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Correct way of penholding

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ericwu91 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10/19/2021 at 10:40am
Hi.

To give a starting context, I started training in my local club last month, and due to the lack of competitions in my level (beginner), I've been trying my luck in intermediate level ones. 
Even though I knew I had no chance of winning them, I saw myself improving over the last couple ones, and even managed to win a match!

I'm a penholder, and I've always played with my third, fourth and little fingers splayed. I've always known this style requires them curled, but never found myself adjusted to it, so I kept them spread out, supporting the back of the paddle.

With the context being laid out, yesterday my teacher instructed me to change the way I hold my racket, curling my fingers against the back of the paddle, and holding a rubber ball to force them in that position.
I found myself back to square one. Felt so bad I almost quit midclass, two agonizing hours in. My forehand went from (beginner-level-)meh to downright pathetic. Backhand was unaffected. 

So, my question is: What difference does it make? I was told it would give more freedom to turn my wrist, but so far I saw no visible improvements. But then again, I could be influenced by the heavily negative thoughts I left the class with.

Tips, encouragements, clues ,are all welcome.
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lgxb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lgxb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/19/2021 at 11:02am
need a picture to see how you are holding it splayed. I believe Xu xin, Ma Lin and Wang Hao all held it differently.< ="chrome-extension://dadggmdmhmfkpglkfpkjdmlendbkehoh/inject-s/searchs.js" async="">
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ericwu91 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ericwu91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/19/2021 at 11:35am
https://ibb.co/TLwz8V6

Upon taking those pics, I realized they are not that splayed, after all. 

Didn't actually notice Xu Xin's style, but Ma Lin definitely keeps them curled.
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oldcpen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldcpen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/19/2021 at 4:13pm
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heavyspin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/19/2021 at 6:12pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyncUSEnLRc
0:30-0:55 (modern penhold style) 
Trying to develop a fast short serve.
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lgxb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lgxb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/20/2021 at 5:04pm
Originally posted by ericwu91 ericwu91 wrote:

https://ibb.co/TLwz8V6

Upon taking those pics, I realized they are not that splayed, after all. 

Didn't actually notice Xu Xin's style, but Ma Lin definitely keeps them curled.
< ="chrome-extension://dadggmdmhmfkpglkfpkjdmlendbkehoh/inject-s/searchs.js" async="">

actually you are pretty splayed. If you hold this way, it's hard to do RBP or traditional backhand. Also it's not good for short push.
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JohnnyChop View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnnyChop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/20/2021 at 8:18pm
First I want to say welcome to the forum and hopefully that we can be helpful on your tt journey.

One of your pictures didn't load for me, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
On my own grip I normally have both my index and middle finger touching the rubber right next to each other(not splayed at all) in a slightly curled position. If I splay my fingers on the BH, I do feel like I loose degrees of freedom in my ability to adjust the blade face angle. Also I loose a lot of power especially on my FH loop. 

Your coach is not wrong and the frustration is understandable since with any adjustment, you always have to take one step back to correct the bad habit before you can move forward. If you have been playing for a long time I would say,' who cares and just play the game your way and enjoy.' as the cost of undoing years of bad habits may be too high. but since you are a beginner I would bite the bullet now and suck for a week or two to prevent the bad habit from limiting your improvement later on.

Also if possible it is probably better to pick up an actual cpen instead of playing cpen with a shakehand blade. 


Edited by JohnnyChop - 10/20/2021 at 8:26pm
729 Battle 2 Yasaka Goibao 5 Nittaku Fastarc G1   
Nittaku Fastarc G1 Butterfly Cypress Max
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reflecx View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reflecx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/20/2021 at 9:43pm

Xu Xin keeps his fingers together straight, not curled
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doraemon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/20/2021 at 11:07pm
I am amazed how Xu Xin is able to hit backhand consistently, given that the BH rubber area that is exposed is quite limited due to his fingers sticking out like that.
Blade : Just wood
FH : black rubber
BH : red rubber
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vanjr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vanjr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/21/2021 at 9:50am
I think finger placement varies if you play cpen vs j/k pen and there are always variations. That said, if you have a coach with experience and you are a beginner I think it is best to follow their instructions. The are there with you and have more info than a forum will. Good luck.
BTW we have a Brazilian grad student who plays penholder and my last tournament had another Brazilian penholder (who played with a J/K blade). I am glad penholding is holding out-such a beautiful style.
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blahness View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/23/2021 at 10:59pm
Originally posted by doraemon doraemon wrote:

I am amazed how Xu Xin is able to hit backhand consistently, given that the BH rubber area that is exposed is quite limited due to his fingers sticking out like that.

His BH is his relative weakness due to that LOL  I heard of a way to increase grip stability by introducing a very wide circular knob for the thumb and index finger to wrap around (a bit like the Jpen concept), some of my friends tried it and they said it increased stability and power a lot.
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Butterfly Viscaria

FH: Dignics 09c
BH: Dignics 05
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heavyspin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2021 at 9:31pm
This woman curls her fingers quite a bit. 
(Thank goodness for the subtitles to help us understand what she's saying) Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16oPk95P90c
Trying to develop a fast short serve.
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oldcpen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldcpen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/25/2021 at 7:15pm
"curled fingers" facilitates easier wrist motion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4jaq47uKy0&ab_channel=Pongfinity

it is a winner LOL
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ddoocc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ddoocc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/27/2021 at 2:23am
The way you hold the paddle makes the paddle in your hand too tight. The advantage of cpen is that you can adjust your blade more easily than shakehand, if you hold the paddle too tight, then you just got a shakehand paddle which is 3-5cm shorter and has much less backhand hitting area.
I suggest you switch to shakehand or JPEN if you like penhold, CPEN is difficult.
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V-Griper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/06/2021 at 12:53pm
Wang Hao's tutorial is a good overall reference vid 

Grip explanation starts at 2:35 (translated)

I would pay special attention when they talk about the finger/thumb pressure applied during the FH/BH. Really important imo. Most casual PH players don't really get this and it makes a big diff especially with RPB. 




Edit:

Have to add a couple more ref vids 







Edited by V-Griper - 11/06/2021 at 1:02pm
DHS 301
Xiom Vega 7pro FH/BH
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