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Shake Grip

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mickd View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03/01/2015 at 6:54am
Recently I've been trying to fix my grip. This is what I've been trying to fit it to.

Forehand Side:
Forehand Side

Backhand Side:
Backhand Side

However, I received some advice from someone who is much better than I am at my local club. What he told me seems to be very different to some of the things I've read online, and what I've seen other people use. So, I wanted to ask everyone what they thought.

This is the forehand side he told me to use:
New Forehand Side
The main point you'll notice is the position of the thumb. He said it is better to leave a gap of about 1 finger's length like shown in the picture.

I asked him why, and he said that it was easier to transition to and from this position, which he said was good for backhand strokes:
New Forehand Side Thumb Up
He said having your thumb like how I had it above would require more of a movement to transition to this.

He also mentioned the backhand should have up to 1 finger's length of distance where I have marked in red:
New Backhand Side
I asked him why, and he said this gives you more control, while still not impeding on your backhand.

What do you all think? Should I work towards the grip he suggested? Or was what I had originally better?

I should also mention that I'm playing in Japan, so there is a bit of a language barrier. Hopefully I didn't misunderstand him.

Thank you.
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Jerem View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jerem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 7:23am
IMO it's correct grip for advanced topspin play. 
He might be right :) 
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vvk1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vvk1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 7:42am
Looks like your friend has suggested that you make your grip more neutral instead of being FH-oriented.
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NoRema View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoRema Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 8:12am
have the face of your thumb facing the rubber though. when the side of the thumb is touching the rubber instead, it is more difficult to put pressure with your thumb down on the rubber. you will lack power when later finger pressure is important.


Click the picture for feedback ^
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king_pong View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote king_pong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 4:35pm
Your friend is a righteous dude.  He's giving you tips on how to keep your grip more neutral so you can repel from your backhand wing more easily.

There's a great article on this I found a few years ago over at TTmaster.com, where they get into the discussion of shake hand grip and examine how a few pros hold their rackets --


"The grip:

The grip is called the ‘shakehand grip’ because you hold the blade like you would shake a person’s hand. If you’re a right handed player lift your blade in the air with your left hand. Make sure the handle is pointing downwards.  
With your free hand you should shake hands with your blade. Your grip should  about the same as the pictures below.

Variations always happen, and that’s completely normal. Let’s take a look at some of the shakehand pro’s. Notice they always hold their blade a little different, and usually that reflects a personal style.
Kong Linghui had a quite backhand orientated game, whilst Wang Liqin is all about hitting big forehands. Let’s take a look at their grip. First two pictures are Kong’s grip, the last two are from Liqin. In the end it comes down to how comfortable you feel!

[Kong Linghui's grip]


[Wang Liqin's grip]

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leftyy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 4:39pm
The grip is very personal in my opinion, I would use the grip that feels the most natural for you. Many pros change the grip during the ball and if you are able to do that in time there is no problem. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Waldme1ster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 5:00pm
I'm completely with your club mate. Key is to press the side, NOT the face of your thumb against the rubber to avoid backhand grip. Best compromise for "neutral" grip if you  want only very little changes during rallies. see also Mizutanis grip...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 7:08pm
Thanks everyone. I find that most videos about grip don't go into enough detail since they're targeting complete beginners.

It'll probably take me a few weeks to make the change, and a few months to really make it second nature.

Cheers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 7:40pm
1st picture (thumb position) vs 3rd picture (thumb position), I prefer the 3rd picture.  Your grip is more relaxed that way.  When you have thumb position like 1st picture, your wrist is a bit more tense compared to that in 3rd picture.  It's not wrong though, because during hard FH shot, your thumb can automatically (without you realize it) move to the position as pictured in 1st picture.

Regarding index finger, I prefer 2nd picture.  It is more relaxed that way and does not choke the blade.

So my grip is like in 2nd and 3rd picture.  Neutral grip and very relaxed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2015 at 10:21pm
For most table tennis players, I would recommend the so-called "neutral" shakehand grip, in which the forefinger lies flat on the rubber on the bh side, roughly perpendicular to the handle unless you have large fingers and on the fh side the thumb is either slightly bent and gently touching the middle knuckle of the index finger or it lies, as in Kong Linghui's grip, on the bottom of the rubber next to the handle.  Unless you are an advanced player or able to play effectively by shifting your grip, I would recommend keeping the same grip for all strokes, except of course for the pendulum grip serve.

If you are a penhold player, and employ the reverse penhold backhand, the most stable grip IMO is with the thumb and forefinger gently pinching one another on the forehand side, and the index, fourth, and little fingers on the bh side curved slightly to the right for a right-handed player, the pads of the first knuckle joints of those fingers pressing with varying degrees of firmness on to your rubber , depending on the speed of the stroke you employ.  This grip may compromise the penhold forehand a little bit, but it is very stable, does not tire the fingers on the backhand side, and provides stability for a reliable reverse penhold backhand.


Edited by berndt_mann - 03/03/2015 at 3:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2015 at 7:51am
This is the "correct" neutral grip that makes grip switching almost moot (holding the bat primarily with your thumb and index finger and tucked into the gap between thumb and index finger).  As Ben points out, the grip should be really called a pinch grip and it relaxes more muscles in the arm if you get used to it.  Its funny hearing Ben Larcombe go through many of the issues that I have gone through the past year or even two, but some recent videos on the forum by illinichamp and BH Man's translation of an Oh Sang Eun video helped me close it out.

I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AgentHEX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2015 at 3:43pm
Originally posted by king_pong king_pong wrote:

Your friend is a righteous dude.  He's giving you tips on how to keep your grip more neutral so you can repel from your backhand wing more easily.


I use a pretty FH oriented grip but if you tilt the handle so that it's more parallel to your forearm (and not choke up on the thumb/index-finger gap) it becomes very easy to adjust to BH grip pressure down on the thumb. You also get a sweet spot more in-line with your swing instead of somewhat above/in-front of it.

The problem with a neutral grip is that it's not the best for balls around the switch-over point since the block/counter angle isn't natural for either FH/BH in the overlap area.


Edited by AgentHEX - 03/17/2015 at 3:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bschap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/21/2017 at 6:52pm
People say use what's comfortable to you, but I notice every time I study a real player's grip I am amazed at two things...1 - how the index finger barely crosses halfway (sometimes less!) across the handle (I'd upload pics of Jike if I could), and 2 - How high up the handle they are gripping...so much handle visible below the hand...even on guys w big hands like Liqin.  I struggle with this...trying to grip the handle as high up as possible and with fingers crossing handle less.  I find immediate results on BH...aggressive blocking and flipping.  But I also find the edge of the blade starts to rub against middle joint of middle finger and now I am considering sanding like some people do.  Don't want to do it...held off...but now I think I have to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bschap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/21/2017 at 7:40pm
(ps - any advice on how to execute that sanding w minimal damage and maximal precision?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote aeoliah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/21/2017 at 9:59pm
Do it bit by bit by using a finer sandpaper, like grit 320 or 400. If you use a coarser sandpaper, it will "bite" more into the wood.

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