Just like robacus represents scholarship, pongfu will 
represent the new-age kungfu.  Robacus can train and 
measure a person's soundness of mind.  Pongfu will 
train and measure a person's righteousness of 

Although soundness of mind is desirable, the righteous 
of character is a must.  Historically, the mind has been 
the cause of all humanity's evil doings, while the 
righteous characters of a handful of good men has 
sustained our civilization until now.

In the land of the dragon, that is Asia, we have the 
feudal system on the top and kungfu land on the 
bottom, with each have their own favored peculiarities.

Asia culture's two major components are scholarship 
and kungfu.  The 200 years ravaged by the West has 
left scholarship on hold and kungfu completely 
diminished to the stuff movies are made of.  Now that 
Asia is again providing her people with the basic 
necessities of livelihood and is starting to salvage her 
scholarship, she must also find a replacement for 

Naturally, that should be the most popular sport in Asia, 
pingpong. The undefeated spirit of Asian Pingpong will 
transcend Sun Tzu's Art of War to let its enemies see 
the potential of what it takes to truly win - without 
bloodshed. When pongfu bears the burden of war, it 
also represents our kungfu today.
But pingpong has two major fatal flaws in term of 
becoming a universal sport.  First, it favors men over 
women.  Second, it was been hastily put together "on 
the street", rather than thought out in a research 
setting, like a computer laboratory.

This is where Pongfu comes in.  Pongfu, or pingpong 
kungfu, is designed in the most advanced software 
automation laboratory,the very same one that created 
robacus.  One of its chief objectives is to make it a 
speed game for women and other physically weaker 
players, to overcome the power game mostly played by 

Being arguably the most difficult sport in the world to 
master, pingpong mechanics has also defied 
explanation even by the best players and most 
experienced coaches.  To date, the best players are the 
ones who train the most.  Good techniques don't go 
very far.  All the how-to books, that promise to take a 
player to the next level, succeed only by getting him 
permanently stuck in the levels the book prescribed.  
In a way, Pongfu is an experiment to break out this 
dead end loop.  

The kungfu in Pongfu is a cross between robotics and 
magic.  The robotics is characterized by consistency, 
and the magic, deception.  But robots do not react 
well and magicians have to work in controlled settings.  
This is where Pongfu diverts from conventional 

A Pongfu player is, therefore, a control freak.  He must 
dominate the play.  Pongfu is premeditated to win.  
Both the serve and return of serve must be designed to 
gain enough advantages that they directly lead to a 
winning point.

The serve is a fast ball that should be delivered from the 
center with a centralized pre-swing that would be 
twisted at the moment of contact to either the 
forehand or the backhand corner on the other side of 
the table.  The arm is swung upward along with a 
upward flip of the blade.  This is to produce a 
downward rebound to generate power to the ball.

This serve is supplemented by a double motion serve to 
either side by faking the other side first.  But double 
motion would not be fully effective unless there is 
another triple motion serve that fakes to the same side.  
To complete the repertoire, in order to keep the 
opponent from taking a chance at attacking the serve, a 
spiny short serve should also be used occasionally.

The feet are positioned on a line perpendicular to the 
table's edge, with the leg on the same side as the 
serving hand at the front.  This leg should step hard 
before contacting the ball to produce power.

The most important part of the serve is to contact the 
ball as close to the table as possible.  This is designed 
to ruin the other player's effort to time your shot.

The return of serve is a twisting angling shot with 
varying speed.  Invariably, however, it is always 
returned right off the bounce of the ball to cut off the 
reaction time of the opponent. The ball should be hit 
with an open paddle with a sidespin and the contact 
point must be the corners of the blade on the right and 
left sides, respectively, for backhand and forehand.

The most important aspect of the serve return is timing.  
The front foot should kick backward to initiate a back 
foot kick immediately followed by the front foot.  The 
paddle arm should be swung upward with paddle in 
horizontal closed position to reach its highest point at 
the touchdown of the front foot. The paddle then is 
hammered downward with a upward flip of the blade 
right before hitting the ball. 

It is important to initiate generating force from the 
body, and then transmitted through the shoulder and 
arms, keeping everything loose so that there should be 
a natural delay for the paddle to catch up, which turns 
out to be the most effective way to preserve all the 
power all the way into the paddle while hitting the ball.

During the time the ball is traveling over the net, the 
player should come over the ball and rebound back the 
blade of the paddle to snap downward into the ball, 
while making another backward-forward combo step, 
exactly at the point of its second bounce.  

Here we come to the theory that's most critical to 
pongfu's success.  That is, in any paddle-ball 
interaction, the faster moving one gets to control the 
direction of the out-going ball.  Also implicit in this 
theory is that the paddle and ball do not need the hand 
to be interfering in any way.  And as mentioned above, 
it's vitally important that the ball was hit by the corner 
of the blade.

Finally, thinking the interaction as more a hammering 
event than a knife-cutting one is the difference between 
a winning and a losing shot. The hammering should be a 
largely open-paddle contact with the ball hitting as 
close to the corner edge as possible, followed up by a 
sideward spin of the ball, always going from forehand 
toward the backhand.  So, in terms of hitting, it would 
help to think it as a cutting act.

Now we have come to the pongfu pointer!  It says all 
the hammering of the blade is in this one direction.  
That is to use the natural backhand way, hitting from 
the forehand side to the backhand side, for both the 
backhand and forehand.  

Why?  It's because that's how the human body is built 
to do hammering.  And that turns out to be the life 
saver for pongfu to overpower any spin or speed in 
returning a coming served ball.
Yes, this is the by far the most difficult stroke to master, 
but mastering it could be the biggest breakthrough in 
pingpong's history.