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 Post subject: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2014, 01:40 
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Ninja of the Holy Chtchet
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This blog is dynamic, fluid. It changes as I change.


______________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Originally a Jpen Player, I had a Jpen dedicated blog: http://jpensamurai.blogspot.com/ which is no longer in existence, and now renamed and packaged as the: http://theweeklychop.blogspot.com/ (EDITED 5/26/14)
This will be my first blog entry as a Long Pips player...

Up till now, my Jpen blog has largely consisted of videos and information about Japanese Penhold techniques and tactics without any personal blogging from me or my experiences. Long Pips (LP) has NOW changed that for me. I am a "Darkside" convert, and obsessed with learning everything there is to know about LP science, techniques, strategy.

Welcome to the Darkside
Why the sudden conversion? On a lark, I decided to get a cheap Cpen paddle to compare RPB on the Cpen to my Jpen racket. I LOVE playing with my Jpen racket (hence, the blog). However, I have found amazing success with the Cpen blade, not because of the RPB so much, but because of the LPs, slower rubbers, consistent blade and sponge, and the ability to twiddle. I AM AMAZED!

Initially, I had lots of trouble using the PIPs. I didn't understand the philosophy, science, and strategy behind the rubber, despite the research I put in to it. I felt like I had to chop more often than I did., and was much more confused than my opponents. I got killed in my first 10 matches and hung the racket up in favor of my Jpen Blade. I was told to stop playing with LPs and concentrate on my inverted game because I was a beginner (http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25450). I listened for a while, but then decided to recreationally play with the LP bat. Because I was so drawn to the style, I continued to research and study the LP play. LOTS of videos and tutorials. LOTS of forum posts. And then something happened... Suddenly, everything I've wanted to do was now possible. Keep in mind that I am a beginner level player with almost no coaching and no competition experience. This will soon change, however, I have been playing against competitive players at the local clubs for a while now.

Setups
On my other Jpen set up, which I will still play, is a Tensor style rubber (Xiom Pro Elite) with 802-40 SP on the RPB side of a TSP Birmingham 77 ALL+ blade. This setup has proved fruitful and the RPB and was definitely an improvement. However, the FH rubber has not been conducive to my style of play, and I was having a lot of trouble with the control of that rubber and that style of looping (See this thread here). I was hammering the proverbial square peg into the round hole!

Enter my "Experimental" setup:
RITC/729 6030 OFF Blade. Hard but controlled cheap bat from Zeropong. I then had them install RITC 755 LPs on the FH and Geospin Tacky on the BH. The inverted rubber, although cheap is perfect for me! Controlled, harder sponge on a hard bat. I can put the loops anywhere with it. Control, control, control. If I want to smash with speed, I don't rely on the equipment, but rather I rely on my arm strength. There is plenty of smash in this setup, and now my inverted game has been elevated (especially after the tackiness wore off a bit).

But the real story here is my LP game. With the 755 LPs I can block anything. I confuse everyone. I redirect and flick with ease. Chopping freaks loopers out especially nearer to the table. They don't know what hit them, especially as my twiddlng improves. I now get to out-think my opponents; something I wasn't able to do before. I have ordered the Spin Lord Zeitgeist (from OOAK) and am looking forward to even less spin reaction, more deception, and more spin reversal.

Style of play with the new LP Setup
I am not a chopper, although I do chop opportunistically close to mid-distance if it's appropriate. I am primarily a penhold pips-out hitter, but will incorporate many of the push/blocker style of play when it needs to happen. Lots of dead ball drops close to the net, and when the guy pushes it, the balls tend to pop up and I smash with the pips, or twiddle inverted and smash/loop. My serves are really pretty good for a beginner, very spinny and tough for even rated players. With the LP, I mix in an LP serve now and then, and they are completely bewildered. I really love changing directions and close to the net flicks to the opposite side of the table with the pips.

In conclusion, I have to say THANK YOU (or damn you? ;) ) to YOU ALL. Had I not stumbled on this site, I probably wouldn't have had my curiosity piqued, and would have remained a conventional player. I'm now a wreck. I can't stop geeking out on everything LP, to the point of obsession. I'm loosing sleep over rubber selection, OX vs. Sponge, and strategy. All I think about is playing Pips and getting revenge on the loopers at the club. I keep reading reviews, and research...when will the madness end?

Some may say it's not the most aesthetically pleasing style of play, but the strategy and thought that goes in to LP play is BEAUTIFUL.

Now I have 2 more challenges:
-What to change the name of my blog to (on blogger)? EDIT: Something with "Ninja" as they are sneaky, mysterious.

-And will my coach, who I will meet for the first time this coming Sunday at Club Joola, accept my LP rubber? :rofl: :lol:

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Last edited by Japsican on 10 May 2016, 04:57, edited 10 times in total.

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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2014, 08:45 
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WElcome to the Dark Side Japsican :devil: :lol:

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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2014, 11:36 
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haggisv wrote:
WElcome to the Dark Side Japsican :devil: :lol:

Thanks Haggisv. What is it about the LPs? Yikes. And of course, here I am on the internet again doing more research. Went to the club today and got ROLLED by a Fillipino guy who had the sickest backhand I've ever seen. But I managed to win most of my other games. :)

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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2014, 01:44 
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Well, since my last post, things have been busy at work with the Department of Health paying my hospital a visit, and thus time has been in dearth supply.

However, I DO have some things to report.

The ups and downs of TT and LPs
After my last post where it seemed as though I had discovered a whole new world (LP). I have had a few highs and lows with regards to my new playing style. I seem to be having a consistency issues when playing non-conventional styles. I assume this will improve with more exposure and training; however it was very frustrating because I ended up playing those matches with my inverted side, and often failing miserably when twiddling to my LP side. After perusing the forms on OOAK, it sounds like this is a common challenge to those who are new to the pips world. Damn forehand side float ball, and damn those deep pushes. The worst part is that these non-conventional styled players were lower level, and had I just used my inverted/SP Jpen, I’m confident I would have crushed them.

More downs:
I got killed by some players that were higher level than I, but not by a whole lot, whereas my first outing was much different. The disheartening part was that Perhaps they adjusted to the PIPs? Perhaps I adjusted (errantly) to the PIPs. I think the latter.

More ups:
Good news! :up: I NOW have a coach! I’m very excited to say that I am seeing Donn Olsen, a very respected coach who has written several books, one of which I had come across prior to being assigned to him through the local club. We went over my inverted forehand and backhand topspin strokes, and in a short 1 hour session, he corrected my “hand” and placement. I’ve been putting in too many variables trying to brush my topspin. Also, I was focusing on the way my paddle contacted the ball instead of placement. These very fundamental changes focusing on stroke principles are JUST what the doctor ordered!

Of course, applying these principles to a live person in a match vs. a coach who is feeding you varied but predictable topspin balls is a whole other matter. I need much practice.

Another amazing coincidence, he’s a Long Pips Player! HOORAY! So I mentioned to him that I am interested in playing LPs and he was very excited about that aspect of our future sessions. He comes with an amazing enthusiasm for the game, which was apparent from the beginning.

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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2014, 20:03 
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That's great news! You're very lucky!!!

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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2014, 22:56 
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Last night I played a couple of hours at the club, and came up against the guy that has been giving me trouble since converting to LP.

He's the dead ball hitter who sends the ball to my forehand. This has been giving me trouble because I either can't twiddle fast enough to inverted on my FH fast enough, or I can't make the decision that the ball is going to my forehand fast enough to initiate twiddling. However I did figure out a technique that helped, which is sort of a flat push with a slight chop that sends the ball deep with some backspin. This seems to either keep me in the rally or win me the point. I just haven't mastered it yet, and still the majority of deep dead ball floaters to my FH ended up costing me more points then not.

However, thanks to my pal Zhaoyang from this thread: http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=25598 ; I have now developed a new stroke that essentially won me the match last night. In that thread he showed me a video of Zhou Xintong. She side-sweeps the ball when blocking or punching, and still taking the ball right off the bounce. I'm not sure if it's the 755's properties that make them odd or not, but the sweeping motion controls the ball and sends it in a predictable to me, but unpredictable to the opponent sidespin counter. Sometimes it's dead, and sometimes it's got massive spin. If the ball is moving with topspin, it seems to gain tons of sidespin on the return; if I'm countering a backspin ball, it seems (not sure) to be more dead sidespin wise, but still sends the ball with his backspin reversed into topspin. When I passively block the ball, or punch with no sweep, there is little to no reversal with the 755 (to me). There is control in placement, and that's still a valuable weapon, but the sweep affords me the reversal. It was AMAZING!

After some research, I found that Zhou Xintong has inspired others as well: http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23104
I love her game.

This has inspired me to enter my first beginner's tourney as soon as one pops up in the area.

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PostPosted: 24 May 2014, 15:02 
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My first tournament...
(I've converted to shakehand)
I know that to some of the more veteran table tennis players out there, this may seem like a pretty trite post. But I recently had one of my first tournaments.

And I won ALL of my games! I am so STOKED!!!

Now, keep in mind that I was an unrated player, and as such I was not allowed to continue passed the round-robin part of the tournament. But I DID play everyone and managed to win all of my matches handily. The top rated guy in the division was 1077, so I’m hoping that gets me a decent first score.

Tournament style?
Some things, I found out that in competition I play much different than I do at the club. I tend to chop a LOT more. Much more modern D…I didn’t expect that to be the case. Honestly, I thought I was going to naturally rely more heavily on my recent pushblocking attempt, because that was what was more comfortable. But the chopping just came naturally. My opponents couldn’t handle any of the backspin that I was throwing at them, and I hit some pretty good forehand smashes and pips side kills when I got a weak ball. Plenty of long balls and netted balls off all of my mid or long distance chops. I even started chopping with my inverted more often…deadly.

Now, that’s not to say that my style didn’t involve a lot of drop shots, push blocking and close to the table play, it did. Anytime I caught the ball off the bounce, the quick timing of that shot caught my opponent off guard and I won everyone one of those shots I landed or didn’t send into the net. Chop blocks, I have a much more unconventional stroke, but it worked marvelously.

At 40, I can’t believe I was so happy to be winning a bottom division tournament…well, not win but defeat everyone in it. I didn’t know what to expect.

Coaches Abound
Another thing, the atmosphere was very interesting. Everyone I was competing against had a coach present. Thankfully, my coach happened to be there, as he was following a few other students who entered the tourney. He’s very involved, which is nice. Gave me lots of tips, warmed me up (which was huge). Had I not warmed up previous to my first match, I know I would have lost. Incidentally, my first opponent who I beat 3-2, ended up winning the U-1100 division.

Cho
What is up with the cho’ing? I’m sure I’ll get some negative comments for typing this, but I find it rather contrived when non-chinese players use this as a method of celebrating a point. It’s natural when a chinese player says it, but when an American player uses that term, it feels like they’re trying to hard to be of the Table Tennis culture. Just indicate your approval in English. (or whatever your native language is. JMHO.

So, I’m anxious to see my rating. The tournament was last Sunday, and yet I haven’t yet received any correspondence of my USATT membership or the rating. Wonder how long it takes? One thing is for sure, I haven't been this excited about a hobby or sport in a LONG time. I just absolutely love it.

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Last edited by Japsican on 24 May 2014, 22:00, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 24 May 2014, 19:12 
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Awesome effort Japsican! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Yes the Cho-ing can be quite off-putting, I agree. it's fine if it's after a spectecular ralley, or at a critical point in the game, but after every point won seems excessive and a little disruptive at times. Some players seems to use it to 'rub it in' as well when you lose a point :(

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PostPosted: 24 May 2014, 21:57 
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haggisv wrote:
Awesome effort Japsican! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Yes the Cho-ing can be quite off-putting, I agree. it's fine if it's after a spectecular ralley, or at a critical point in the game, but after every point won seems excessive and a little disruptive at times. Some players seems to use it to 'rub it in' as well when you lose a point :(

Thanks Haggisv! It's been a long journey to get to this point. I just wish the damn ratings would post... lol :headbang: 40 year old man anxious to see his name on a website, yes, I'm very mature. :P

Yeah, I'm not against the celebration itself per se, it's the fact that non-chinese speaking people are using the term. That comes off as disingenuous to me. I'm sure it's just because I'm still new and not ingrained in the culture, but hell, I'm Asian (1/2 Japanese) and it STILL comes off as kind of fake. Would they yell "Cho" if playing soccer or basketball? I think excessive celebration is bad form in any sport, but I'm okay with a quick "Yes!" or "Got it!" if it's warranted...in one's native tongue.

What's the opposite of CHO? I'm gonna start using that as my new celebration saying during matches against people who cho often. :rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: The Weekly Chop
PostPosted: 29 May 2014, 07:49 
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Welcome to the dark side. :devil:

We seem to have the similar setups and game so love reading your blog.

Initially, I became obsessed about imparting as much Backspin ( I was focused on being a chopper) and tried TSP Curl P1r, Curl P4, BTY Feint 3, Giant Dragon, Palio ck531a, Spinlord etc. Others were hard to control, while others were just great at chopping but not couldnt work for me in others. Unfortunately choppign worked in practice but in matches and tourneys as you come to realize, opponents dont cooperate by consistently sending you topspins/loop to your backhand.

FWIW, my advice, I think our game is more Spin manipulation. Just learn how to vary your spins or disguise it and you would be much better. Biggest "jump for me" wasnt improvement of my game but learning to chop lower ( by bending knees and getting it below the table most times) ... and twiddling. Opponent has harder time if I gave a dead ball, impart heavy spin, hit with inverted or Long Pips. I get more unforced errors now from opponent reading heavy backspin when I just barely lobbed/brush the ball and exaggerate chopping motion AFTER ball leaves my racket.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: The Weekly Chop
PostPosted: 30 May 2014, 01:46 
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Thanks LD! You have offered up lots of great advice since my joining this site, so I appreciate the insight and kind words.

I agree, I think we have very similar styles. Not sure if you misread my post however, but the chopping was something that was actually more successful for me than pushblocking. So anytime I chopped, so long as I put it on the table, I would eventually win the point. I agree though, taking the ball lower than the table is a big plus, as long as your technique allows it. We'll see, I'll definitely work on more manipulation and chop levels. Perhaps I'm forcing more errors because my inconsistent chopping technique is, in itself, spin variation! :lol:

Anyway, we'll see. I've vowed to stop EJ'ing once I get my new forehand rubber. But the Pips will remain as they are, 0.5mm Curl P-1R until I either break them or they wear out. (Thanks for that advice Leatherback) Which will be hard because I ordered some sheets of the DF 1615 prior to the vow. :angel:

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 Post subject: Re: The Weekly Chop
PostPosted: 30 May 2014, 01:48 
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Keep in mind this was supposed to be a post from before the above tournament post, and I have gone through a lot of changes since then. Originally, I didn't end up posting this due to the negativity of it, but felt it had some merit for other beginner players that might be experiencing people who have the same off-putting culture towards newbs. I just want others to know that many of us are going through the same types of experiences and perhaps we can draw strength from each other when we meet such negative personalities.

--------- from 4/14/2014--------------
So, the other night I went to the club in Arlington, VA (and if any of you are on here, that's fine, because i have nothing to hide). But I came across a very disrespectful player. He was Italian, (from Italy). This man never smiled, and dripped of pure arrogance.

I was trying out my Hallmark Aurora blade to see what I thought of the 1.0mm P-1r.
First off, I told the man that I was a beginner, and this pretty much irritated him right off the bat. As if I was a nuisance to have to be tolerated. He sighed and clearly wanted me to know that he was not happy that I was there. Keep in mind we were the first 2 players at the club. We began to warm up and I noticed he did a lot of very tall loops with side spin and sent everything to my forehand which is the weaker part of my game. So, I flubbed a lot of returns during the warmup, with the unfamiliar rubber, and different paddle.

But that's not the story.

He began to comment very condescendingly:
"Do you even understand spin?"

"What kind of blade is that? Hallmark? Who the hell plays with Hallmark? You need to change your equipment. Nobody uses that brand." I replied, "Yes they do, there are plenty of defensive players that use this brand." To which he replied "WHO?! Huh? Nobody!"

He also smashed a lot during forehand warm ups which to me was very off sides.

I had to keep from attacking him with my fists and not my paddle when he strait up told me that we should play so that he can get to "real" competition. (By this time others had arrived)

He was a jerk, offered no constructive criticism, and was the most arrogant idiot I've spoken to in the TT community in the DC area. I did have some words with him about his attitude, but he offered up no apologies, nor acknowledged that he was being rude.

He was very good, and dispatched me in 3 straight sets. I managed a fairly close 7 to 10 loss but that was the best I could muster. I might have been too pissed off, and perhaps that contributed to my poor performance, but this guy was actually a very high level player. It scorches my tongue to have to admit that. When we were finished he didn't shake my hand, nor offer a thanks. Dejected, i just left the club, and I doubt I'll ever go back. I'm looking around for another club with a culture that is inviting towards teaching and learning. The Potomac Country Table Tennis Club in my experience has been just such a place. We'll see.

Why do these people exist? Why not be an ambassador for the sport?
In my other athletic endeavors I have always been a person who is happy to help newbs, and cast out a friendly smile to anyone trying something new. I rock climb, play hockey, and have played competitive football and never once did I treat a new person like this. Thankfully, I now have a great coach as well as this forum to remind me that not everyone in TT is quite so intolerant.

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 Post subject: Re: The Weekly Chop
PostPosted: 30 May 2014, 02:20 
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To Japsican:
I understand your post perfectly. If you find a better club, good. But I want to tell you that if this club is convenient you shouldn't let this guy run you off. If he is really "a very high level player" (we don't have many of those) then it is more valuable, and smarter, to try to play him as often as possible and find the inner strength to ignore his "act". You'll meet such people in tournaments, right? You'll need to be able to ignore all kinds of annoyances. I know this from ping-pong* but also even from playing in chess tournaments.

You've probably heard the old saying "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". I was just thinking about this the other day because we have a prominent and strong player here that some people can't stand. But I thought, and I advised someone, that an extremely good way to keep your enemy close, if you can arrange it, is to not even let them know they're your enemy. I'm properly civil and friendly to that guy (I don't "lay it on thick" but just treat him like everyone else), and not only does he not know he's my "enemy", in fact I've gradually truly stopped being bothered by him. I'm there to play. He plays. He is valuable to the community here. Maybe it's like maintaining a professional relationship with a boss you detest. You can do that when it's in your interest, right?

My reward is that he sometimes approaches me to hit some. Then he destroys me because his rating is about 800 points higher. It's a valuable experience! Right? Right!


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 Post subject: Re: The Weekly Chop
PostPosted: 30 May 2014, 02:27 
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Same Person, different club. There's always going to be a person like that in any club so dont worry about it.There's going to be "A jerk" in any club or workplace.

Anyways, my playing partner is a pips person too (he's worse as he plays pips on both sides with 10 blades in Sp, med or LP on one side or the other or both) . You will find that as an LP person there are quite a few people that wont hit with you. For the longest time , people at our club wont hit with us if it can be avoided and we ended up playing each other most time. Its not that they dont like us, everyone actually is friendly with us. Just that most people HATE playing pips as they dont understand them, they can't rally or do drills ( FH top spin rally all day long or Bh) and it makes it seem they're game is suffering when they hit into net, long or pop up . It's done a turn around since then specially when resident coaches told students and everyone in the club they HAVE to learn how to play pips if they want to do well in tournaments. These words have borne fruit when past few tourneys they were in, featured pips players beating some of the better players in the club. Nowadays, we're quite in demand as there's only 2 of us ( 2 others are pips players but lower level) that play regularly with pips. We've had people thank us or comment after some time they dont give up in frustration anymore when facing pips players. I play modern defense style while my partner plays pushblocker close to table style. Between the two of us, they got most Pip styles covered.

You actually have an advantage as you play inverted FH. Just rally with people with your FH and develop that stroke, dont force the pips on them if you can help it . If they want to play BH rally, explain you'll scoot over and hit it with FH as you play pips and rallies wouldnt last. Unless they specifically ask (or you can offer to practice pips with them) avoid using pips on them. You will find people that WANT to hit to your pips eventually. I have about 3-4 regular people about 200-400 points above me that ONLY plays/rallies with me all day hitting to the pips. I take full advantage and chop all day long. Nowadays, we've advance to me chopping a few times then reversing spin by driving/topspin from BH mid distance once in a while and seeing the effect. We've also changed it up so they Topspin into FH and I learn to chop with pips on FH. This has been extremely helpful so now I Can twiddle.

Since you'll primarily rally with most people ( that's what they want) , your FH is going to improve a lot. For the longest time, Most people avoided my pips just because of the disturbing effects/backspin or because they dont understand it. Got the best compliment the other day when people actually AVOIDED my Forehand and kept pushing/hitting to my backhand.

As your progressing, you'll find that you wont get opportunities to chop. I find I actually have to entice people to tops/drive/loop only by chopping it high (preferably deep) so it looks enticing and unavoidable. Anything else they will probably just push back and you'll end into a pushing war (unless you attack it or flick).

Have fun chopping and do it from both sides with pips if you can master it!.

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Blade 2 Fiber Andro Def Blade : Xiom Vega Europe : Tibhar Grass D.tecs LP 1.2 sponge
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 Post subject: Re: The Weekly Chop
PostPosted: 30 May 2014, 02:54 
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Ninja of the Holy Chtchet
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Blade: Joo Se Hyuk
FH: Secret Flow Chop (1.5mm)
BH: FL3 (1.3)/P-1R (1.5) Test
Zhaoyang wrote:
To Japsican:
I understand your post perfectly. If you find a better club, good. But I want to tell you that if this club is convenient you shouldn't let this guy run you off. If he is really "a very high level player" (we don't have many of those) then it is more valuable, and smarter, to try to play him as often as possible and find the inner strength to ignore his "act". You'll meet such people in tournaments, right? You'll need to be able to ignore all kinds of annoyances. I know this from ping-pong* but also even from playing in chess tournaments.

Thanks for your insight. Keep in mind this was a month and a half ago, so I'm very much over it, and have been back to the club. I personally don't feel there is any value in playing this person, except to beat him. If anything, he's motivated me to come back to the club to eventually beat him. That's my new goal. :devil: :punch:
I have actually joined another club, but still attend this one regularly. But there are many folks at the Potomac Club that are of the "high level" variety of player. And with much better attitudes because they have adopted a culture of learning.

Zhaoyang wrote:
You've probably heard the old saying "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". I was just thinking about this the other day because we have a prominent and strong player here that some people can't stand. But I thought, and I advised someone, that an extremely good way to keep your enemy close, if you can arrange it, is to not even let them know they're your enemy. I'm properly civil and friendly to that guy (I don't "lay it on thick" but just treat him like everyone else), and not only does he not know he's my "enemy", in fact I've gradually truly stopped being bothered by him. I'm there to play. He plays. He is valuable to the community here. Maybe it's like maintaining a professional relationship with a boss you detest. You can do that when it's in your interest, right?.

I appreciate your approach, however unfortunately my approach is to challenge such people. If someone is disrespectful, to anyone....I confront and call out. Which is what I did with him. Because my philosophy with people like this they need to be taught a lesson, and he needs to know that this is NOT okay. Looking the other way tells people that their behavior is acceptable, which it is not. There are many other "high level" players in this area, and I don't need to indulge him and his ego. Side note: I have played him since then, and did pretty well. So I think that it's only a matter of time before I can challenge him. I might of misread just how "high level" he was to begin with... |(

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