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    #1

    Changing from european forehand to chinese issues!

    I have a forehand where the arm is slightly bent on the end of the backswing.
    I wish to change this to having the arm much more bent at the end of the backswing and then straighten it more just after the start of the forward swing.
    I see the Chinese use this technical point in their forehand.
    I can do this sometimes on the robot and it is amazing the extra power.
    It sort of feels the power from the ground is transmitted more fully to the ball.
    The issue is that I can shadow swing it fine but as soon as a ball comes into play I just cant do it!

    Has anyone else made a change to a Chinese forehand and how long did it take you?

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    #2
    Hi, check this video from TT Nuri, or the first couple of minutes. What do you think about it?

    Edit: And this one. Although I admit, posting because of the music :-) It's relaxing.

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    Last edited by latej; 05-17-2022 at 08:26 PM.

  3. Kuba Hajto is offline
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    #3
    At some point in my TT life I did try that. The biggest hurdles for me was not the swing itself but getting into position, swing and timing at the same time. The crucial thing to making it work was not doing it all the time. For me it was physically expensive.

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuba Hajto
    At some point in my TT life I did try that. The biggest hurdles for me was not the swing itself but getting into position, swing and timing at the same time. The crucial thing to making it work was not doing it all the time. For me it was physically expensive.

    100% this.

    It’s hard to comment without seeing you play, but what are you trying to achieve here?

    The power comes from the legs and body rotation, not the arm, so I don’t think you should focus on the power as such.

    What a lot of people don’t realise is that it’s physically hard to continuously get into position to play powerful forehand shots in a “Chinese” style.

    What level do you currently play?

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    #5
    Especially for questions like this, not seeing you play, makes it almost impossible to give you usefull input.

    I made that transition some time ago and you can see some footage of me playing on this forum. As NDH said you dont need much arm swing. In normal drives you will always see ppl like Ma Long bending his arm throughout the shot. Playing shots with very active forearm movements is really hard and inconsistent. Doing that less often helped me a lot to continuesly hit fh topspins.

    As long as your transition from the legs to the hips and to the shoulder is bad or off timing, you wont hit decent topspins.

    And last but not least you need to be fast and anticipate where the ball will go, so you can move and get into position first. Swining around makes you srsly slow down. Especially your recovery time will suffer.

    That is the most general input possible i can give you i guess, without seeing how you play and where you at.

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by maurice101
    I have a forehand where the arm is slightly bent on the end of the backswing.
    I wish to change this to having the arm much more bent at the end of the backswing and then straighten it more just after the start of the forward swing.
    I see the Chinese use this technical point in their forehand.
    I can do this sometimes on the robot and it is amazing the extra power.
    It sort of feels the power from the ground is transmitted more fully to the ball.
    The issue is that I can shadow swing it fine but as soon as a ball comes into play I just cant do it!

    Has anyone else made a change to a Chinese forehand and how long did it take you?

    Good day to you friend,

    I share to you what my coach told me earlier on when I was just starting to learn from him. Prior to getting serious lesson from my current coach, I was using five ply all wood blade ( Stiga ) with chinese rubber on both side.

    He said, to use chinese rubber you need to be trained differently and he does not know how to. At least he was straight on honest there and then.

    This, to me, implies that you need to have specific instruction on how to use the rubber to get the best benefit from it.

    To give a parable, it is like giving the Ukrainian Pilots USA fighter planes and expect them to fly them by just watching youtube or reading the manual itself without a proper instructor.


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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by latej
    Hi, check this video from TT Nuri, or the first couple of minutes. What do you think about it?

    Edit: And this one. Although I admit, posting because of the music :-) It's relaxing.

    That first video is great - really helpful explanations. Thx.


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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by maurice101
    I have a forehand where the arm is slightly bent on the end of the backswing.
    I wish to change this to having the arm much more bent at the end of the backswing and then straighten it more just after the start of the forward swing.
    I see the Chinese use this technical point in their forehand.
    I can do this sometimes on the robot and it is amazing the extra power.
    It sort of feels the power from the ground is transmitted more fully to the ball.
    The issue is that I can shadow swing it fine but as soon as a ball comes into play I just cant do it!

    Has anyone else made a change to a Chinese forehand and how long did it take you?
    May I ask why you are considering this change? Tbh this is quite a significant change in terms of arm swing, footwork timing and equipment.

    I’ve played TG2 and H3 all my life. But non tacky rubbers can be just as good with less effort

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by maurice101
    The issue is that I can shadow swing it fine but as soon as a ball comes into play I just cant do it!
    When your brain instructs your body to touch the ball with the bat, your body does that by any means necessary.

    Your brain may also say "Body! And with a straight arm too! Touch the ball with my arm straight." But if the distance from your shoulder to the ball is not the same as the length of your arm, body will bend the arm into whatever shape puts the ball on the bat. Very rarely will you see someone actually keep the form they want and straight-up miss the ball completely.

    So of course you can shadow swing perfectly because the imaginary ball is always right there where your arm ends. If you want to use that form in real life your anticipation and movement must be good enough to place your shoulder exactly one arm's-length from the ball. So do a lot of random or semi-random drills to train your anticipation. Or just play a ton, while focusing your attention on your opponents, and not on yourself.

  10. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #10
    agree with Brs

    Mutliball training, focus on that movement for thousands/10s of thousands of hits.
    And maybe (yes, maybe), your muscle memory might improve by a few %.

    to the shadow swing technique, I personally don't believe in it.
    It can be good workout, but its different to actual "whole body action/reaction" on the table.

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  11. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #11
    "having the arm much more bent at the end of the backswing and then straighten it more just after the start of the forward swing"
    I am not so sure if this is a part of Standard Chinese Loop Technique. I have watched some Chinese loop training videos, those coaches emphasize one thing that the arm should keep relaxed during backswing. They also emphasize 'the second time of speeding up', which is swinging forearm when hitting the ball. The first time of speeding up should be turning the body/hip.

    So I think the process of arm 'bent and straight' may be a natural reaction of a relaxed arm. They may not intent to 'bent and straight' the arm.

    Just a piece of my unreliable idea. Ignore me if you have reasonable grounds for the technique.

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    Last edited by Lycanthrope; 05-19-2022 at 07:39 AM.

  12. maurice101 is offline
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    #12
    Thanks for all the comments. I liked that video that was posted.

    I forgot to add the real issue is how to get a totally relaxed arm that I feel is needed at the beginning of the forward stroke. If I am relaxed, the arm naturally straightens a bit after the forward swings starts from the dynamic body rotation. If you put the following video on slow motion you can see this in action. You can see the am is bent at the beginning of the forward swing. As he swings forward the arm straightens somewhat.

    https://youtu.be/zFuysVnkg58

    I feel this is one of the hidden keys to the Chinese forehandalong with the power from the ground etc.

    I have been working with a pro coach on this issue.

    Here is my shadow swing of my progress a few days ago.

    https://youtu.be/J_PXqMNuF6Q

    I have worked out 3 exercises since my first post that helped me that is allowing a more relaxed arm swing. If anyone is interested I can talk about them.

    When I do get this form working against the robot, I really feel the power from the ground is transmitted more fully to the racket and ball. Its a distinct different feeling to a non Chinese forehand.
    Last edited by maurice101; 05-19-2022 at 08:01 AM.
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  13. NDH is offline
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    #13

    Hey Maurice,

    Before I comment, can I just ask if you are looking for general opinions on all of this (be that in favour, or against?)

    Or are you only really looking for opinions/advice that are in line with what you are trying to achieve?


  14. Kuba Hajto is offline
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    #15
    NDH. I did have a big issue with my lack of relaxation then I posted my first post which was some days ago. I have worked on it over last few days and feel I am getting on top of it, at least against the robot. The last email feedback from my pro level coach was more positive.

    Feel free to comment about this technical aspect in a forehand. Maybe a forehand this way is more unreliable for club players?

    The video above this post is just like my old forehand where you start with a straight arm before the forward swing. What I am talking about is different. I think this Chinese style forehand creates more racket head speed in a more effortless way based on my limited practice to date.

    I'm interested in others experience.
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  16. NDH is offline
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by maurice101
    NDH. I did have a big issue with my lack of relaxation then I posted my first post which was some days ago. I have worked on it over last few days and feel I am getting on top of it, at least against the robot. The last email feedback from my pro level coach was more positive.

    Feel free to comment about this technical aspect in a forehand. Maybe a forehand this way is more unreliable for club players?

    The video above this post is just like my old forehand where you start with a straight arm before the forward swing. What I am talking about is different. I think this Chinese style forehand creates more racket head speed in a more effortless way based on my limited practice to date.

    I'm interested in others experience.

    Hi Maurice, I'll try and be as constructive as possible.

    I think a lot of this depends on what your end goal is.

    Against a robot, where footwork isn't important, I can see why you may feel this is an improvement, and if you are only focussed on this (playing against a robot and not playing real world matches) then I would carry on doing what you are doing.

    However, I personally don't believe this will transfer very well to real world matches for 2 reasons.

    1. The footwork is arguably the most important thing here, and you have to ask yourself if you have the speed to side step quickly enough to be in position each time?

    2. The extra physicality of the stroke is likely to have an overall negative effect on your game.

    However, some tips on the stroke itself.

    When you play it in your video, you have a very big shoulder turn with your head looking towards the camera.

    You really want to keep that head quite still, looking forwards, not sideways. If you look at the Zhang Jike video you linked to, his head barely moves.

    His shoulders are also very square to the table, with the power coming from the wide leg stance and the hip movement.

    Focussing on the wrist, your shadow stroke was much more "wristy", in that you dropped tension in your wrist, before "whipping" it through with your arm.

    Personally, I'm a fan of that style of technique, and I think it gives you multiple options and better disguise down the line.

    But.... Looking at the ZJ video, his wrist doesn't "break" in the same way - His entire arm, does what your wrist is doing.

    On to the feet - The power builds from the floor up. If you take your left foot off the floor (like you do in the video), in order to turn your body, you are losing all the power you need to build and relying too much on arm speed and strength.

    Think of it like a coil - With the feet planted (like ZJ), the power travels through the legs and hips, and the arm is a mere passenger. You can't get that sort of power if you are lifting your foot in order to twist.

    I think it's important to remember that the shots you are trying to recreate are done by people who have trained their entire life to be the very best, are in peak physical condition and have the physical ability to perform the shots without getting injured! 😂

    If you are simply trying to recreate the shot to use on a robot, I would carry on, as you can easily improve on a few little things that will make a difference.

    If you are wanting to improve your matchplay, I really don't think this is the way to go.

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    #17
    NDH, I love your feedback. I will post a video of my form against the robot soon.

    Some comments.
    I was looking at the computer screen on the side to check my form as I did a shadow swing.
    So this explains the strange head position!!!
    I did also notice my wrist action was maybe too relaxed. Its interesting that you commented on this.
    In my old forehand I had no wrist action at all, so maybe i have gone too much in the other direction.
    Your comment on lifting of the left foot is interesting. I had not noticed that. I felt that i really pushed off the right leg to create hip rotation. I do not understand how lifting the left foot after the right foot explodes is an issue?
    I totally agree with you at my age that this full on swing would be difficult for me in a match.
    However, as a coach I am teaching the Chinese technique to my younger players.
    I have to be able to demonstrate the technique!!!
    However, I think I can still do the same mechanics with less of a full rotation in a match.
    My coach used to say that if you got the time rotate more. Less time rotate less.
    Its not a huge change to my old forehand. Just use a bent arm takeback and relax the arm after the forward swing starts to let the arm straighten a bit.
    Last edited by maurice101; 05-19-2022 at 10:40 AM.
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  18. NDH is offline
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by maurice101
    Your comment on lifting of the left foot is interesting. I had not noticed that. I felt that i really pushed off the right leg to create hip rotation. I do not understand how lifting the left foot after the right foot explodes is an issue?

    It's all about balance (and strength).

    Compare your position to ZJ, and he is "sat down" much more than you, very balanced and in complete control.

    If someone blocked the ball down his backhand side, he would be fine to move across and play the right shot (because his feet are in a nice wide stance, facing forward in total balance) - All things you'd expect from a world champion! 😂

    If you look at your shot, your left knee bends inwards to cope with the strain of twisting your body, with too much weight on your right foot.

    Balance is everything here, and having two feet on the ground gives you more power, control and balance.

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    #19
    Thanks. Great comments.
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    agree with Brs

    Mutliball training, focus on that movement for thousands/10s of thousands of hits.
    And maybe (yes, maybe), your muscle memory might improve by a few %.

    to the shadow swing technique, I personally don't believe in it.
    It can be good workout, but its different to actual "whole body action/reaction" on the table.

    Done all of this for months of lockdown... including weight loss by doing a lot of cardio, muscle reinforcement.

    And I'm now back with my old trusty euro style because... indeed if that way of processing is not engrained since years in your muscle memory, it's clearly too much of a hassle.

    I've been changing my way of using my wrist and fingers on the various music instruments I play and teach to students. It took me at least a year of hours a day of pratice to be confident with my new hand/wrist/finger playing position but also all my general posture involving elbow, shoulder, back and neck was also affected. And it has affected my brain also, abviously, to be able to do and feel it instinctively so that it felt natural.

    I did this after 20 years of music pratice, more than 10 years ago. And I'm now even capable of alternating my technique depending on what to me a better endurance/speed performance (specially in metal, jazz and classical music)/note, sound and rhythm accuracy/health ratio was

    The problem is not the same of course for sport, cos' in music you can do something quite good while staying in your comfort zone, the problem in sport is that, inconsciously, you start mixing both playing style by overthinking the one you're trying to emulate while still playing the other one. And of course with the wrong equipment in either of this style.


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