OOAK Table Tennis Forum

A truly International Table Tennis Community for both Defensive and Offensive styles!
OOAK Forum Links About OOAK Table Tennis Forum OOAK Forum Memory
It is currently 13 Apr 2024, 00:02

Don't want to see any advertising? Become a member and login, and you'll never see an ad again!

All times are UTC + 9:30 hours

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2015, 16:22 
Joo Too
Joo Too
User avatar

Joined: 15 Dec 2008, 18:31
Posts: 4073
Location: Dendermonde, Belgium
Has thanked: 1211 times
Been thanked: 583 times
Blade: BTY Joo Se Hyuk ST
FH: DHS Hurricane 3-50 soft R
BH: TSP P1-R 1,5 B
bbkon wrote:
iasked a german coach close to boll if boll was boosting his rubbers and he started to laugh

Well, you could try... :D I think that's a public secret.


Don't want to see this advertisement? Become a member and login, and you'll never see an ad again!

PostPosted: 30 Apr 2015, 01:57 
Super User

Joined: 25 May 2008, 04:35
Posts: 784
Location: puero rico
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 13 times
Lorre wrote:
bbkon wrote:
iasked a german coach close to boll if boll was boosting his rubbers and he started to laugh

Well, you could try... :D I think that's a public secret.

he just said that is easy to hide the booster traces, he said Amsir booster

PostPosted: 14 Feb 2024, 22:58 
New Member

Joined: 14 Feb 2024, 22:56
Posts: 2
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
birding&table.tennis wrote:

Norio Takashima was one of the best defensive players in the history of table tennis. Through the 1970s and early 1980s, he was the number one defensive player in the world. After the 1975 World Championships in India, in which he reached the semi-finals, his world ranking was number 5. On the way to the semi-finals, Takashima beat Milan Orlanski, Jacques Secretin, and Kjell Johannson, until losing 3-2 to Anton Stipancic. (That match with Stipancic was also famous for its rain delay!) He also reached the quarter-finals in the 1979 World Championships.

I think that it is fair to compare Takashima in the 1970s to Joo SaeHyuk of today, since in those days Takashima epitomized defensive table tennis. He was probably the favourite of every defensive player in the world. He used inverted rubber on both sides (Butterfly Plous). He was capable of beating anyone, including Jonyer and Surbek, who were probably the best players against defense in the world. He chopped the ball rather late, often near floor, and was known amongst his opponents for incredible spin variation. His offense was not like that of modern defenders like Joo, but he could kill any shot that was even slightly loose, and his backhand pick hitting was tremendous.

Takashima defeated all of the top players in the world in the 1970s and early 1980s. Many of those players are amongst the greatest in table tennis history, such as Nobuhiko Hasegawa, Stellan Bengtsson, Xi Enting, Guo Yueha, Liang Geliang, Xu Shaofa, Li Zhenshi, Li Jingguang, Tibor Klampar, Gabor Gergeley, and all those other players listed above. He played on the Japanese team in all the world championships between 1971 and 1983.

Nowadays, Norio Takashima in a professor at Kinki University in Japan. He also remains active in table tennis as a coach, and recently developed four different versions of the new Kokutaku/Takashima table tennis blade, which came out in 2014.

Last year, I contacted Norio Takashima by email, asking him if he was interested in doing an interview for the OOAK Forum. I had not spoken with him in 40 years, and so it was very exciting to receive the following email from him.

Dear Steven

Hello. How are you?
This is Norio Takashima.
I read your email and decided to accept an email interview.
I will answer their questions as possible as I can.
Please feel free to ask me anything at anytime.
Thank you

Norio Takashima


This interview would not have been possible if not for help from Kyoko Matsumura who translated our questions from English into Japanese, and help from Nobuyuki Sakai who translated Takashima's answers from Japanese into English. I'd also like to thank the members of the OOAK Forum for providing the questions for Norio Takashima, and also Haggisv (Alex, forum admin) who did numerous behind-the-scenes things which were crucial for a successful interview and his friend Kim. Most of all, I would like to thank Norio Takashima for taking the time from his busy schedule to answer all of questions.

It is exciting to present the OOAK Forum interview of Norio Takashima!

Early years

When did you start to play table tennis and why?

I started to play table tennis when I was 14 years old in the second grade of junior high school. My teacher recommeded it. I used to play baseball, but I gave it up because of an injury.

卓球のほかに、私はビデオ ゲーム、つまりカウンター ストライク 2 に興味があります。また、自分の武器に最適なスキンを入手するために、プラットフォーム https://skin.club/ja でケースを開けることも好きです。

Why did you choose to become a defensive player? Were you perhaps motivated to play defense by the Japanese chopper Kenji Kasai?

It was recommended to me by older students in my junior high school. I chose to play defense and then learned more from watching many defensive players.

What other sports did you play as a child and why did you take the path of table tennis?

I had played baseball for 6 years after starting when I was 7 years old. I changed to playing table tennis because of an injury.

What was the reaction of your parents to you first starting out playing table tennis and then again as you improved and became one of the worlds best players?

My parents supported all of my interest in sports. They behaved no differently even when I won matches in the world championships.


In the 1970s, you used Butterfly Plous rubber. Why did you choose to use that particular rubber? What type of blade did you use?

カット守備主戦型として、一番安定感があるラバーであった。使いやすいのがよかった。厚さは3 mm程度。
I used this rubber because it offers a sense of stability and easiness for a defensive player. The thickness of the rubber was ~3 mm (sponge + rubber).

Toward the end of your career, you switched to long pips on your backhand. Why did you make this change?

It was because I had physical difficulty when using inverted rubber due to worsened pain in the lower back.

How much did it cost to buy the table tennis equipment you used in the 1970's and 1980's?

I was supported by manufacturers so that I could use 30 blades and 100-150 sheets of rubber per year.

How often did you change your equipment - blade and rubbers?
I usually replaced a sheet of rubber once per week. I sometimes kept a good sheet of rubber longer before it wore out.

When choosing your equipment what came first / what was the most important thing to get right? The blade, the FH rubber or the BH rubber?

I used a custom-made blade composed of 3 plies of wood (Japanese cypress). In the early part of my carrier, I used a blade made of willow (3 plies of wood).

Fitness and Training

Can you give us some idea of your training routine, including physical exercise? How many hours a day did you train at your peak? How much did you train as a teenager?

ランニング:(10代〜20才)1日10 km、(21才〜22才)1日30 km、(23才〜30才)1日5 km〜10 km。ウェイトトレーニング:(19才〜28才)MAXスクワット120 kg、ベンチ85 kg(体重58 kg)。トレーニング時間:1日2時間。
Running: Between the ages of 14 and 20, I ran 10 km/day. At 21 and 22 years, I ran 30 km/day, and between 23 and 30 years old, I ran 5-10 km/day.
Weight training: Squatting 120 kg max. Bench press 85 kg max. (Note that my weight was 58 kg.)
Time of traning: 2 hours a day.

Players such as yourself, Hasegawa, Itoh, Guo, and Surbek appeared to be remarkably fit. How would you compare the standard of fitness of these players with today's top players?

There are no differences because top athletes keep themselves in good health.

During your career, you had to deal with back and knee injuries. Since many table tennis players have these types of injuries, do you have suggestions for how to reduce the frequency and intensity of injuries?

During the 1970s in Japan, there were no doctors/trainers specialized for table tennis players, and hence players needed to decide ways to practice with their own judgement. As a result, players tended to have too heavy a workload, which often caused injuries. It is indispensable for players to consult doctors, trainers, and nutritionists.

I was once told that you did a lot of running, perhaps as much as 10 km per day. Do you feel that a lot of running is an important part of training for a defensive player?

Long-distance running is indispensable for enhancing stamina, which is crucial for a defensive player. While running at a constant speed is important, it is also necessary to sprint in alternating directions and to sprint uphill.

Important Matches, Strategy, and Techniques

Who were the most difficult opponents for you - Guo and Stipancic perhaps?

Guo hit the ball rapidly off the bounce and in particular, he was excellent at making me move forward and backward. Stipancic was very good at hitting topspin with sidespin (clockwise), which is characteristic for left-handed players, and he had a very fast loop drive.

Do you think you might have reached the World Final in 1975 if it hadn't been for 'rain stopped play'?

Although the winner is not decided until the game is over, I think there were possibilities of my winning the match if it was not stopped by rain. This is because Stipancic definitely seemed to be very tired in the last half of the match.

What were some of your best or more memorable matches?

In domestic matches, I had two memorable matches with Nobuhiko Hasegawa, including a win in the All-Japan Championships. In international matches, I had a memorable win over a Swedish player, Kjell Johansson, in 1975.

Can you describe what it was like to play against Surbek and Jonyer, probably the first two great loopers in table tennis history? What strategy was necessary to beat them?

Because players in Europe hit powerful drives, it is difficult to chop their balls by absorbing their power. I mainly took the strategy to either chop balls that are difficult for my opponent to hit with full power, or to use a long, no-spin chop that my opponents often hit off the end of the table.

Why did you play so far from the table, often chopping the ball near the floor? Was it to allow the ball to slow down, which would give you more control, or was there some other reason?

It was difficult to return a ball unless I played far from the table because many players hit powerful loop drives. I also chopped the ball below the table which made it difficult for my opponents to judge the ball's spin.

What particular tactics did you use against pips out attackers? Nowadays, since there are so few pips out attackers, one rarely has the opportunity to see a pips out attacker against a defensive player.

In order not to give my opponents time to prepare, I imparted an offensive push/chop to a place where it is difficult to return. Also, I stayed close to the table, watching for offensive opportunities.

I read that you defeated Liang Geliang? As he was excellent at everything, both offense and defense, I would think that it would be extremely hard to defeat him. What tactics did you use to beat him?

In the initial matches of my career, I was hard-pressed to defend against his quick attack and lost because he controlled the game. But, I could successfully handle his game after my offensive power and balance between offence and defence improved. In particular, I was able to win because my smashes were better than his.

Many people feel that Guo Yuehua was the greatest player ever. You have played Guo a number of times, including in the quarter finals of the 1979 world championships in North Korea, and you defeated him in 1976. Can you describe what it was like to play against Guo? What strategy did you use to defeat Guo?

At first, he forced me to move backward and forward with his quick attack, but as I gradually improved my footwork, I gained offensive opportunities, including an attack against drop shots. In addition, I could eventually control the game. In particular, I could prevent his attack immediately after his serve.

Your match in the team competition against Li Jingguang in the 1973 World Championships in Sarajevo was probably one of the greatest matches in table tennis history. Can you please tell us some interesting facts about this incredible match?

In the final game, the expedite rule was applied. Although I was behind by a score of 14-20, I was able to get 5 points in a row, to reach the score of 19-20. I can't remember how I got the 5 points. My last shot was also a kind of miracle, but it was blocked back by Li.

How did you practice the mental side of the game, staying strong mentally, never giving up, working out players during games and finding their weaknesses?

Do not practice half-heartedly. Concentrate fully on the ball at all times. Do not give up until the game is over. Acquire unique techniques and be strong at the fundamentals.

If a defender "wins" a match it's often portrayed as being due to mistakes from their opponent. Did this ever bother you, or did you feel as a defender, you never really got the true credit you deserved, certainly from the media, for your ability to create forced errors rather than unforced errors from opponents.

There are three elements for winning points in matches. These are to use my best shots, not to make an unforced error, and to force my opponent into making a mistake. It is important to win points by formulating strategies.

What is the most important skill for a player of your style to have?

Do not give away points by attacking too early. Do not make a mistake in serve, receive, and pushing. Be sure to gain the initiative during the rally. Get points by attacking, and with no-spin and sidespin forehand chops. Good footwork is crucial for making an attack.

What is your favorite table tennis shot?

Attack with my backhand after chopping.

What is the hardest shot in table tennis for you to play when you were at your peak and now?

Returning a powerful drive near the table immediately after moving forward. To maintain control against a large variation of spin.

What is the most important attribute or skill a table tennis player needs?

The order of priority for playing table tennis: technique, strategy, talent, mental and physical strength. It is also important to put forth a full effort at all times, and to have control of the ball (good touch) at impact.

The Professional World Scene

Do you have one player who you would consider to be the greatest ever in terms of their dominance during their career? Guo perhaps?

歴代の世界チャンピオンであるが、中でもワルドナー選手(スウェーデン)がNo. 1であると思う。
Although previous world champions are great players, I think Jan-Ove Waldner (Sweden) is the best among them.

Do you have any thoughts and/or stories to share on Hasegawa, Surbek, and Liang Geliang - both in terms of them as players and as persons?

They are hard workers and receive respect from players from their own countries. All of them are serious.

Have you kept any long-term friendships with any of your old international rivals?

Yes. I maintain friendships with famous players that I have competed against from around the world. Since players who flourished in the 70s and 80s are now head coaches or board members in their countries, I sometimes come across them which gives me the opportunity to renew my old friendships with them.

In the 1977 and 1979 World Championships, you were knocked out in the later stages by Guo Yuehua both times. Was he the best player in your era? If not, who do you consider to be the best in your time?

He was the best player in China at that time.

In today’s game, coaches video virtually every match that is played and analyze that video and also videos of opponents. How did you scout or review opponents strengths and weakness and your own strength and weakness. What recording or analysis techniques did you use to identify and to improve your own game.

I utilized videos of matches and also obtained information from my friends about playing styles and serving techniques of other players. In addition, I analyzed other players from a quantitative viewpoint, focusing on the statistics of various shots that they frequently use.

Was player sponsorship a big thing when you were playing, and what were the benefits of being sponsored?

Only equipment and clothes were suppied by the sponsor. Monetary support was not common at that time.

Who were the characters of the game when you played, and what made them such great characters?

ユーゴスラビアのカリニッチ選手。身長が2 mを越していて、2階から打たれたような感じがした。
Zoran Kalinic of Yugoslavia. Since he is over 2 m tall, his shots were as if they came from the second floor.

The History of Defensive Table Tennis

How much did the change from 38 mm to 40 mm affect defensive players?

While the speed of ball was reduced, new techniques on the table, particularly the banana flip, were developed. The speed of play became quicker, as players counter-hit, looped, and drove the ball off the bounce.

What do you think of the many recent changes the ITTF has made? Have they helped the sport or hurt the sport?

The change of the scoring system from 21 points to 11 points has significantly affected how players manage the game. For the audience, the game ended sooner which was less enjoyable for them. One problem is that the quality of the new plastic balls varies from one manufacturer to the other. For example, the stiffness of the plastic balls is too variable. The frequent changes in the rules are also problematic.

Can you describe for us how you feel about how defensive table tennis has evolved over the years?

In recent years, the defensive players changed to all-round or attacking choppers, and they depend on offense rather than chops to win points. Also, recent defensive players tend not to be patient. Instead, they attack at the beginning of the rally, which results in self-defeating play, i.e., they lose through their own unforced errors.

How would you describe the way that table tennis equipment (blades and rubber) has changed over the years?

In recent years, players use blades consisting of carbon in order to gain speed, and rubbers that are highly tacky are often used. The sponges are hard and thick.

In the early 1970s, the top defenders used a greater variety of equipment on their backhand, i.e., anti-spin, inverted rubber, short pips, long pips, and even regular pimpled rubber without sponge. Nowadays most defenders use either long pips or short pips. Do you feel that these changes make defensive table tennis less interesting today?

Although long pips are useful for defence and stability against loop-drive attack, it is difficult to vary the spin with this rubber. Long pips are also easy to play against. Also, chopping techniques have not improved. It is necessary to develop chopping techniques that are more difficult to play against.

Can you describe chopping against the best offense players today, e.g., Xu Xin, Zhang Jike, Ma Long, Wang Hao, compared to chopping against the best players 40 years ago? Do you think that the biggest difference is the modern equipment, or is it something else, e.g., player skill, physical condition, etc.?

In response to the improvement of offensive techniques, defensive players have developed better tactics. Nowadays, defensive players do quick-attacks, stopping long rallies, and combine spin variation in their chops with attacks.

Forty years ago, the diversity of styles in table tennis was much greater than it is today. These days most table tennis players are loopers. For a defensive player, does this imply that the range of tactics was greater in the past than it is today? In other words, is table tennis simpler today?

The simplification of styles of table tennis has occurred because information (videos) is so readily available on the internet. On the other hand, it is true that the styles of table tennis have become less variable.

Forty years ago, attackers would smash chops that were just a little bit too high. One of the best table tennis players at smashing slightly high chops was Klampar. Nowadays, most table tennis players do not smash these balls. Instead, they loop the ball even faster. As a result, would you say that it is less important nowadays, than in the past, to always chop the ball very low?

In recent years, most players are loopers, and smashing is rarely seen (I think smashing will become important for plastic balls). Since attackers return chops with slow loops, it is hardly seen that choppers fail to reach the ball, even if the chops are high. But, it is necessary to chop the ball as low as possible, in order to create opportunities for attacking.

How have serves of defensive players changed over the years?

Defensive players have made little improvement in their serves. Since serves and receives are important for winning games, it is important to be aggressive in serving and service returns, both for defensive and offensive players. Nowadays, it is difficult to win matches for those who think that chopping alone is the preferred return.

You have seen defensive table tennis change so much over the years. Can you describe what have been the most important changes, and what changes do you think will take place in the future?

It is necessary to throw away the concept of a chopper and to adopt the style of playing with offensive chops that are equivalent to attacks by offensive players. This is exactly how Liang Geliang, a Chinese player in 1970s, played.

Has the standard of behavior changed in top level table tennis since the 1970's, if so how?

Manners and sportsmanship of top-level players have significantly improved.

The Future of Table Tennis

Have you tried the new 40+ plastic ball?

It is more difficult to spin plastic balls than celluloid balls. The bounce of plastic balls is different from that of celluloid balls. It is easy to block with plastic balls. Plastic balls are also harder than celluloid balls.

What do you think will be the future of defensive table tennis?

It is important to be able to move quickly, to have a high-level strategy, to have a greater variety of attacking techniques than offensive players, to impart spin variation in their chops, and to chop the ball as close to the top of the bounce as possible. It is also necessary to do quick attacks and to be patient and enduring.

Do you think that a defensive player will ever win the men's singles world championships?

For a defensive player to win the world championships, it is necessary to increase the population of defensive players with various playing styles.

What do you think would make table tennis more popular? Do you think that reducing the speed and spin of the ball would help? Or, do you think that table tennis is great as it is and changing it to be more popular is not a good idea.

It has become easier for the audience to watch games after the service rule was changed. One of the unresolved issues is that Chinese players disregard the rules about glue.

If you could make one rule change for modern table tennis, what would that be?

The scoring system should be changed from 11 points back to 21 points (and a 2 out of 3 game match). In this scoring system, better technical skills and tactics are more likely to be reflected in the outcome of matches.

Mr. Norio Takashima today

Do you still play table tennis today? If so, how have you adapted your game for playing at an older age?

I do volunteer work advising many players once every three days. I can't do it everyday because of my work.

Do you play competitively or mostly for enjoyment?

Just for showing various techniques to other players.

If you still play today, what type of equipment do you use?

I use 4 versions of my newly-designed Kokutaku/Takashima blade, which came out in 2014.

If you were 20 years old today, how would you play defense? Would you play classical defense as when you were on the Japanese team, or would you play a modern-defensive style with plenty of looping like Joo SaeHyuk?

I would try to be an all-round player that chops with spin variation with inverted rubbers on both forehand and backhand. Serves and receives would be similar to those by attackers. In particular, I would want to use both offensive and defensive chops.

Forty years ago, you were incredibly fast. How fast do you move nowadays?

Although I can't move quickly since I'm 63 years old now, the quality and variation of my techniques have improved. Advisers always need to develop new techniques.

Japanese Defenders

Over the years, why has Japan had many great defensive players?

There have traditionally been many coaches and advisers that can instruct defensive players. But, their styles have become an anachronism.

Some Additional Questions

If you were not a table tennis player, why type of career would you have chosen?

I had the goal to be a professional baseball player unless I was injured. Or, a professional golfer.

Have you read the OOAK Forum interviews of Masato Shiono, Joo SaeHyuk, and Seo Hyowon? How did you like these interviews?

I haven't read them.

Can you describe what it was like to coach Koji Matsushita?

He had almost established his playing style before I started instructing him. I instructed him about tactics and strategies for games as well as having a strong mindset about not losing after reaching game point.

What was the age and gender make up of table tennis players when you started playing as a child and how has that changed over the years?

Most boys and girls started to play table tennis as a school club activity in junior high school when they were 12-13 years old.

Do you ever consider setting up an academy for teaching table tennis defenders?

My private gym for table tennis may be established in 2015.

How did "fame" and being one of the best players in the world affect your personal life? Did you lose friends from your childhood, did it make you skeptical of new people who you came across in your life, that is, did you think "they only want to know me because of what I've achieved, rather than who I actually am". How do you learn to trust people you have never met before when you are successful at world level?

In Japan, early fame does not change one's life in most cases. Players, including me, had to think about their next career by themselves at that time. As for personal relationships, I have many reliable friends.

Would you like to add one last tip or an inspirational message for other defensive table tennis players?

The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will be held in 2020. I hope that the media disseminates how wonderful table tennis is to the world.

Copyright Steven Feldstein & OOAK Table Tennis Forum - do not copy or reproduce without permission.

-------------------------end of Interview--------------------------

良い一日。 このインタビューはとても興味深く読ませていただきました、ありがとうございました!

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC + 9:30 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Copyright 2018 OOAK Table Tennis Forum. The information on this site cannot be reused without written permission.

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group