The main features are the making of a diagonal 
number 8 figure, in which the key focuses are on 
the scooping rising with a closed blade and the 
hammering chopping of the scooping down on the 
ball, all the time bracing back and keeping 
snappiness of the of the blade's last-moment 
twisting and turning. 


The first item in a pongfu class is the flipping of a 
rolling ball from the top rubber surface to the back 
wood surface and back.  This is to train the student 
in adjusting mood swings during a stroke, as well as 
the concept of "time constant" - the shorter "time 
constant" entity will dominate  a longer time 
constant entity by being able to see the longer time 
constant entity, such as the ball, as if it's in slower 
motion than one's self.



The second item to be trained is the catching a ball 
bounced back from a board laid against the wall 
and then throwing the ball out for the next catch.  
This is a practice to squeeze out as much time as 
possible to do the pre-stroke movements, such as 
arc'ing the backside of the paddle in a scooping 
loop against the oncoming ball.  The objective is to 
be able to return the ball so riskily after a student 
got used to the "almost not making it" feeling.

Catching a flying ball bouncing off a board 
familiarizes a student to sync with the bouncing of 
balls and the passive way of the paddle in lending 
control to the paddle itself in the handling of a fast 
incoming ball.


The third item is blocking against a playback board 
placed on the side of the table.  The chief aim of the 
practice is to force oneself into a delayed rebound 
of a flipping motion and become convinced that it 
not only can be done, but resulting in a much more 
powerful stroke, with added deception.

It must start with the twisting of the paddle to a 
closed position before coming down with it to 
make an 8 shape with the scooping at the lowest 
point.  The backfoot should initiate the power to 
the paddle, to swing upwards.

First, familiarize with the wrapping up of every ball 
with the scoop, then worry about the other half of 
the figure 8, also from high to wide and then 
hammer the ball with a flip then followed by a 
sideway chop.  Without the hammering, the ball 
tends to fly high and out, and without the chop, 
there won't be enough time and potential energy 
on the blade for control.

This here is the best place to squeeze every bit of 
delay in the stroke when switching one segment of 
stroke to another.  The blocking stroke should 
consist of two major segments.  First is the 
scooping of the ball in its coming off the board, 
then the hammering down and last-minute 
chopping during the downward fall to its first 
bounce and before the rise of the ball after the 
bounce.   See, there is no spare time between the 
two segments.


The fourth item is the mainstay of pongfu -- the 
serve return.  The concentration should be placed 
on the initial preparation swing of catching the 
bouncing back of the ball from the playback board 
with a hard and fast turn of paddle from open to 
closed position and scoop up the paddle with an arc 
to the highest point that time allows.  

The stroke then start a downward hammering, as 
always starting power from the body, with a slight 
delay to the paddle from the body, arm and wrist 
motions.  The hitting of the ball should be a 
chopping motion with a back bounce of the blade 
from a flipping paddle, in order to sidespin the ball 
clockwise from forehand to backhand positions.

Like in previous shadow stroke, a player should 
learn to lead with the backhand, and use both 
hands to stroke, letting the backhand lead and the 
forehand should just doing its own thing of making 
the figure 8.   The figure 8 seems to have the magic 
power of causing the blade to wobble to 
automatically flipping itself up before chopping 
down on the ball, if done right.


The fifth and final item is the serve.  You are all 
alone here.  But all the skills you learned in the first 
four items are here to escort you to make the 
delivery of your life.  The difference here is that the 
ball must be hit as close to the table as possible, as 
well as off the table's sides as close to the net as 

The major emphases here is to always get a 
moment of pause of calmness, right about the time 
the tossed ball reach its maximum height, before 
initiating the actual downward hitting of the ball 
and to let go of the fingers to allow the blade itself 
to spin the ball as much as possible to gain control 
on the ball.  Try to make the movement before the 
pause identical all the time in order to train to put 
some deception into the serve with the latter part 
of the stroke.