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    Posted: 09/10/2017 at 8:37am
Hello! It's been so long since I've been able to make a video like this. Sorry it's not so good. I wasn't really planning on uploading it when I took the video.

So recently I've been working a lot more on my backhand counter close to the table (some of you may have seen it in my previous video, where I was doing backhands into forehands). But I felt like my forehand needed a little more attention!

I usually go for faster drives close to the table, hitting the ball at the highest point of the bounce, but this time I tried to take the ball slightly later, since a lot more better players seem to do that. I think I will be a better player, too, playing more at the mid distance.

So what I was thinking when I was doing the forehands:

1. Take the ball a little later (as it starts to fall).
2. Have a little bit more whip action by:
3. Having the same backswing to around just behind my knee
4. And, adjusting the height of my arm based on the incoming ball.

In my mind I also felt like I had more arm snap, but the video doesn't seem to show much.

Also, SORRY about the backhands. Please ignore them..... My backhand away from the table is ATROCIOUS. I'm not sure what to do to fix it, so I'll probably have to analyse it more, and practice it more. Please focus more on the forehands this time :)

I generally liked the first ball I hit. But unfortunately, especially towards the end of the video, I noticed that with the 3rd, 5th ball etc, I was hitting the ball later and later, which didn't give me enough time to transfer my weight, causing me to just swing up with my arm.

Any advice, comments, etc, welcome!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 12:24am
Your partner has trouble returning your loops, which in turn makes it harder for you to keep hitting hard.

Try to lower your output and work from there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 9:37am
My two cents is just don't. Nothing about playing further away and taking the ball as it drops is good. That will only lower the quality of your fh and give your opponent more time to react.

To practice backhands far from the table your partner can feed you multiball or you can just hit balls out of your hand from back there. But in general you will be practicing a shot you never want to use. But sometimes it happens anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 11:00am
Originally posted by BRS BRS wrote:

My two cents is just don't. Nothing about playing further away and taking the ball as it drops is good. That will only lower the quality of your fh and give your opponent more time to react.

To practice backhands far from the table your partner can feed you multiball or you can just hit balls out of your hand from back there. But in general you will be practicing a shot you never want to use. But sometimes it happens anyway.

Taking the ball further away from the table as it drops can give you confidence in your ability to loop the ball and gives you a better idea of how much time you have when you are not in position.  Also helps you build power as the ball has less energy so you need to provide it.

Hate to disagree with a player significantly higher rated than myself but it is what it is.Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fulanodetal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 11:13am
I was thinking along the lines of what Zeio already said.

Try lowering the power of your loops so your sparing partner can return consistently. Then build up the power after a few successful loop cycles.

FdT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shiro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 11:29am
From what i was told, it was okay to hit sort of late in warm ups to relax more. In the game, it's better to hit at the peak of bounce to get a better quality shot and for the opponent to have a smaller time to react. Hitting the ball late won't make the ball anymore powerful then hitting it at the peak. Also, hitting at the peak allows you to hit more forward whereas waiting late can only making you go upward more to compensate for the falling/low ball. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 12:07pm
First let me say how good that stroke does look.  I wish mine was even close to yours.

I looked at the swings in slow motion and noticed one thing that might give you more power and spin.  You are doing a whipping action where your arm straightens at the end of the backstroke and then snaps at the elbow as you go forward.  What I noticed is that you did not have much, if any, delay between starting the forward rotation and starting the snap.  It looked like that at ball contact you had already finished the snap (arm already had 90deg angle) so that you lost much of the snap effect.  

Try some swings where you rotate forward, but keep the arm straight.  Then just before ball contact make the snap at the elbow.  If you see that it results in faster balls with more spin then work on doing it regularly.  If not, then just ignore me (maybe what you should do in the first place).

I really like your dedication to getting better and it looks to me as if you are making good progress.

Mark - I am not a real coach, but I do play one on the internet.


Edited by mjamja - 09/11/2017 at 2:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 12:36pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by BRS BRS wrote:

My two cents is just don't. Nothing about playing further away and taking the ball as it drops is good. That will only lower the quality of your fh and give your opponent more time to react.

To practice backhands far from the table your partner can feed you multiball or you can just hit balls out of your hand from back there. But in general you will be practicing a shot you never want to use. But sometimes it happens anyway.


Taking the ball further away from the table as it drops can give you confidence in your ability to loop the ball and gives you a better idea of how much time you have when you are not in position.  Also helps you build power as the ball has less energy so you need to provide it.

Hate to disagree with a player significantly higher rated than myself but it is what it is.Tongue


This is a fair point. It depends whether you are trying to practice what you want to do in matches when you are controlling the play, or what you end up having to do under pressure. You are going to need both.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 8:36pm
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

@zeio and Fulanodetal: Good idea. I always tell the kids who I hit with to take it slower and work on consistency, but I guess it's so easy to forget when practicing myself! I'll definitely take it slower and try to get at least 3 loops in before adding power next time!

My practice partner has a relatively aggressive block in my opinion. He closes the racket angle and does like a mini punch as the ball is rising. I think I have a more traditional block because I generally slow the ball down a little by absorbing the force, if you know what I mean. Sorry, never tried to explain it haha. I think he can block traditionally, and if he did, his consistency on the block would also go up, but I think he prefers to practice that way. No biggie, though.

@BRS, NextLevel and Shiro: Thanks! I agree I'll need both and I'm still practicing the close to table forehands. Some of the other reasons why I wanted to try practicing with this timing is:

1. When it did go into the 5th ball or more, I find myself automatically backing off from the table anyway. But instead of looping, I end up flat hitting. I was hoping doing forehands a little further back would get me used to it so I'll keep being aggressive away from the table too.

2. I felt like my technique still needs work. My weight transfer, my forearm snap, rotating my trunk, etc, are often out of sync or lacking, so I was hoping with more time to hit the ball, I could concentrate more on improving my technique.

3. I'm always too close to the table for the 3rd ball attack, so against underspin, I'd have a very vertical stroke. I'm maybe the only player at my club that lacks a power loop or a kill loop against underspin. I find that if I move back a bit, it gives me more room in front of my body to go forward as I hit those balls. Not sure if this practice will help with that, but I feel like playing at that distance will help me back off a little more earlier. But maybe for this I just need to move my ready position a little further back!

@mjamja Thanks Mark. You've noticed something really good, and it's very likely the reason why I felt like I was snapping my arm, but when I look at the video, it seems like I hardly had any. So the goal will be to start with my trunk rotation, and have my arm come in a little more delayed, finishing with the snap. I think I'm going to need to back off even more from the table to get used to hitting the ball like that. I forgot which video I saw it from, but one of Brett Clarke's videos demonstrated a very similar approach very clearly.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I really appreciate any comments.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/11/2017 at 9:19pm
My movement was so much better during the first "half" of the practice. I say "half" because I was probably hitting the ball like this for about 5 minutes before I decided to record for like 15 minutes.

The video in the OP was from the last 5 minutes of the 15 minute recording (minus ball pickup and when I was blocking for my partner to attack instead).

This was during the first few minutes of the video!



But I think I was hitting the ball earlier then, too. It's probably closer to how I normally take the ball during practice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/22/2017 at 10:46am
I didn't have much of an opportunity to play since the above recordings, but I finally had time yesterday.

I asked my partner to try and return the ball a little more passive (normally he counters the ball pretty fast), and I'll try to hit the ball a little slower too.

I didn't really get to fix any of the issues with my form, but I think the quality of the practice was a little better. I'm hoping we can practice more like this, and as we both get used to it, increase speed and power.

At the start I'm a little more reserved, but by the end I'm hitting it a little faster, and we're still continuing the rally quite well.

Any comments welcome!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2017 at 4:08am
Forehand looks tremendous, the weight transfer you've got there is just beautiful.... You don't really use your body to move to the ball on your backhand, which is why it looks a bit awkward now because you are not in the power zone. It's looking a little lazy where you are often reaching with your hand. Once you fix this your BH will look a lot better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2017 at 6:11am
Thanks so much blahness!! Were you looking at the first 2 videos or the most recent one (or all 3)? With the 3rd video, I was actually thinking I needed to get more weight transfer in, especially when the ball was a little more wide. But when I was in the rhythm, and the ball was coming back to roughly the same part of the table, I felt like the transfer was decent. Glad to hear that you think it looks beautiful :)

Backhand is still a huge work in progress... all of it T_T. I agree with you though, and I need to start getting more active with my feet during the backhand, too. I feel like I'm more likely to move and adjust my feet position FH to FH away from the table, but BH to BH, my feet completely stop...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2017 at 6:42am
The drill looks good.  The backswing/preparation with the backhand is the problem, the actual stroke is fine for the amount of preparation that went into it.  The forehand is relatively similar in that regard.  You have to learn to fold your wrist a little more for the backhand strokes if you want to preserve a neutral grip.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2017 at 8:33am
Originally posted by mickd mickd wrote:

Thanks so much blahness!! Were you looking at the first 2 videos or the most recent one (or all 3)? With the 3rd video, I was actually thinking I needed to get more weight transfer in, especially when the ball was a little more wide. But when I was in the rhythm, and the ball was coming back to roughly the same part of the table, I felt like the transfer was decent. Glad to hear that you think it looks beautiful :)

Backhand is still a huge work in progress... all of it T_T. I agree with you though, and I need to start getting more active with my feet during the backhand, too. I feel like I'm more likely to move and adjust my feet position FH to FH away from the table, but BH to BH, my feet completely stop...

I just looked at the 3rd video. For the wider balls you need to anticipate and move faster with your leg, always think about "finding" the best position to strike the ball, but it's a lot easier said than done! You need to have good fitness and a legs first mentality. The backhand motion looks a bit unstable imo besides the weight transfer issue, looks like there's too much wrist and not enough control from the forearm. Would be good to see a video of you doing basic backhand countering exercises to have a closer look at the BH technique. 

Edit: I think it also looks like your grip is not secure enough on the BH to allow you to have confidence in controlling the ball. You need to secure the grip just before contact just like on the forehand (and loosen a bit after hitting)... the thumb applying pressure to the rubber is the key here. Maybe you should also post a pic of your FH and BH grip and whether you do slight grip changes between them or just keep a neutral grip. 


Edited by blahness - 09/23/2017 at 8:46am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2017 at 9:30pm
Thanks NL. When you say fold the wrist, do you mean flexion? Like in this image:



Thanks blahness! I'll see if I can get a video of some controlled backhands the next time I play. Recently I've only been doing backhand blocks, or a more aggressive counter off the bounce. I used to have a pretty noticeable grip change between BH and FH, but recently I've basically only been shifting my thumb to point up on the BH, and then back folded to the side on the FH.

Here's a short video from the same session as the previous video. The first rally is closer to what I'm trying to achieve. I slowed down the last 2 shots in that rally (especially the last shot you can see what I'm working towards). I've been trying to use more wrist, and a bigger backswing (so my racket points more to my body). I'm not sure if this is what I should be doing at this point, or if there are bigger fundamental issues to address, though. The next 2 rallies in the video is closer to what I was previous trying to do when I started to work more on my backhand, starting about a year ago. I was trying to do really small, quick, off the bounce counters. I'm not sure if this is ideal or not, but I started leaning more towards the first rally recently.



I know this is a little off topic, but since it's my thread, I'm allowing it and I hope people can comment on this, too :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2017 at 10:34pm
Yes.  Flexion is built into modern backhand play in one form or another.

You had *one* good backhand in the video, the one your slow-moed about 15 second in.  The way the racket whipped back till it almost pointed towards your chest is something you are looking for.  There are other things but I can't bore you with all the details.  Just watch these guys - look at the end of their backswings:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWJ3WQ_ZtQc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBD80cpcYUQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9v-LfwyukE

Not saying to hit the ball that hard to but to work hard to get a good whip with the racket point back (think frisbee toss) on your backswing - you may need to segregate your wrist joint in your grip even more than you currently do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2017 at 12:13am
Thanks for the clarification! Yeah, I definitely have been trying to add flexion in. It has been a pretty hard and long road, but I think I'm finally starting to get it into some of my shots during practice. I've been avoiding bending my wrist backwards on purpose to create the flexion because I feel like when I do, it tightens my muscles and I'm not able to whip it. So I've been trying to relax so that the backswing naturally makes the wrist bend backwards. The result is well... shots like the one in the slowmo at 0:15! There are lots of those throughout my practice, and those are exactly the shots I'm trying to aim for, but I'm still lacking the consistency to have it most shots.

Long long work in progress..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2017 at 12:39am
I like to see the timo boll bh topspin as follows, with the help of the "bounce with the ball" concept that Tom Veatch at the Green Lake Club in Seattle and forum member Anton Chigurh right here mentioned independently 4 days apart in 7/2011:
When the ball falls on your side you crouch and when it raises towards you from your side of the table you push on your legs. It sounds simple but it takes a lot of anticipation and so it's harder than we think. It's a bit like when we want to force ourselves to hit the ball further from us so our blade has had a chance to gain speed when it contacts: it requires to start our stroke earlier. 
The crouching part in that concept takes care of the back swing part in the backhand topspin but in that back swing there is another component happening at the same time: bending over. When we bend over our elbow goes backwards about a foot and at the same time we push ourselves vertically from the legs and our upper body comes back to more vertical, we see the elbow exploding forwards about a foot, because the rotation of the upper body around the hips axes. This is the base of the power in the backhand and on top of that, the arm goes forwards, the forearm rotates towards the outside and the wrist follows by itself the elbow's leadership. As a side note, I like to think that controlling the wrist is less efficient than letting it snap as the side effect of the elbow thrusting forwards while pulling the wrist from its back swing and throwing it to make it rotate towards the outside as well in harmony with the elbow, topping its work.

You do have all this. I just wrote the above to explain how I understand or perceive the mechanics of the backhand and why I like what you share.

This being said and with your permission I can recommend things that I have a hard time to apply:
being more fluid and confident, starting the stroke earlier, contacting a bit further and having the wrist snapping better while spending less energy into the stroke.

You must arrive at a level of confidence that makes you feel like you are rehearsing a choreography more than going through tt drills. The goal is always to spend less energy and being fluid to accomplish anything.

I hope you do not take the above as arrogant in any way: it is just my goal and I relate to your play and training 3 times a week or more if I can.

"bounce with the ball" is one of the greatest tools to learn how fluidity is fundamental in tt. Then the reward is "Dance with the ballTongue.



Edited by fatt - 09/25/2017 at 12:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2017 at 9:59am
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:


The crouching part in that concept takes care of the back swing part in the backhand topspin but in that back swing there is another component happening at the same time: bending over. When we bend over our elbow goes backwards about a foot and at the same time we push ourselves vertically from the legs and our upper body comes back to more vertical, we see the elbow exploding forwards about a foot, because the rotation of the upper body around the hips axes. This is the base of the power in the backhand and on top of that, the arm goes forwards, the forearm rotates towards the outside and the wrist follows by itself the elbow's leadership. As a side note, I like to think that controlling the wrist is less efficient than letting it snap as the side effect of the elbow thrusting forwards while pulling the wrist from its back swing and throwing it to make it rotate towards the outside as well in harmony with the elbow, topping its work.


Couldn't have said it better. The wrist follows the elbow and not the other way round. It seems that you're overly concerned about the wrist action and neglecting to learn the correct forearm action. During the backswing, stick your elbow in front of your body and not lying just beside your waist, this will make it natural for your blade to be pointed towards your right hip. For the stroke itself think about extending the arm forward (forearms pivot about your elbow) and pulling your elbow to the left (an extremely important source of power!). The elbow is the key to the BH stroke. Kreanga's BH tutorial emphasizes a lot about the elbow being in front of the body (although his stroke is kinda extreme, the basic mechanics is correct and have been copied by almost all modern players nowadays who have abandoned the old stroke). Watch yourself in the mirror and try to get the feeling right first. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2017 at 10:05am

Watch this as explained by Kreanga himself (starting at 3m 20s). Shoulders (and hence elbow) in front first...


Edited by blahness - 09/25/2017 at 10:09am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2017 at 11:38am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

...

Couldn't have said it better. 
...
thanks; that compensates for v-griper telling me once "AhhhgainnnWacko" after that I apparently had written again about some technique Tongue; it was about the forehand. What happened to him btw? I miss his analysis of technique.

Edited by fatt - 09/25/2017 at 12:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Audrey17 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2017 at 1:52pm
Thanks a lot. This discourse removes the weakest part of my game: wrist pain with my FH. I was following through and stable with my wrist at the contact point, but I was That caused all the pain... just following through with the snap of the wrist.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2017 at 2:22pm
Why is this bot still allowed to post here?
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2017 at 3:47pm
I guess as long as it doesn't post racist comments...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/26/2017 at 2:45am
Hey, thanks fatt. I really appreciate you taking the time to add to this thread! And of course, you don't need my permission. Your advice is always welcome!

I really like the way "bounce with the ball" sounds, too. It's something that I never really thought too much about, but it's definitely something that has been naturally coming to me as I've been improving. Putting it in words is great, especially in such a short phrase, because it gives you an easy way to envision it, and to help apply it in training :) 

One technique I find really helpful during practice is to say what I'm focusing on out loud, and usually it has to short, or it doesn't really work. For example, "Get down lower", "Bigger backswing", "Hit the ball more in front", "Take the ball earlier", "Keep moving", etc. "Bounce with the ball" is a nice one to add to that! I always feel like I don't get down low enough, especially when dealing with underspin balls, and I think this concept will help me, especially while practicing that.

I recently rewatched one of my backhand videos from over a year ago, and I was amazed at how much of a difference I saw. And I know I still need more work in being more fluid, more confident, having a more defined swing, and whipping my forearm forward. A lack of confidence definitely hinders progression. I feel like early on I was trying too hard to keep the ball on the table, and thus didn't try hard enough to be more aggressive (still suffer from this, but a lot less), and to try new (and better) strokes during practice.

So good write up, and I'll definitely keep those things in mind!

@blahness Thanks! That is an interesting point about keeping the elbow in front of your body. I think I got temporarily hindered because I was told to keep my elbow down low and relaxed. At that point I used to have my elbow too high, which was a problem. Unfortunately, I took that advice a little too far, and I was trying too hard to keep my elbow low, which made it really hard to have a decent backswing at the forearm.

I was also experimenting with the close to the table, extremely compact more wrist than forearm style strokes that I'd see FZD do sometimes. I'm currently not aiming for that! Though I've definitely been trying various styles over the past half year or so..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2017 at 5:44am
Originally posted by mickd mickd wrote:



I was also experimenting with the close to the table, extremely compact more wrist than forearm style strokes that I'd see FZD do sometimes. 

Best to learn how to walk before you run Wink I've been down that road before, and you definitely want to have a solid basic stroke first before moving on to anything else...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ssmilk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/02/2017 at 10:24pm
best advice 

Edited by ssmilk - 10/02/2017 at 10:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/07/2017 at 9:55pm
Sup!!  fatt



Edited by V-Griper - 10/07/2017 at 9:59pm
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