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V-Grip stroke developement

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    Posted: 09/19/2011 at 4:45pm
Hi all,
I am in the process of developing and refining v-grip stroke mechanics over the next year. I will post vid of strokes from time to time for comment from forum members. 

Thanks in advance for all comments and constructive criticism.

First vid is of me working on loop mechanics. 

Stroke: Loop
Format: multiball
Intensity of stroke i.e. how hard I am trying to hit the ball: medium or what I consider medium.
Spin being fed: mild topspin
Speed being fed: moderate 
loop style: Chinese straight arm
Area of focus i.e. what I was conciously focusing on when I was making the strokes:leg and torso coordination point of contact with the ball and follow through.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dalamchops Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/19/2011 at 5:18pm
u probably want to have your blade open at the right angle before the ball comes, so u don't have to make as much last second adjustment to the incoming ball. Keeping the angle constant  through the entire stroke will be critical to your consistency.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/19/2011 at 5:47pm
Thanks

I will be training tonight. Will try to incorporate your suggestion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ohhgourami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/20/2011 at 2:39am
Bend your knees more.  They should be at least as wide as your shoulders.  Also push off your legs to loop.  V-grip mechanics seem to still require legs.  Also recovery your stroke more quickly as you seem to be watching the ball after the stroke.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/20/2011 at 6:29am
Your problem is that the grip gives you an unstable hitting face on your bat/paddle, which is the reason that not many choose this grip, leading into the contact with the ball, you final adjustments for the angle of address, have to come from your whole wrist, making very fine adjustments very difficult, a regular shakehands player uses his index finger, a penholder index finger and thumb.
Those fine tune movements of your bat face are critical to your consistency, and IMO you have a mountain to climb, but good luck anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GraemeW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/20/2011 at 6:36am
^^^^^^

This.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote loop+loop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/20/2011 at 7:35am
Can you do simple strokes on this grip? I mean can you show us some practice FH to FH and BH to BH without exerting all that strength? I doubt you can do a proper FH drive off a third ball with that angle. Most pushes to your FH are slightly down spin. Can you drive those with this grip? I can only think of a lot of restrictons and handicap with this grip. What's wrong with the conventional that have worked for so many years with so many pros?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/20/2011 at 10:10pm

Great to know there is another V-gripper on the forum.(anybody else?,
we need to form a subgroup) Your video is exactly how I started, with
a standard paddle.  After I made my own paddle out of fencing (western
red)cedar, I came to appreciate the V-grip fully and feel comfortable
with it.  Now I am hooked.

I used the V-grip to 'transition' from tennis to table tennis.  It
allowed me freer (more natural) sweeping strokes on the forehand.
When I try using the textbook shakehand grip for a forehand I feel
constrained and my arm forms the 'chicken-wing', bent acutely at elbow
with the wrist cocked unnaturally sideways.  With the V-grip I feel I
can swing harder and let my big muscles, core and legs, provide the
power.  Most people think/assume I use a shakehand grip until they see
my paddle lying on the table--then they get curious.  I don't consider
the V-grip any more un-conventional than penhold.

You can see fluid powerful natural-looking full-arm forehand loops(using
different grips) in pros like Ma Long, Wang Li Qin, and Xu Xin but then
again they are professionals.

Tom Veatch has a trove of finely written articles on the V-grip on his
website.

Here are my comments on your video(I am an amateur player):

I would use a little more core and legs and more of a low to high motion.

You seem to have no problem generating power, a excellent match for the V-grip.

Your paddle is sometimes too closed(near horizontal) resulting in some
balls going(not seen on video) into the net.

Once you have a good V-grip blade the angle adjustment becomes less of
a problem.  And, in fact, adjusting the hitting face becomes much
easier because you have fewer ways in which you can go wrong.

More power to you, I think you are off to a great start.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/21/2011 at 1:25am
Vety interesting , how do you hold the bat?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/21/2011 at 10:29am
This is cool

dalamchops
Keeping the angle constant  through the entire stroke will be critical to your consistency.

This is very good advice and, along with the advice from  ohhgourami, resulted
not only better consistency but better stroke recovery and tighter integration with footwork. I can see now that I was doing allot of unecessary movements with my arm and wrist.

ohhgourami
Bend your knees more...

Absolutely right on with everything you said. Thank you for your diplomatic way of saying I was being lazy. And well.. I was being lazy.

APW46
Your problem is that the grip gives you an unstable hitting face on your bat/paddle...

I have been struggling with how much to loosen the wrist when I hit the ball. I thought that a more whip like motion would be desirable but now see this was faulty assertion. I do find that I use the finger on top of the blade to adjust firmness but that is mostly on the backhand stroke but I suspect this not what you mean.

loop+loop
Can you do simple strokes on this grip? I mean can you show us some practice FH to FH and BH to BH without exerting all that strength?

Yes I can. In hindsight I probably should not have started with this video but I wanted to start with my weakest stroke. I will try to post vid of of my basic counter hit strokes.

Most pushes to your FH are slightly down spin.

This is true. I am just trying to establish very basic mechanics. Spin is another animal. 

Can you drive those with this grip?

I think I can now with the corrections that have been suggested. I will try to get a couple thousand repetitions in and post the next vid.

What's wrong with the conventional that have worked for so many years with so many pros?

Absolutely nothing. I am just one of those people who likes to experiment with different things. That being said I think that the grip’s major advantage is the backhand. The reason for this IMO is the paddle is in the optimal position and angle without having to do a relatively complex wrist motion, as you do when you execute a shakehand backhand stroke.

Thanks again for taking the time to watch the video and post.


Edited by V-Griper - 09/21/2011 at 10:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/21/2011 at 10:35am

Very interesting , how do you hold the bat?

I will try to post pics and/or vid tutorial.

Edited by V-Griper - 09/21/2011 at 10:36am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/21/2011 at 10:43am
fossa

I am indeed aware of tom's site. 

I am down with a sub forum. I also use Google+ . 

Do you have any video to post? Seeing other people would, I think, help stroke development.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2011 at 2:53pm

Here are some pics of my V-grip blade:



thumb-side grip


thumb side view of blade


ring-side view of handle


sideview of grip


ring-side grip


ring-side view of blade

Looping(forehand & backhand) is done with the red(ring) side; pushing
is done with the black(thumb-side). I am right-handed.

Blade is made of western red cedar with a handle made of cork.
I sanded some grooves in the blade to acommodate my index finger+thumb
as well as to accommodate my middle finger at the edge of the blade.







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2011 at 4:40pm
Hello fatt,

you wrote:
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

I always wondered one thing about the v-grip:
if the face of the blade was inclined 10 degrees (rotate to the right) then the fh loop would be so easier while the pushing on both sides would be a breeze: no wrist rotation would be needed for those strokes; just a lateral wrist move would be involved.

That is why I sanded grooves in my blade so the blade would be inclined and the wrist angle would not be subject to change(unless you want it to, say, for blocking).   That allows you to focus on the swing of the arm.  Pushing with the thumb-side(black side) in my picture allows you the touch and angle of a penholder.

Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:


The BH loop with the bottom rubber would be problematic though and more wrist rotation would be needed; however the traditional penhold bh with the top rubber would be much easier.

I hit forehand and backhand loops with the ring-side(red side) in my picture.  You have touched on it, 
the v-grip backhand is like a reverse-penhold-backhand(RPB) except you can use more arm to hit it.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2011 at 5:30pm
Fossa-
Thanks for the pics. Interesting original design. My blade is modeled more along the lines of the Chinese grip. Will post pics soon.
Fatt-
Funny you should mention that. My first modified blade had angle similar to what you describe. Not quit 10 degrees but it had some of the benefits you described. However on my current blade the grip is perpendicular to to the blade face. Actually the the backhand is arguably stronger than the forehand at least for me right now. 

A comment by APW46 has resulted in an experiment that seems to be helping. I am extending my index finger along top of the blade as if I were pointing my finger while holding the blade. This seems to have helped me stabilize the the blade face as I make ball contact. My training partner says that my loops are generating allot more spin/speed. Consistency seems to be much better.  I hit about 1500 forehand loops yesterday(trained from 7P-1A multiball). Trying to incorporate the suggestions that have been made. My legs are not happy with me today. I will post another vid after I get about 5k repetitions in. 





Edited by V-Griper - 09/25/2011 at 1:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2011 at 6:19pm
I really do applaud you guys for your tenacity, but, in reality you are never going to make a name as quality players, because this grip has more holes in it than a Swiss Cheese when it comes down to consistency. If it was any good, it would be having an impact by now, How long ago was it when Tom Veatch stated that it was the next thing that was gonna take over TT? oh yes 11 yrs. Not happening yet. Go back and read his thoughts;

This was his observations from China, don't you think the Chinese just might have produced something by now? They have not, and you have to ask why? because its not viable, thats why.
On the other hand, its quite true that in TT anything different can be successful at lower and mid levels, I would really love any of you guys to prove me wrong and make a name for yourselves.


 Just as a footnote, how can you possibly topspin on the f/hand side against heavy chop? the angle of the bat/paddle is far too closed, with no option of opening it, this might work in Tennis, where spin is not quite so critical, but never in TT, there is no way of lifting heavy chop with that grip, and that is probably why the Chinese have abandoned it, It leaves massive tactical holes in a players game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pingpongpaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2011 at 6:22pm
Thanks for the vid.
Unfortunately a long film of repetition of just one stroke is not very informative.
I suggest that yr next vid shows the whole table and consists of a practice rally consisting of:
serve
push
loop off push
smash
(In fact I think if you video yourself trying to play an actual game using this grip and study it yourself, that would probably assist you a lot in making the right choices for the future)

Your actual technique did not seem right I am afraid.
You seemed to swing across the line of the shot, and the racket angle was closed
much more than it could be for 90% of the balls you will receive in real match play, which suggests that the ball you are being fed is unrealistically easy.
IMO to develop this grip you need to start with "table play"- that is pushes, blocks, service returns etc. otherwise, though you might be able to showboat fh to fh in practice, in matches you wont get that fh in very often.
However as wiggy says good luck with it......

Edited by pingpongpaddy - 09/23/2011 at 7:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2011 at 6:41am
APW46-
I have read all of the content regarding v-grip on Tom's site several times. Tom himself simply stopped posting anything regarding his own progress after awhile. I think he ran into all difficulties you and others have outlined and reached his limit of the grip's potential. 
Even if I chose a more conventional style I still would not be able to become a high level player. I might make progress a little faster as a result of access to coaching and well established techniques, but ultimately I am limited by the raw amount of time and effort that is required. I suffer no delusion that this is somehow a miracle grip that will deliver me into the pantheon of table tennis gods. I agree that I may suffer from a mild case of loss aversion but in my case what really matters is that I got off my fat ass and exercised intensely for 6hrs.

pingpongpaddy-
It is already somewhat painful for me to look at. I think it is funny that I described it as a loop. It is more like a buggy whipped half counter hit/low smash. Oh well we all had to start somewhere.
Thank you for your suggestions.



Edited by V-Griper - 09/24/2011 at 7:48am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2011 at 11:56am
Originally posted by V-Griper V-Griper wrote:

APW46-
I have read all of the content regarding v-grip on Tom's site several times. Tom himself simply stopped posting anything regarding his own progress after awhile. I think he ran into all difficulties you and others have outlined and reached his limit of the grip's potential. 
Even if I chose a more conventional style I still would not be able to become a high level player. I might make progress a little faster as a result of access to coaching and well established techniques, but ultimately I am limited by the raw amount of time and effort that is required. I suffer no delusion that this is somehow a miracle grip that will deliver me into the pantheon of table tennis gods. I agree that I may suffer from a mild case of loss aversion but in my case what really matters is that I got off my fat ass and exercised intensely for 6hrs.



 fair enough, you are a realist, somewhat of an attribute, keep us posted on your development please.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pingpongpaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2011 at 5:56pm
Originally posted by V-Griper V-Griper wrote:




pingpongpaddy-
It is already somewhat painful for me to look at. I think it is funny that I described it as a loop. It is more like a buggy whipped half counter hit/low smash. Oh well we all had to start somewhere.
Thank you for your suggestions.





don't beat yrself uplooking at thousands of forehands. Rather film yrself attempting pushes blocks and smashs all at the same time. This will enable you to analyse which bat face is right for each shot. Then you will have someting to build on.

Good luck
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2011 at 7:18pm
I agree, Tom Veatch is a genius and brilliant writer to boot.  We need him to shed some more light on v-grip mechanics and maybe comment and answer some questions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2011 at 12:14am
Here are pics of my blade and how I hold it. The blade is a galaxy(yin-he) T-4. Top side rubber is geospin tacky. Bottom side rubber is hurricane III. 





This is the way I would normally hold the paddle.





I am experimenting with having my index finger across the top of the blade. So far it seems to have stabilized the paddle face at the moment of ball contact. Subjectively speaking I seem to be able to feel the ball dig into the rubber, which is something I did not perceive before. Thanks to APW46. It is such a simple thing but I never would have thought of this on my own.


Side note: This blade is way to fast for my level I think. I am contemplating making one out of western red ceder. If anyone has any blade recommendations I am open to suggestions. 




Edited by V-Griper - 09/26/2011 at 9:26am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2011 at 1:17am
In a previous post I mentioned that I may have a mild case of loss aversion. I used the wrong term. I meant to refer to irrational escalation.

Irrational escalation – the phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the decision was probably wrong.


Edited by V-Griper - 09/25/2011 at 1:26am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/26/2011 at 1:20am

V-griper,

I too started out with Hurricane(II in my case) on my ring-side, it helped me develop my forehand
a little.  Then, after my equipment-junkie phase, I switched to Sriver EL on my ring-side and my 
backhands started to go in more than they were going into the net(as was the case with the tacky
Hurricane).  For my thumb-side I use Spectol short pips which works very well for pushes that need 
some touch.  Maybe after I start getting better and more consistent I'll look into faster rubbers.

My homemade western red cedar blade is very light(~ 75 grams) and the rubbers were making it 
head-heavy so that my pushes didn't 'feel' right so I counter balanced it with some fishing 
weights(in the cork) at the butt of my handle.  After balancing the blade(to be less head heavy) it 
had a much better feel for both looping and pushes. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/26/2011 at 9:24am
Fossa,

I actually seem to prefer a more head heavy blade. More angular momentum. My training partner is suggesting Palio Thor's on the ring side because of the fact that I use the same rubber for the forehand and backhand. He seems to think that I need the tacky top sheet because I tend to brush the ball on my forehand now, and the spring sponge for my backhand which has a slightly more open face at ball contact. I will probably stay with a tacky rubber on the thumb side to keep my serves relatively spiny. 

I would like to try making a blade out WRC. Do you know how I would go about sourcing materials?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/01/2011 at 12:26pm

Western Red Cedar is commonly used cedar for fencing and roof shingles.  It is naturally abundant in the Pacific Northwest and has a great strength to weight ratio.  I got mine from LS Cedar in Washington, they sell small kiln-dried(more resistant to warping) planks/pieces.  If you are planning to make a single-ply blade I would not plane it down to a thinness of less than about 7mm.(9mm-12mm is maybe an average thickness range)  The feel of these blades is unique and the closest I can come to describing it is like hitting a baseball with a wooden bat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pnachtwey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/01/2011 at 2:15pm
I saw the video. What if the ball doesn't have as much top spin? Then you must twist your arm more to open the paddle more? If the ball has back spin then you may need to decide to use the black side of the paddle. It seems that this introduces another decision point even when hitting with just the fore hand.

I don't see an advantage. It is just different.

I will like to see a game where you have to play someone that is spinning the ball in random ways. I would be looking for the decision points and attack them.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/02/2011 at 8:29pm
Thank you for looking at the vid.

I only use the black/top side for service, service return short to the forehand, and scooping balls from the floor. I use the red/bottom side for everything else. 

So far I have not had much difficulty looping underspin in casual games. Consistency is an issue but it is unclear if this is a grip limitation or a training issue. I am reasonably certain that conventional players experience similar problems with consistency during their development. I should have a better idea in a couple of months. So far I have not experienced any undue stress or strain in my arm or shoulder. Blade angle is approx 70-80 degrees relative to the plane of the table for the underspin loop.

The primary advantage of the grip IMO is the backhand. Right now may game is heavily biased towards the backhand side which is why I am mainly working on the forehand mechanics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/02/2011 at 8:42pm
Fossa-

Thanks. I will see if I can find it locally.
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Joined: 10/14/2011
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Points: 54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zephyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/11/2011 at 5:10pm
Gotta post just because I recognize CCHS! Keep up the good work A.
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