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PostPosted: 24 Aug 2012, 23:16 
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Hi guys. I've recently run into an issue and I wanted to see what you guys think.

Been playing penhold for about 4 months now. I like it a lot. My forehand is pretty solid. However last week while playing one of our top club members, he looped a heavy topspin shot to my backhand. I was there, blocked it back and it went long because I didn't close the face enough. Went home and started thinking why I didn't or couldn't return that. I felt I was ready for the shot. Then I discovered it was my grip.

I currently hold the paddle with my fingers curved all touching the backside of the blade. Similar to this picture but I suppose slightly more spread out.

Image

I like the grip. It's comfortable and with my 3 fingers loosely touching the back the the blade, I feel I can make slight alterations in the angle of the bat if I need to. However, I've recently noticed that when I move to my backhand with this grip (Keep in mind Jpen here. IE - hitting with only one side), I simply cannot contort my wrist far enough for a closed face. It's relatively flat. Perhaps slightly closed. The problem is the finger placement, They're simply getting in the way.

When I change my grip to curl my fingers completely, pictured like this...

Image

I can contort my wrist easily to the angle I need for the backhand. And my backhand surprisingly is pretty good. Problem is that I hate it for the forehand. Furthermore every now and then when I hit with the forehand with this grip, the blade will sometimes shift or move because I have less of my fingers on it holding it in place. I've always used a loose soft grip in the past. It seems if I were to move to this grip, I would have to adapt a much firmer clamp on the blade.

My question is what do you guys do? What do you think is best? Do you change grips depending on the shot?

Theoretically I believe I should have the same grip for all shots. This way there is no time wasted in moving my fingers around on the back.

Or am I making a big deal out of nothing and changing grip is common practice? I'm not sure. Appreciate any thoughts out there from fellow JPeners.

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2012, 02:50 
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when you use the back hand, you should apply pressure on your index finger in order to angle and close the bat a bit more. When on forhand you would then switch the pressure to your thumb to keep a nice angle. Just get use to switching sides along with switching pressure on the thumb and index finger. When blocking on back hand, RELAX...its will give you good control and never tense when practicing it.

Whilst on back hand, your fingers on the other side of the bat (facing towards you) should be leaning on the side of the bat like your second picture but make sure that when you switchback you forehand, the fingers and go back to your narmal position ready to play forehand with good feel to it. More backhand practice will increace your wrist flexibility therefore helping you bend more and close the bat more. you can just practice at home switching back and forth and experiment with the grips to make sure they are comfortable and can help you develope more on your technique.

hope this helps

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2012, 03:35 
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Background: I know this stuff from a combination of reading various tips online, looking at videos/photos of pro players such as Ryu Seung Min and Kim Taek Soo, being given advice by Jpen players more knowledgeable than I, and years of playing Jpen myself.

I took a few photos of my grip, and how it changes between backhand and forehand. Because I needed to contort my hand slightly to get a proper angle for the pictures, it's not exact down to the millimeter, but close enough that I can illustrate my point.

For the natural/default (forehand) grip, which is also used for over the table shots on such as pushes on both sides, you should always have your fingers mostly extended (but still bent/curved slightly) and stacked, with only the tips and adjacent knuckles of your middle and ring fingers applying pressure to the blade. They should be angled so that no part of your finger lower down than the tips and adjacent knuckles is even touching the blade. Your little finger can rest on the blade or your ring finger, but should not be pushing down. Your index finger should rest on the edge of the blade so that the tip is seated on the finger hook and the middle part of it (between your first and second knuckle) is pressing down lightly on the sanded part. The segment of your index finger closest to your hand should not contact the blade at all. Your thumb should be pressing somewhat firmly down on the other sanded edge, and the pressure can be varied to change the angle of your grip. The back of the handle should rest atop the flap of skin between your index finger and thumb. Your grip should always be firm (no wiggle room), but not excessively tight. See pictures below:

Image
Image
Image
Image

For the backhand grip used for blocking/punching, you will change a few things. First, you roll your thumb so that it is resting perpendicular to the handle, on the side of the cork block, with your thumb's knuckle applying most of the pressure. Your thumb should point directly ahead of you as you block or punch. Second, you turn the group of fingers on the back of the paddle so that they remain stacked, but only your middle finger is touching the back of the blade. Most of the side of your middle finger, including your first and second knuckles, should be pressed against the blade. The tip of your index finger should remain in contact with the finger hook, and should apply more pressure to the face of the blade than it does with the forehand grip, so that the paddle remains tight between your index and middle fingers. You can roll your thumb a little differently to vary the angle of the paddle, but it should not apply all that much pressure (most of the stability of this grip comes from your index and middle fingers). The angle of the paddle with respect to the table/ground should be roughly horizontal, or for more aggressive punches, should actually be a bit diagonal, with the tip of the handle pointing downward and the head of the blade pointing upward. See pictures below:

Image
Image

For serving, your grip should be mostly the same as the forehand grip, but with a little less pressure applied with your thumb than usual. For traditional backhand smashes, your grip should be about halfway between the backhand and forehand grip, but with your thumb still resting in its usual position (though with a little less pressure applied so you can angle the paddle properly).

Phew, that was a long post. Hope it helps.

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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2012, 17:52 
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Yeah.budy.
chinese penholding style is very different from japanese sytle.
and, i side rubber playing is also different form double side rubber playing.


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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2012, 19:07 
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Wow great illustrations! :up:

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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2012, 22:38 
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Quickdraw, thanks for the illustrations and thoughts. That makes perfect sense.

Our grips are remarkably similar so that reassures me. I think I was getting caught up on thinking I should have one grip for both shots but it seems as I ask around, that slight alterations between the forehand & backhand are common.

When I change my grip to what you described on the backhand, I can close the angle plenty enough for any type of topspin stroke or block I want. Where I get into trouble is not always subconsciously switching from my standard forehand grip to the correct backhand grip... Something to work on. I'm sure with more practice, the muscle memory will get there.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: 13 Sep 2012, 01:02 
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Just as Quick Draw shows in a couple of his pics, when you have J-Pen grip and are in BH block mode, you have to move the thumb onto the side of the handle to help brace the bat and make it into a baseline open bat angle that you adjust based on the incoming ball.

A general thing on blocking is that it is much easier to control the ball right off the bounce that at any other point in its path.

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