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Victas Koji Matsushita Defensive Blade Review

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    Posted: 01/09/2017 at 11:32am
I think mine is 1.1-1.3 mm. I play off the table. I have heard thinner sponge is better for close to table play, but cannot confirm that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chop4ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 5:10am
Originally posted by scdit46 scdit46 wrote:

what thickness is most suitable for Victas Koji Matsushita Defenisve?

TSP Curl P1r 1 mm or TSP Curl P1r 0,5 mm

Thanks


1mm to 1.4mm
AS far as you play off the table, as thicker sponge you need
VKMO - H3 - Curl P1
my feedback: http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=55764&KW=chop4ever&title=feedback-chop4ever
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scdit46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 4:28am
what thickness is most suitable for Victas Koji Matsushita Defenisve?

TSP Curl P1r 1 mm or TSP Curl P1r 0,5 mm

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Egghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/23/2016 at 3:30pm
Originally posted by force2brw force2brw wrote:

Originally posted by Egghead Egghead wrote:

Nice review Clap
Can you tell whether vkm def is a good close table blocking blade? thx.

I can give you my opinion, but keep in mind I am not good at blocking yet. I am just ok. It is the next part of my game that I plan on working on. I have strong chopping, above average attack, above average push, average block.

From my experience though, it should be a good, controlled blocking blade. I doubt it will ever be a FAST blocking blade though. If you mainly block (ala Seemiller), I don't think you will be able to put enough pressure on your opponent unless you use really active strokes/punches. Like I said, open faced, it is noticeably slower than my JSH blade. Blocking is almost entirely open faced, so you will notice how slow it is.

I mainly use blocks as a transitional stroke. My comfort zone is between 3 and 6 feet off the table. But most points start with close to the table pushes. So, when the game moves from pushing to looping, I sometimes get caught too close to the table in an awkward transition. I'm too close to effectively chop, my attack is not quick enough to counter consistently, and my foot speed is not to the point where I can move back and be set by the time the ball gets to me. For this scenario, the best option in my opinion is a block. I often use a block in that situation, but it is not consistent enough for my liking. My other strokes are consistent, my block is not.

Like I said, though, I am working on my block, so if I get better, I can let you know if my opinions change. However, how a blade blocks will never be my deciding factor of whether or not I like a blade, because it is a proportionally small part of my game.
thx for the review, blocking is not my main game as well LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote force2brw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/23/2016 at 11:50am
Originally posted by Tabmini Tabmini wrote:

Nice review force2brw.
I never used VKMD but I have used JSH and VKM offensive with quite close but a notch less in speed. I'm surprised that defensive version just a slightly slower.

My opinions about the performance of how a blade effects your game is similar to my opinions of how the type of wood effects the sound of an electric guitar. In the guitar example, this is what I see as what goes into the final product you hear live:

5% - Type of wood the guitar is made out of, strings being used, pickups being used and pick being used.
10% - Amplifier being used.
10% - Speakers being used.
75% - The guitar player.

By far the biggest factor is the guitar player himself. Sometimes the equipment being used can hold a guitar player back from full potential, but it won't make a good player sound bad. The best guitar player can still sound great even when using mediocre equipment. Likewise, using all the best guitar equipment will not make a bad player sound good. If you have all of the equipment optimized for the best sound output possible, but cannot play the guitar well, it will not make you a good guitar player, but it might make you sound a BIT better than you actually are.

I see table tennis equipment in much the same way:

5% - Type of blade, style of blade handle, grip/tape used and sweatbands.
10% - What rubbers you use.
10% - Environment/clothing (indoors/outdoors, correct shoes/clothing for an athletic event, etc.).
75% - The player.

A great table tennis player can play well with whatever equipment he is provided. But a poor table tennis player will not become great because he uses the best equipment. Bad equipment can pull a good player down, and good equipment can boost a bad player up, but both effects are minimal (assuming it's not something ridiculous like a good player has to use a stick instead of a paddle).

Obviously, pairing great ability with great equipment will normally lead to the most success. If you have maximized your success with that first 95%, getting the correct equipment for that last 5% could push you from great to elite. That is true for both guitar and table tennis. 

However, the difference, to me, is not as noticeable on the other end of the spectrum. If you don't know what you're doing, but have great equipment, you still will not know what you're doing. You may strike an epic chord or score an epic point now and again, but you will not know why you were able to do that, or how the equipment helped you. 

In fact, sometimes using elite equipment without the skill to use it correctly will sometimes make you a worse player. In guitar terms, if you have a great amplifier, but it is too complex for your knowledge to use correctly, you might actually sound worse using it than you would with a basic amplifier that you understand. In table tennis terms, if you have a rubber that has too much speed for you to handle, you might lose more points than you did when you had a rubber you could handle the speed of better.

Sorry for the tangent, but back to your point, I feel like the MAXIMUM impact a blade can have on your game is maybe 5%. Now, that is not to say a blade cannot help YOU improve your game more than 5%, but those improvements are made by you, and the tool is just there to help. Also remember, I changed both my rubbers as well, so I may have gotten close to a 8-10% change in the feeling of my equipment.

In my case, my new equipment: 
1) fit my playing style a little bit better
2) allowed me to understand what I was doing right and wrong because I could "feel" it

That first point might help me win 5-10% more games than I used to since it fit my style 5-10% better. However, that second point has helped me to improve my actual game much more than that (maybe 25% better because of that alone?). But, that improvement was made by me, not my equipment. The equipment facilitated that improvement, but did not actually make that improvement. The equipment gave me better "feel," but it was up to me to make changes based on that.

Hope this helps! If you are considering new equipment, first consider what equipment will make the biggest difference. If you feel that you are hitting a ceiling in what your equipment is allowing you to do, then maybe an equipment change can help. I know there were 4 times so far that I upgraded equipment because my skill level was now outpacing the equipment I had. At each transition, I had to learn how to utilize the new equipment to make my game better (it didn't just automatically make me better), and once I did, it helped me move to a new level. Then, I started feeling limitations again, because my skill was outpacing my equipment again. 

But, at each level you should be able to accurately assess why your equipment is holding you back. If you are unable to tell why the equipment is holding you back, then maybe it's your skill level that is holding you back, and not your equipment. If you can accurately assess what is holding you back, then you are probably, right, and an upgrade to equipment that better suits your playing style will likely make a difference. In the same vein, equipment the supports your natural playing style will help you much more than equipment that supports other peoples playing style that is different than yours.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote force2brw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/23/2016 at 10:56am
Originally posted by Egghead Egghead wrote:

Nice review Clap
Can you tell whether vkm def is a good close table blocking blade? thx.

I can give you my opinion, but keep in mind I am not good at blocking yet. I am just ok. It is the next part of my game that I plan on working on. I have strong chopping, above average attack, above average push, average block.

From my experience though, it should be a good, controlled blocking blade. I doubt it will ever be a FAST blocking blade though. If you mainly block (ala Seemiller), I don't think you will be able to put enough pressure on your opponent unless you use really active strokes/punches. Like I said, open faced, it is noticeably slower than my JSH blade. Blocking is almost entirely open faced, so you will notice how slow it is.

I mainly use blocks as a transitional stroke. My comfort zone is between 3 and 6 feet off the table. But most points start with close to the table pushes. So, when the game moves from pushing to looping, I sometimes get caught too close to the table in an awkward transition. I'm too close to effectively chop, my attack is not quick enough to counter consistently, and my foot speed is not to the point where I can move back and be set by the time the ball gets to me. For this scenario, the best option in my opinion is a block. I often use a block in that situation, but it is not consistent enough for my liking. My other strokes are consistent, my block is not.

Like I said, though, I am working on my block, so if I get better, I can let you know if my opinions change. However, how a blade blocks will never be my deciding factor of whether or not I like a blade, because it is a proportionally small part of my game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote force2brw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/23/2016 at 9:25am
Originally posted by tuco tuco wrote:

thanks for the detail review.  Can you tell whether the top ply of the vkm def is WILLOW?  If you can take a close up picture of the top ply and post it here, maybe someone in the forum can identify the wood type.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what the wood is, and I've already put the rubber on the wood, so cannot take a picture. However, if you google a little, you can find pictures of just the blade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote force2brw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/23/2016 at 9:20am
After two and a half more weeks of playing, I can confirm everything I said previously. I won't say this blade improved my game by itself, but the blade definitely helped me improve my game.

The blade itself provides a little more control, so that helps, but the main thing it does is provide me feedback, like I mentioned in my original post. I figure out my opponents quicker now, and have the confidence to take shots I might normally back away from because I now know what I'm doing right and wrong. If I miss a shot, I now know almost exactly what I did wrong, and can figure out what adjustment I need to make for next time. The next time I see that shot, I make the adjustment, and the shot no longer works on me. 

It is the same learning process as before, but happening much much quicker. I've figured out opponents that used to give me trouble, and I've figured out why some of my shots aren't working as expected in different situations.

My record in the last 3 tournaments has also reflected this. In 3 tournaments using this new setup, my overall record is 37-11 (11-5, 15-1, 11-5) in games played. This is against almost all the same opponents I was playing against before, but I am figuring them out and improving my game faster now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tabmini Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2016 at 7:25pm
Nice review force2brw.
I never used VKMD but I have used JSH and VKM offensive with quite close but a notch less in speed. I'm surprised that defensive version just a slightly slower.
My feedback :
mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=77680&PID=959859󪕳
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Egghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2016 at 7:51pm
Nice review Clap
Can you tell whether vkm def is a good close table blocking blade? thx.
Aurora ST: Rhyzm / Talent OX
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tuco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2016 at 12:17pm
thanks for the detail review.  Can you tell whether the top ply of the vkm def is WILLOW?  If you can take a close up picture of the top ply and post it here, maybe someone in the forum can identify the wood type.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote force2brw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2016 at 9:20am
Since there was a lack of reviews regarding this specific blade, I decided to write one. There are a number of reviews on the ORIGINAL Victas Koji Matsushita Blade, but the entire Victas Koji Matsushita blade line consists of: the original VKM (has no modifier words), the VKM Offensive, the VKM Defensive, and now the VKM Special. I only have experience with the VKM Defensive, so my review is about that one. I will compare it to my other blade, the Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk. The JSH is my only other blade, so I can only compare it to that one. Please keep in mind these are just my own opinions.

A little background on me so you can have reference as to where I’m coming from. I have been playing semi-seriously (1 club tournament a week plus 2-3 hrs practice every other week on average) for about 3 years. I got my first custom blade, Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk about a year ago (btw, Joo is my favorite player, and he should be yours too ;). I have always been a chopper, and worked to develop an offensive attack to put away points when I force my opponent into a mistake.  My USATT ranking is likely around the 1500-1700 range, but I do not have an official ranking, so this is a rough estimate (my club ranking is right around 2100, but it is not based on an official ranking, just for that club). 

I originally got the KM Def. blade to be a backup to my JSH blade. When I got this blade, I was actually trying to get the regular model. I didn’t realize there was an Offensive, Defensive, and now Special model as well. So, I actually got the Def. version by mistake.

As far as I can tell based on some google research, the main difference between the regular model and the Def. model is the top, thin layer of wood. The Def. version seems to have a softer kind of wood than the regular model. I always give a thin layer of sealant to my blades, as I want them to last a long time. I don’t think it affects the feel or playability of the blade, but if it does it is small, and is worth it to me to know I can switch rubbers and not worry about peeling or splintering as much.

Original setup:
JSH blade
DHS Hurricane 3 NEO 2.1mm red on forehand
DHS Cloud and Fog III (long pips) 1.0mm black backhand

After getting used to long pips (took like 2 weeks to change my strokes, and like a month before I was back to my base level), I found that the H3 NEO was great for attacking, but lacked control. It was especially hard to control when forehand chopping. So I got a new forehand rubber, Butterfly Tackifire C 1.9mm red. This rubber is much more controlled, and produces just as much spin. It is slower, but if you can create speed with your body, it’s not as big of a deal. 

I’ve been using this set up for close to a year:
JSH blade
Tackifire C 1.9mm red forehand
DHS Cloud and Fog III 1.0mm black backhand

When I got my VKM Def. blade, I got this setup:
VKM Def. blade
Butterfly Tackifire C 2.1mm red forehand
TSP Curl P1R (long pips) 1.0-1.3mm black backhand

I have been using this set up for two weeks now. I was originally going to wait a month or so to review it, but after two practice sessions of about 3 hrs each, and a weekly tournament, I fully think I can state the differences between my two set ups. If anything changes, I will post the update, but I don’t think that will happen.

As you can see, the actual set ups have different rubbers, so it’s not a true direct comparison. However, I do not have time to switch them back and forth for testing purposes, and I don’t have money to buy multiple sets, so this is the best I can do for you. The forehand side is pretty much the same. They are the same rubber, but the VKM Def. has 2.1mm sponge, and the JSH has 1.9mm sponge. In theory, a 1.9mm sponge should have slightly more control, and slightly less speed and spin on hard shots, and the 2.1mm sponge should be able to produce slightly more speed and spin, but have slightly less control on hard shots. I’m willing to bet I would have a hard time telling the difference, even if they were on the same blade.

The backhand rubbers a more different. JSH has Cloud and Fog III, and VKM Def. has Curl P1R. Both are at or around 1.0mm. Since I can pretty much directly compare the forehands to get a feel for how the blades are different, I think I can tell the differences between these two rubbers. The P1R is definitely slower, and definitely has more grip. The C&F III has more speed and spin reversal. Both are solid rubbers, but the P1R more suits my game (active strokes, normally from a distance). Back to the blades…

Since I have only owned two different blades, I can only compare them directly to each other, not to other blades. So, compared to the JSH blade, the VKM Def. blade:

Is lighter. I actually think I prefer the weight of the JSH. However, I have always used heavy blades, so maybe it’s just because that is what I’m used to. You can get a nice solid feeling when hitting with the JSH. It’s not necessarily a better feeling, just different. 

Has some vibration. I wouldn’t call it distracting or anything, but it is slight. It really is just noticeable on some blocks and touch shots. I don’t think it changes or effects my game at all.

Is slightly more top heavy. I believe this is completely due to the lighter weight of the blade. Since it is lighter overall, the weight of the rubber is more noticeable. Also, I am using 2.1mm sponge on the VKM Def. so that might make a difference as well. Not a major thing tho.

Blade heads seem about the same size. Joo blade might be like a mm or two taller, but if it is a different size, it's small enough that it shouldn’t effect playability at all. I didn’t measure them or trace them or anything, so not sure if rubbers would be directly exchangeable or not, or if the shapes are the same or not.

Maybe slightly thinner handle? Again, it felt fine to me, but I think it might actually be slightly thinner. Same length. The feeling smaller stuff also could just be due to the lighter weight. That is much more noticeable than any other of the physical differences.

Those are the physical differences I’ve noticed. The only immediately noticeable one is the weight difference. It’s not a super huge difference (I have used friend’s blades who had very very light blades, and actually swung and missed on three balls in a row due to the weight difference. This is nothing like that), but definitely noticeable. I don’t think one is better than the other. The JSH feels a bit more solid on contact, the VKM Def. Is quicker to maneuver into position (for something like a fast block close to the table or something like that). You should not make a decision of which blade to get based on any of these physical differences though. They are not different enough to make a decision based on that. You should make a decision based on it’s different playing characteristics, which I will discuss next.

In terms of playability, they are a good bit different. I wasn’t really expecting to notice much of a difference, so I was surprised when I felt one. It will depend on your playing style and preferences which one you prefer.

The VKM Def. is a slower blade than the JSH when you block with it. However, at least the way I attack, it is not slower on the attack. I mainly attack using bushing strokes, not driving strokes. I have heard people calling it the difference between European attacking style and Chinese attacking style. European style keeps the blade face more perpendicular to the attack, and has a more upward stroke. Chinese style has the blade more parallel to the attack, and uses a slightly more horizontal brushing motion. I have also heard the rubber you use can help decide which method is best for you to use. I will not pretend that I am an expert in this, but I can tell you my observations. 

When I do a more open faced attack, the ball IS slower off the VKM Def., but also more controlled for me. When I do a brushing attack, I CANNOT tell the difference in speed between the VKM Def. and JSH. Most of my attacks are of the brushing kind when I am trying to put a ball away. I am able to generate the same amount of top end speed using both blades, but I have the ability to slow the ball down more with the VKM Def. than with the JSH. So if thinking in terms of gears, for my style of play, they have the same top gear, but the VKM Def. has one more gear at the lower end than the JSH. If you mainly attack with a more open faced motion, though, you WILL notice a difference in speed.

The biggest change I have noticed between playing with the two is my forehand. By using an open faced swing, I can create a lot of spin, and consistently do slow spinny loops that land on the table. Then if a ball is in a better place to attack, I can just adjust my racket with a little more angle to get a faster attack. 

For off the table chopping, the two set ups feel pretty similar. Other than the C&F III rubber being a little faster, I feel like I have the same amount of control and spin generation with both paddles when chopping away from the table. However, when close or medium distance from the table, I feel like I have more control with the VKM Def. paddle. In all circumstances, close to far, fast or slow, I prefer the topspin of the VKM Def. Whether or not it is actually creating more topspin, I have much more control over the location and speed of my shot. 

It’s hard to articulate, but I think the main difference is that I have a better tactile feedback as to what I did right or wrong on any given stroke. I can feel that I hit that one too far. I can feel that I put a lot of spin on that one. I can feel the angle of my paddle was off on that hit. Because I get better feedback, I make better adjustments throughout the game. For example, say there is a specific shot that I keep missing against an opponent. With the JSH, it might take me around 4 or 5 attempts at the shot before I had a good idea what I was doing wrong. With the VKM Def. I now normally have a good idea of what I was doing wrong after attempt 2 or 3. 

That may seem insignificant, but that’s a difference of 2 or 3 points when trying to understand how to hit a shot that you are having trouble with. 2 or 3 points can be a big difference in any match, but what if they have 3 different shots that you have having trouble with? The difference there could be 6-9 strokes before you figure them out. That’s pretty much a whole game difference just to know what it is that you are doing wrong. Now, even though I know what I’m doing wrong, it doesn’t mean I have the skill or knowledge to fix it yet, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

So, in conclusion:
I was originally worried that the VKM Def. would be too slow. I have spent time developing an attacking game to go along with my defensive game, and I was worried that my attacks would be less effective, and that I would have to expend extra effort, which would offset the extra control I was gaining. However, for my skill level, preferences and style, I have found that I do not lose any top end speed, but I gain extra lower gears. I found that my away from the table game did not change much, but my medium and short game had better control with the VKM Def. Having more control gives me confidence and ability to attack more, which will help my game as well. 

Will I get to the point where I find there are limitations on the paddle that are holding back my game? Maybe. This is a slow blade, so some may not like that at all. But right now, for my game and skill level, a slower blade will help me improve. Maybe once I “master” it and find that adding some more speed to my game will help me win more than I am currently, the JSH blade will still be there, and is definitely a harder and faster blade.

Hopefully this review will help someone decide whether or not this is the blade for them. On Victas’ website (I think), they say something like the VKM Offensive is similar to the JSH, and I can verify that the VKM Def. is noticeably slower than the JSH, so I’m betting the original VKM is somewhere in between.

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