like this, and I don't see this delay; the hand/wrist rotates smoothly. I guess the blade edge just rolls up and down on the ball of the thumb, as I said.

I played with this grip for three hours yesterday. The forehand was easy and worked well. The backhand is not secure enough for the most muscular delivery or for whipping the blade on contact (and we see that she doesn't play that way). I did not discover yet a smooth rotation to the backhand that also felt secure enough for me.

Also: Lay Jianfang is brushing on the forehand because that's inverted. It is very easy to see how much flatter Gao Jun's strokes are with short pips. A very desirable consequence of this is that, when there's no time, the blade is at least already in position to block (the blade is in the flight path of the ball far longer). Lay Jianfang's stroke takes more time and so she does back off and end up running more often than Gao Jun. (So Gao Jun's footwork is simpler to study.)

Gao Jun has a beautifully mild personality (as far as I know). She is not death-gripping the blade in constant preparation for slamming it. I guess this grip would be more suitable for someone like that.


Last edited by Zhaoyang on 30 Jun 2014, 10:49, edited 1 time in total.

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