Japanese penholders forum

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 5 years ago

eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Asked 9 years ago

Dear Jeff and Allois: I am a j-pen table tennis player w/. plenty of questions and experience to exchange. Something I have seen along the years playing this style is the lack of coaches that can teach details and also very few people playing it.

Does anyone out there feel the same?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Eduardo,

I hope we can find some J-Pen players for you to talk to.

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eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 9 years ago

Thank you, Alois. I very much appreciate it!

Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Posted 9 years ago

Well, I have a question. If you could tell me what is the difference between Japanese and Chinese pen hold, is it in blade, way of holding, strategy and technique?

Kevin Z

Kevin Z Posted 9 years ago

Japanese penhold only uses 1 side of the bat I think

Joemar Abajay

Joemar Abajay Posted 9 years ago

I think jap. penholders hold the other side of the rackert with their fingers spread, while chinise hold it with their curled finger\]


Billy Bob

Billy Bob Posted 9 years ago

Japanese penhold rackets have a square shaped face. The handle is rectangular, and there is a block of cork protruding, for a more comfortable grip. JPen players use only 1 side of their racket for forehand and backhand. Meanwhile, Chinese penhold rackets are very similar to shakehand rackets. The only difference is that the handle is shorter, so it is easier to play with. Some CPen players use only one side of the racket, but I feel that CPen is best suited for the RPB (Reverse Penhold Backhand) style of play. This style utilises both sides of the racket. Also, JPen players are usually more offensive than CPen players, preferring to use their forehand on almost every shot to compensate for their weak backhand. CPen players have easier, because they can use their backhand like a shakehander, looping, flicking, counterlooping, etc.

eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 9 years ago

Hello to you all. I can see two things: One, all of you are right (mostly) in your knowledge about j-pen. Two: Neither one of you are j-pen players. Mr. Savic is right in all his questions. Both c-pen and j-pen differ in all that. Kevin is also right. Joemar is almost right in the sense that the chinese hold the racket like in the fist (sort of) maneuvering the angle mainly w/. forefinger and thumb, but the japanese straightens the three fingers together (not spread) while the thumb and index make a better use of the squarish handle. And Billy exposes a pretty good general knowledge about both styles. And I am still hoping for a j-pen player to come forward to exchange w/. us our knowledge about this difficult and controversial style.

Keenan Adonis

Keenan Adonis Posted 9 years ago

When I loop with j/pen I sorta flick my wrist at the top of the shot which gives it more topspin and makes it harder to get back but that's my knowlage of when I play j/pen

eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 9 years ago

Hello, pingskillers! To me that is one of the basic (and few) advantages of the penholder: To hold the racket in your fingers, pretty much. The shaker has more restricted movement of the fingers handling the bat so basically has to rely on the wrist as the last joint on his/her arm in order to get the right position. In the case of the topspin "final push" I feel that the penholder has an easier more ample movement and feeling of the racket.

Wang Zhen

Wang Zhen Posted 5 years ago

Hi Eduardo!

I'm a J-pen player also and I am living in China. It is true that  this style is not popular among professional players anymore. Even in Japan and Korea young players prefer shakehand grip. I can't find decent coaches for JPen either in my city(Beijing). 

JPen is made to be aggressive  (square shape,  longer body and longer handle than CPen all bring stronger forces for different strokes), so the biggest difference is to utilize such shape. 


Kim Soon Taek and Ryu Seung Min, the Korean players they have a method of holding the racket differently compared to a CPen player. In such way it's beneficial to the forehand attacking but a little bit unfavorable for backhand side. 

Chiang Peng-Lung from Taiwan has a grip very similar to CPen player which helps him with backhand more flexible and stable, and more powerful when blocking at backhand., But then the forehand will be a little weaker cos you lose some flexibility at your wrist.

But if you play a JPen the most powerful weapon is your forehand so I prefer a grip like Ryu Seung Min with no doubt.

Because of weak backhand  you have to be the best at your footwork among other styles.

Another advantage of JPen is its power dealing with short strokes within the table. With the longer handle you can have more powerful e.g. flicks by your wrist.

I can share a lot more about JPen but most important thing is that you have to be aggressive all the time. You have to master an explosive forehand topspin racket loop that can kill at one shoot. Your opponent will be afraid of your forehand and they will be hesitant when making decisions of next ball. Otherwise you will be the most tried runner at court.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Thanks for your thoughts Zhen.

eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 5 years ago

 Hi, Mr. Wang Zhen. My apologies for not answering before (very busy days!) I'm really happy w/. all your thoughts expressed in such an efficient way. You have the basics of the game put in order the same way the professionals do. Evidently you are young. I'm not. Besides my love for table tennis I also love the"artistry" of manipulating the j-pen blade in my hand. Otherwise I would have given up j-pen for shake a long time ago. Since I can't run all over the court like you do, I keep experimenting all the time the best way to hold the blade in the backhand position. But in such a way that it won't interfere when suddenly changing to the forehand position. For that reason I "shape" the handle of all my blades in a particular form. So far my best bet is dominating as good as possible a good loop drive on the backhand mixed w/ dead balls and pushes and classic blocks. Have you seen Mr. Yi "master of redirection" (Tai- Chi Style) in youtube? This guy has a smooth way to hold the racket, more or less like Chiang Peng Lung. Really looking forward to know your thoughts about my theory.

Abubakar Mehmood

Abubakar Mehmood Posted 5 years ago

I have something to share that may seem surprising, if not silly. I am an ALL- player and use Jpen. Initially, I used shakehand and played quite aggressively, hitting explosive forehand and backhand topspins/smash. Then switched to Jpen because forehands with it seemed to have more zip. However, then I got thoroughly impressed by Koji Matsushita and Ding Song, and added vicious chopping on both sides to my game. It is true that Jpen is very rare these days and in Pakistan where I live there are hardly any Jpen players, let alone coaches. So, I have to rely on watching the likes of Koji Matsushita for strategy and adapt that to Jpen grip by watching Korean players. So far so good, I've advanced beyond the intermediate stage and almost an advanced player now.

Why I prefer to play a defensive-ish game with Jpen? Here are my reasons:

1. As pointed out by others, the grip is much looser and allows for much, much more movement of the wrist. So, my forehand chops are much more 'stingier' as compared to shakehand grip.

2. The unpredictability with Jpen is amazing! At the very last minute, you can give your wrist a slightly harder jerk and change the direction/spin/speed on the ball. This leaves much less time to the opponent to guess the shot. This advantage is priceless. With shakehand, you position yourself and sway your arm accordingly, and deceiving the opponent is much harder.

3. Although most Jpen players use only one side of the blade, I have found that compared to Cpen RPB, Jpen RPB is more solid and allows for a swifter movement of the wrist (because of the solid grip of the cork). With Cpen you have to sway the whole arm (like Wang Hao does), while with Jpen you can let your wrist do much of the topspinning, thus making it difficult for the opponent.

4. The most irritating thing I found about shakehand was that you have to grip the racket differently while serving and then shift. This is a great annoyance and at times it affects the time we have for the return. Serve with Jpen allows for imparting more spin with the same grip you need for subsequent shots.

5. Finally, the lack of coaches for Jpen and the unpopularity of it amongst players also means that your opponents (and their coaches) are unfamiliar with how to handle your strokes! ;). Many of my mates at the club tell me that it's hard to guess which way I'm going to go and when I'm going to attack and how much underspin is there on the ball.

eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 5 years ago

Thank you, Mr.Abubakar Mehmood, for your input. I have seen in youtube.com an instructional video of J-Pen players doing all kind of strokes including those you mentioned. So, don't feel afraid of experimenting w/ your innovative style. Allow me to make the observation that you seem to be an intelligent person so I wouldn't be surprised to learn that you have started a new trend. Some months ago there was a discussion in these blogs where I adventured myself stating that there could be a "symbiosis" of styles w/. J-Pen. Nobody answered. As we already know, all is left for us J-Pen players, is to improvise and be creative.


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