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  1. Mashimai is offline
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    #1

    Ma Long's Forehand

    What are the key elements in executing a forehand stroke just like Ma Long's? I'm eager to learn his technique because it seems very powerful, fast and advantageous when Ma Long utilizes it in competitions. Is there anyone with expertise and knowledge who could explain his technique to me in great detail? Also, I'm more specifically looking for explanations on the mechanism of his forehand topspin and loop. Here are some video references of Ma Long's forehand in action.








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    #2
    I wish you good luck...

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  3. UpSideDownCarl is offline
    says I like to hit Heavy Topspin
     
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by kinocchio
    I wish you good luck...
    Well said.

    If you can figure it all out, probably a lot of people will want to learn from you.

    First important technical detail: start playing at age 4. Second important detail: get trained by the best coaches from CNT. Third important detail: train 6 hours a day, 6 days a week for 23 years straight with the best coaches in the history of the sport.

    But...no...for real, Ma Long's FH stroke may not be the best one to emulate unless you are at a REALLY high level already, in which case you may not have asked for the details. The recovery from that FH would be hard if you didn't seriously train for several hours every day.


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    #4
    But if you still give it a shot. The first thing you do is not watch how ML execute his stroke. You need to look at his footwork. How he postion himself to attack the ball. The speed he generates comes from the transfer of bodyweight into the ball.

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    #5
    The forehand is a very natural stroke which flows when you have built the basics correctly. You will find that most players including Ma long execute strokes which look very different in actual match play when compared to what they execute in practice , depending on the ball in question and their position . However, all of them have a very good foundation. Focus on the foundation, optimal back swing, weight transfer , start and end position , core strength - relaxing and constricting your core , footwork, understanding of spin . There are a lot of aspects that you need to work on to build a stroke and like anything its better to focus on the foundation blocks instead of emulating the end product.

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ttmonster
    The forehand is a very natural stroke which flows when you have built the basics correctly. You will find that most players including Ma long execute strokes which look very different in actual match play when compared to what they execute in practice , depending on the ball in question and their position . However, all of them have a very good foundation. Focus on the foundation, optimal back swing, weight transfer , start and end position , core strength - relaxing and constricting your core , footwork, understanding of spin . There are a lot of aspects that you need to work on to build a stroke and like anything its better to focus on the foundation blocks instead of emulating the end product.
    Fantastic. A lot of people make the mistake of worrying about the small stuff, rather than learning the essentials and then trying to see what comes out. I mean, you may be surprised that you develop a beautiful stroke and then one day Ma Long sees you and says "That's a beautiful stroke!" and he won't be saying that because you copied him, he will be saying that because he thinks you have a good forehand. At the top level, even those guys are refining their technique. They just try to make it better. So it's better to develop your own stroke using the essentials and make it better. Because if you make it better, it will likely be by doing something that makes it more correct. As Werner Schlager said, what makes top players special, including their strokes, are things not found in textbooks. Copying someone's forehand isn't going to give you that.

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    #7
    Thank you and I will remember the Werner Schlager Quote, it says so much !
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    Fantastic. A lot of people make the mistake of worrying about the small stuff, rather than learning the essentials and then trying to see what comes out. I mean, you may be surprised that you develop a beautiful stroke and then one day Ma Long sees you and says "That's a beautiful stroke!" and he won't be saying that because you copied him, he will be saying that because he thinks you have a good forehand. At the top level, even those guys are refining their technique. They just try to make it better. So it's better to develop your own stroke using the essentials and make it better. Because if you make it better, it will likely be by doing something that makes it more correct. As Werner Schlager said, what makes top players special, including their strokes, are things not found in textbooks. Copying someone's forehand isn't going to give you that.

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    Fantastic. A lot of people make the mistake of worrying about the small stuff, rather than learning the essentials and then trying to see what comes out.
    I don't think that working on "small stuff" is a bad thing. What is bad is worrying only about minor details in stroke mechanics and not worrying about other aspects of the game. BTW, here is one of my favorite videos from WSA, called... "Stefan Fegerl works on small things"!

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilia Minkin
    I don't think that working on "small stuff" is a bad thing. What is bad is worrying only about minor details in stroke mechanics and not worrying about other aspects of the game. BTW, here is one of my favorite videos from WSA, called... "Stefan Fegerl works on small things"!

    You are saying what I meant, you just use different words to say it.

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    #10
    Question about Chinese FH

    I've notice that Ma and a bunch of other Chinese players keep their
    elbow and arm tight to their body on the backswing then adjust to the
    proper bat angle on the swing itself.

    Anyone know of the benefits of keeping the elbow tight to the body
    on the backswing? I've tried both away and close with my natural
    pref to have the elbow away from the body.

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    #11
    Have fun...cause it probably will take a long time and maybe even impossible. Try findind your own style of play.

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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by CroneOne
    Question about Chinese FH

    I've notice that Ma and a bunch of other Chinese players keep their
    elbow and arm tight to their body on the backswing then adjust to the
    proper bat angle on the swing itself.

    Anyone know of the benefits of keeping the elbow tight to the body
    on the backswing? I've tried both away and close with my natural
    pref to have the elbow away from the body.
    I think that all modern players with decent forehand technique keep elbow close to the body. The advantage is probably that with elbow "fixed" your arm backswing is limited, forcing you to generate power more frome core + legs. It keeps arm swing short and speeds up recovery.

    BTW, look at this video, Ariel Hsing uses her "forehand fixing machine" exactly for that, see from 1:46. I recently made my own "fixing machine" because it is one of the big issues with my technique.

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by CroneOne
    Question about Chinese FH

    I've notice that Ma and a bunch of other Chinese players keep their
    elbow and arm tight to their body on the backswing then adjust to the
    proper bat angle on the swing itself.

    Anyone know of the benefits of keeping the elbow tight to the body
    on the backswing? I've tried both away and close with my natural
    pref to have the elbow away from the body.
    It's an advanced recovery technique that is easier to execute after a larger follow through as it keeps your center of gravity closer to your body.

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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilia Minkin
    I think that all modern players with decent forehand technique keep elbow close to the body. The advantage is probably that with elbow "fixed" your arm backswing is limited, forcing you to generate power more frome core + legs. It keeps arm swing short and speeds up recovery.

    BTW, look at this video, Ariel Hsing uses her "forehand fixing machine" exactly for that, see from 1:46. I recently made my own "fixing machine" because it is one of the big issues with my technique.


    I don't think you should generalize from Ariel Hsing and the close to the table women's game to looping generally. Close to the table, you can't take large strokes so speed is at a premium. In any case, there is a difference between keeping the elbow stable (which is really keeping the upper arm stable and not using the shoulder) and keeping the elbow close to the body. Keeping the elbow stable helps the stability of your strokes and improves transition and it can be done whether your elbow is close to or far from your body. Keeping the elbow close to the body reduces leverage while improving recovery and depending on your technique, can be a good or a bad thing. You can compare the techniques of say Jun Mizutani and Zhang Jike to see the difference. Mizutani keeps the elbow really close, but Zhang Jike moves it out. You are right that using the shoulder is not stable but some players use it for more power on some strokes. IT shouldn't be your main power source though.

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    Last edited by NextLevel; 01-09-2016 at 01:53 PM.
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  15. vvk1 is offline
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    It's an advanced recovery technique that is easier to execute after a larger follow through as it keeps your center of gravity closer to your body.
    That. Conservation of angular momentum, et al. Larry Hodge's blog has an excellent explanation as always:

    http://www.tabletenniscoaching.com/taxonomy/term/3656

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  16. Baal is offline
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    #16
    It's all in the complete and total commitment to weight transfer during the shot. That is the essence of it. Everything else is a detail.

    But easier said than done. You had better be in perfect position at the start of the stroke in order to be able to transfer the weight that vigorously, and then manage to stay in balance after that to hit the next shot.

    I don't know anything about the OP, his age, fitness, or level. He may or may not benefit by trying to hit the ball this way. My own opinion is that ML has possibly the best FH in history of TT, and among the forehands of top players it is the one that most adult amateur players should not attempt to emulate. Most amateur players have no change of pulling it off without actually causing more problems.

    You might even get to the point where you can pull it off when someone is feeding balls right to your forehand. And then when you don't know where the ball is going or where you have to move to get to the ball, it will break down badly.

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    Last edited by Baal; 01-09-2016 at 04:36 PM.

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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Baal
    You might even get to the point where you can pull it off when someone is feeding balls right to your forehand. And then when you don't know where the ball is going or where you have to move to get to the ball, it will break down badly.
    I have a friend who spends his time trying to emulate the forehands of Ma Long and Wang Liqin but lacks their training and athleticism. This is the story of his life, though he thinks it is details of the technique being wrong.
    Cobra Kai TT Exponent - No mercy in this dojo, no matter your rating or the score. All spin, no power or footwork.

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  18. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #18
    Can also hurt your shoulder trying to swing like them without the proper training.


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    #19
    What I like about Ma's FH is that he is able to keep it balanced by keeping his left
    toe pointing forward and his hips not too far rotated. He gets a lot of twist
    backwards with his upper body but after the stroke his feet are planted - you can see it in his looping backspin video.

    I find it really tough to keep the lower half of the body facing forward and getting
    that side twist. I end up facing my left toes more towards the FH side and putting most
    of the weight on the right foot with the left foot on tip toe.

    Ma distributes his weight perfectly.

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    #20
    Even if you carbon copy ML you wont be as good as him, why?
    Bcoz you will also be copying his mistakes..++ your own mistakes since we are not PRO.

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