Why this Blog?

I started this Blog for two reasons:

1. I want to support all table tennis players playing defensive style


Table tennis defenders add high attractiveness to the game:

This seems to be a little at risk since there is only a small minority of defenders within the top level ranking of ITTF. As to my knowledge there is no systematic and widespread table tennis training available for defenders in most countries and clubs. Successful defensive style players rarely work as trainers. Nevertheless modern style defending can be quite successful. Since there are not a lot of experienced trainers with special knowledge in defence style on the market I thought I might share a litte bit of my experience as a defensive player. I have analysed hundreds if not thousands of TT-videos in this regard. I will start with 5 male defenders and carry on with 5 female defenders. Female defenders have a much higher potential in my view, since they did not yet exploit the full advantage of modern style defending.

2. The second reason is much simplier: This is my first ever Blog and I want to get experience in blogging.

Note from the editor:

  1. If you find any good male or female defender (only the ones ranked within the first 1500 places of the ITTF World Ranking) that you would like to show up here please let me know. Please also report if some of the links to Youtube-Videos have been removed or are outdated.
  2. Please understand that I do this in my spare time. I can therefore not answer individual request for consulting on personal playing style. You can therefore learn from the video analysis, watch the numerous tutorial videos on youtube or get individual training from people like Tischtennis Institut Thomas Dick – Professional Table Tennis Training
  3. Since numerous people asked for an impressum I refere to my new homepage for this: Markus Dick – Photography


94 thoughts on “Why this Blog?”

  1. This blog seems to be a good idea. Defensive players need support since they are not well supported by clubs and even Federations^^ I am french and I love defense ; I share your point of view when you say that defenders add attractiveness to TT. I came to this sport with a single aim, three years ago : to be a defender! I used to play tennis and squash, before discovering how great TT was, especially defensive style. So impressive, so beautiful!

    Good luck to this blog.

  2. Great idea for a blog! I’m an offensive player, but I can fully appreciate the skill needed to defend and love playing against defensive-style players.

  3. Excellent idea. But I wonder why you want to restrict your attention to players ranked within the first 1500 in the ITTF ranking. One can learn a lot from older players who are no longer ranked (like Eberhard Schöler, who was extremely good at deceiving opponents by varying light and heavy chops) and from players who may not be ranked because they do not play for any national team (like Wang Xi, who is probably the world’s best defender at the moment or at least just as good as Yoo Se Hyuk and better than Chen Weixing).

    Why not start by compiling a list of links to videos of the best players? There’s a short film on Eberhard Schöler to be found on you tube, which shows him playing both today (at 70 years of age) and in the 1960s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHdl49OJc9g. Novices shouldn’t be fooled by the apparent ‘simplicity’ or ‘harmlessness’ of the game in the 1960s; one of the players in the black and white video still played in the German Oberliga until two years ago.

    Wang Xi has a better track record than Timo Boll in the German Bundesliga (18:2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyZSmoGr2ks

    Good luck!

    1. thanks for your feedback. The limitation is only necessary due to my limited time, since I do this blog in my spare time. Wang Xi is on my blog even if he is not ranked in the ITTF. I will potter my way down the ranking list of ITTF. I am not sure how many male and female defenders there are. I would guess maybe 30 to 50 at most. When I have done all, I will pick up your idea and add a few good defenders of all times like Schöer or Matsushita.

  4. Hello everybody!

    My name is Gunter Straub. In my leisure time I volunteer for the German Association of Table Tennis Coaches (VDTT) as an editor and science journalist.

    Currently I publish a series of three articles on the history of defensive play in table tennis in the online journal of the ITTF Museum (“The Table Tennis Collector”).

    The first article is already available at


    Vol. 63 (pp. 16-20)

    All the best

  5. Who is the guy in the video above (table tennis defence training)? What blade & what rubbers is he playing with? Looks like it’s a very high-ranked player.

  6. Hello There, just watched a youtube vid of a player called Liu Kai. Might be worth a look at?


    PS love your work!

  7. I like this blog very much!
    Last weekend I was on German Open 2012,
    there was super match beteen MURAMATSU vs WEIXING 3:4.

    Besides that there was another markable defender in the qualification with impressive footwork:

    WANG Yang (SVK) -> [2012/11]-Worldranking:145, (best was 141 in 2012/07)

    Also missing is:
    LIN Ju (DOM) -> [2012/11]-Worldranking: 97, (best was 39 in 2005/12)
    LI Kewei (MLT) -> [2012/11]- Worldranking: 163, (best was 93 in 2010/10)

    former/retired players:
    MATSUSHITA Koji (JPN) -> [2009/04]-Worldranking: 72, (best was 21 in 2001/02)
    TSIOKAS Ntaniel (GRE) ->[2009/10]-Worldranking: 131, (best was 55 in 2001/02)
    WANG Zhen (CHN) -> [2010/07]-Worldranking: 201, (best was 168 in 2007/06)
    SYED Matthew (ENG)->[2005/01]-Worldranking: 95, (best was 45 in 2001/01)
    SONG Ding (CHN), Worldchampion with Team China

    very very “oldschool” players:
    Chiang Yung-Ning
    Zhang Xielin
    Wang Zhiliang
    Lu Yuansheng
    Liang Geliang
    Li Gun Sang
    Chen Xinhua
    Norio Takashima

      1. This blog must stay alive, even it is only your hobby 😉
        So here more input:
        I listed all defensive female players who participated in Pro Tour German Open 2012 (hope, I did not forget somebody)

        Personally I was impressed from TANIOKA (JPN) and TSUI (TPE)
        (both need to go via the hard qualifing lasting two days, but unfortunatly TSUI did not reach the main draw, but next time she will, she is very young and has potential!

        Current Worldranking 2012/11 of the participants:
        PAVLOVICH Viktoria (BLR)WR: 16
        SEO Hyowon (KOR) WR: 44
        XIAN Yifang (FRA) WR: 47
        LI Xue (FRA) WR: 51
        NONAKA Yuki (JPN) WR: 71
        CHOI Moonyoung (KOR) WR: 85
        BILENKO Tetyana (UKR) WR: 97
        MIKHAILOVA Polina (RUS) WR: 117
        TANIOKA Ayuka (JPN) WR: 119
        GAPONOVA Ganna (UKR) WR: 127
        ARLOUSKAYA Alina (BLR) WR: 261
        TSUI Pao-Wen (TPE) WR: 283

  8. What do you think of Masato Shiono, the winner of the Japan Open 2013 ???
    Tis defender runs through complete qualification and wins tournament!
    Maybe next player to investigate…

    1. Hi there, thank you for your precious feedback. I already posted an article on Shiono immediately on the same day that he won the Japan Open. There was a problem with the issueing date therefore you could not find it under recent post. Now you can also find it by searching by name. Cheers Markus

      1. SUPER, you add Shiono!
        By the way do you know LIU Yi (Chinese defender), the new University Wolrd Champion 2013 maybe also worth to inspect,…
        (beats Koki Niwa in semi and Chang Kun in the final)

  9. Hi,
    I am sure you still have lots of players on your list and very little time to work on all of them, but I think it would be very interesting to read what you have to write about the European Cadet Singles Finalist 2013, the Russian Maxim Chaplygin. Although he is only ranked No. 695 in the ITTF ranking, he is the first succesful defender at the cadet level in a long time.
    Thank you very much for all the effort you put into this – Its worth every bit!

    1. Hi Felix, very good hint. I didn’t know him before. I appreciate hints like this especially when they are about upcoming talents. I put him on my list. I still have a few on my list, but not very many any more as there are not many high level defenders because of the reasons I mentioned in “Why this Blog?”. Thanks, I you find more, just forward them to me.

  10. Hi,
    thank you very much for your quick and thorough analysis.
    As far as I have seen, the best-performing defensive players in the female Singles events were Cadet Girls quarterfinalist and Doubles finalist Maria Malanina, also from Russia, and the Belarussian Alina Arlouskaya, who departed in the fifth round of the Junior Girls Event. There seems to be one YouTube video of acceptable quality of each of them (plus, of course, laola.tv coverage of the European Youth Championships and an ITTV video of Arlouskaya against Swedish defender Bergström at the 2013 Belarus Open). In the Junior Boys Event, the only defensive contestant I can remember was the Lithuanian Paulius Gura, who reached the 3rd round. There is a short extract of a game he played in Ostrava on YouTube and he played Hampus Soderlund at the Belarus Open in an ITTV match today.
    Perhaps this gives you some idea of other aspiring young practicians of our art. And if you really have no one else on your list, at least Malanina might still be called an “upcoming talent”.

  11. Congratulations for the blog, is a great idea for those who play style defender. I suggest you find the equipment, if possible, of all the players analyzed. So it will be interesting to compare the different styles. Regards from Italy,

  12. Just some annotations to GERMAN OPEN 2013 in Berlin…

    here some defenders, which are not analyzed yet, but really worth to do…

    ISHIGAKI Yuka (JPN) WR: 82
    SATO Hitomi (JPN) WR: 169

    both running the hard qualifications, and get to the main-draw.
    SATO lost against HAN Ying in 1st round,…
    ISHIGAKI reaches 1/4-finals, and also lost against HAN Ying,…

    by the way: HAN Ying also defeats German defender IVANCAN

    CHOI Deokhwa (KOR) WR:277

    very talented player, reaches 1/4-finals U21

    1. Hi Mosh, sorry for the late answer. I currently have those on my list: Ganna Gaponova (Ukraine), Yuki Nonaka (Japan), Alina Arlouskaya (Bielorussia), SATO Hitomi (JPN), CHOI Deokhwa (Korea). If you know more you can post them to me. But please check before, if high Quality Video of sufficient length is available on YouTube. This is a precondition for my Analysis. Cheers Markus

      1. Hello Markus, ok, great!
        here are some more input, all WR-Standings from 2014/01 😉

        HUZJAK Josip (CRO) WR: 491
        GURA Paulius (LTU) WR: 732

        CHOI Moonyoung (KOR) WR: 66
        DOLGIKH Maria (RUS) WR:185
        BERGSTROM Linda (SWE) WR:341

  13. Just have seen, that from CHOI Moonyong is no video in youtube, if you like, I can send you some “self-recorded” HD-recordings from German Open 2013… also have some of SATO and one of ISHIGAKI…

  14. I was wondering why Angelica Rozeanu was not in your former masters section seeing that she is probably the most successful defender of all time

  15. Just some annotations from German Open 2014 in Magdeburg.
    There I discoverd two for me “unknown” defenders,… listed in Worldranking 2014-Feb
    SHARIPOVA Elza (RUS) WR: 380
    LUPERDI Juan  (PER) WR: 949

    1. Hi Mosh, fine. But do me a favour. Remind me againg when they appear in some Youtube video. In the past I added those to my list. But if they don’t climb up the ladder in the ITTF world ranking they may never appear in a YouTube video.

  16. If you have a spare time, you can also include blockers. I admit, their style of play is anything but pretty though. 😉

    1. This is true. And good hint, too. But: Since I cannot read Japanese, I don’t know who it is and I can only add players with a validated name and nationality. So if anybody knows him and where he is from, please forward the information to me. Thanks.

  17. Hi,
    now that Maxim Chaplygin has left the cadet ranks, another Russian defender has appeared at the 2014 EYC to reach the Cadet Boys’ final: Artur Abusev, currently ranked at no. 782. There seem to be at least three Youtube videos of his play, but I don’t know wether they are informative enough for you to form your opinions.
    Thank you very much for your ongoing effort – I am sure I am not the only one to appreciate it.

  18. Hi, first of all thank you to add Aleksandr on your list 🙂
    I have a general question about the new plastic ball, we know that with this new ball there is few rotation.
    Are really defenders disadvantaged or not? In the last Belarus Open, chtchetinine played well, it seems to be that he trained a lot and personaly I saw his style of play is yet effective (of course I saw few rotation in the backspins chops)
    What to you think expert?

    1. Hi thanks for your support and interest. I am also very interested in this answer 🙂 I have currently not been able to test plastic balls myself (but soon will!) and just had a look at some reviews on youtube like http://youtu.be/g0-ogajfDqI Some of the reviewer say: Even though you generally get less spin on the ball the new ball will even be an advantage for defenders because of lower pace and low rebounce off the table. I will give it a test soon myself and get into more detail here. Thanks for your patience and interest.

  19. Hi, thank you for this great list.

    You might consider John Hilton, in the “retired” section of course. Maybe one of first players (around 1980) using modern defence tactics. “Avant la Lettre” you could say. He used Bty tackiness drive on the fh and anti (toni hold I think) on the bh. His match against Peter Stellwag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6HE5bxCMr0

    Kind regards.

    1. Hi, thank you for your precious imput. I do know John Hilton, even met him personally when I played in England. Nice fellow. Didn’t know that there was “footage” on him on youtube. So I appreciate your hint. I will put him on my to-do-list and add some comment on why he was successful at his time and not quite anymore after changement of material rules.

  20. Hi Markus
    You built up a very nice and helpfull site about table tennis defenders. It would be helpfull to find defensive players at your blog by a table, a spreadsheet or something else on the main page of your blog.
    Keep on your good work

    1. HI Martin, thanks for your positive feedback. This is a good idea. But this table would have to be generated automatically by word press. I have not seen this option yet, but will investigate it. I have not enough time to do those things manually.

  21. hi Markus
    First of all i would like to thank you for the initiation to promote the style of defence ,i appreciate this very much !! Iwould also recommend you to look for Konstantinos Angelakis of Greece , you find a few youtube videos about him.
    greetings from Greece, Sissy

    1. Hi BeGo, I very much appreciated your hint, but: I cannot find anywhere in my admin site where to install the TOC-Plugin. I have no menu for plugins. Is it possible that this is only possible with the WP Pro edition, where you have to pay? Or with a locally installed version? I currently use the online free version of WP. How do I get the TOC in this?

  22. Hi Markus,

    I just read about the Czech defender Stanislav Kucera in an ITTF article. There are some full length videos of his games at the Czech Open on Youtube and he must have put up a great fight against Anton Kallberg at the present JWC in Shanghai. If you have had any chance yet to gain some experience with the new ball, I believe everyone would be very excited to read what you have to say about it!
    Thanks again for everything.

    1. Hi Felix, thanks for precious input to my to-do-list! I did not really have a chance to test the very new plastic balls myself. Everybody I interviewed so far about it, said that the first plastic balls were very much different but the new ones seem to be nearly the same as old celluloid. But I will test them next season myself and give some feedback here.

  23. Hi Markus,
    I know there is a defender in Switzerland that he’s the national best long pimples player, classified A20 (maximum for CH Ranking). He play for the Swiss National Team and Club UGS Chenois (in National League A).
    He’s Nicolas Champod, ox long pimple on the backhand, very fast and impressive how much spin is in this defence 😀 !!!
    There are not videos of him on Youtube, but I found this on Facebook, there is a Club that have already post a pair of videos 😉
    Just search on Google “Nicolas Champod – Lionel Weber STT Tenero”
    It would be great your analysis !!!
    Please colud you bring him in your “to-do list”?

    1. Hi Ghost, thanks for the hint. I wanted to put him on my list but can’t, since I will only add players where I can embed the video, which you can only do if you have a facebook account which I don’t have and don’t want to create. You could ask the player alternatively if he likes to upload the same videos to youtube. Then I could have a look and post it for others, too. Thanks Markus

  24. Watch the awesome forehand chop of Li Xiang, she’s already win the Spanish Super League with a 92% of the matches won. She only has lost with Galia Dvorak and Tingting Wang. I’m sure she uses butterfly tenengy 64 on her backhand, and if I’m not wrong, she seems to use short pimples on her backhand. I don’t know why she isn’t in the top 100 women’s world ranking if she’s awesome.

    1. Great hint, Joan. I am a bit reluctant to link to Laola, since they will probably remove the link after some time. I couldn’t find any video on youtube. Could you monitor youtube for me and prompt me when you find anything? Cheers Markus

  25. So why not bring all the strengths and suggestions together and tell us what you think a defender should play like? That would be great. ..

    1. Hi, okay good suggestion. I will put this on my to-do-list. It will be of course an ideally “cloned” defender artist, which will probably never occur to exist in a real person, but if you train to come near to this, you will be most likely to be able to beat one of the four top chinese attackers in my opinion. Let’s see …

  26. Hi Markus,

    I previously hesitated because they are not ITTF-ranked (anymore), but since you are considering Li Xiang from the Spanish league, I do believe that it would be a great idea to include this season’s best player in the German womens’ Bundesliga, Ding Yaping, and the very similarly playing Qianhong Gotsch, European Chamipion of 2000. This might be especially interesting since their choice of equipment is rather unique in the present era.

    Here are the youtube links:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwkLmR3hOa4 (Shan|Gotsch)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mChaytDnyCw (Gotsch|Pota)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkTK6O9mUXs (Ding|Pota)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-Cw_h0cCRc (Shan|Ding)

    So if you find some time, I would be very excited to hear what you have to say about their style.

  27. NIKITCHANKA Alina BLR (WR 206) and KALACHEVSKYI Denys UKR. Alina is a 18 years old defender who is the number 206 in the world ranking of the women.”

    These taken from OOAK, and they may good addition to your collection. 🙂

  28. Hello, really nice job done here. I’m quite new to pimples but I’m trying to study players and improve. I’m barely in top 150 in UK. The thing is I don’t have much knowledge about top defenders and I don’t really know who to follow. Until one month ago I only knew Joo Sae Hyuk and Chen Weixing from top 100. Even though I really like Joo I cannot chop on forehand very well so I am more of a Chen’s style (spiny lift the first one followed by strong topspin the second one). Lately I noticed that Chen is getting old and looses more than usual hence he is a dying star so I am looking for a new idol. I recently discovered RUWEN FILUS (wr 32 in July 2015) and I think he is my new favourite. He doesn’t chop on forehand either. Do you think you can make a page with top current defenders from top 100 and their world ranking where young minds can find the names and then study them on YouTube? I personally prefer current players because I am not sure how relevant is a game played 15 years ago when there was speed glue, frictionless rubbers and 38 mm celluloid ball against today’s Ma Long game.

    1. Hi Eduard, I guess from 83 players only a minority could be called “old” or “old style” players. The way you describe your own game you should look at matches from Filus, Gionis, Dongsoo, Yingchao, muramatsu, Wang xi. Just use the search box to find them in my Blog. Generally I would like to say, that with the new plastic ball and the increased power I doubt that you will be able to beat better players by never defending on the forehand. Blocking back topspins is not dangerous enough and counterspinning rallies are mostly won by the attackers who endlessly practise just this. My tipp: Try a mixture of blocking, counterspinning, defending with long pips on forehand (on slow spinny topspins) and deceptive “empty” floats with pips in. This will make it hardest to guess for the attacker what he will get from you.

  29. Gustaf Ericson, Sweden, played in GwangJu Universiade 2015 . He can be a great addition.

    I don’t know His World Rank either. 🙂

    Also from OOAK either.

    btw, Thanks for Jonah Video! 🙂

  30. English man Carl Prean, he’s defender in attacking style, long pips player. Liu Song also an attacking defender.

    1. Hi Albert, thanks for your feedback. I already made an exception with Akerström, not really being a real defender. I don’t want to make too many exceptions here. I know both players, but I don’t classify them as defenders. Hope for your comprehension.

  31. Hi Markus,

    At the 2015 WJTTC the Korean female defender An Yengeun caught my eye with a convincing win against Adina Diaconu in the team semifinals. Unfortunately, Youtube only has highlights videos of a victory against Mouma Das earlier in the year and the defeat in the team finals against Chen Xingtong, but perhaps they’re still worth a look.

    As always, thank you for your time and keep up the good work!

  32. From ooak credit to them, they mention a good Ukrainan player

    Nikolay Telnoy

    Double inverted classical defender

    Worth a look,and to compare to Takashima Norio as legend model. 😉

    1. Hi, good hint. But by looking at the videos, I found the video quality too poor, to put links to them here. Also two rubbers in definitively is the past. There is no way back, since the game became too fast for this.

  33. Hi Markus,

    I hope you are alive and well and maybe still waiting to update the blog with new exciting prospects! If so, I would recommend taking a look at Kim Youjin, the junior Korean defender that has just spectacularly knocked Mima Ito out of the 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town. Once again, only iTTv has the full matches, but Youtube has highlights both of her phenomenal win and her subsequent loss to Adina Diaconu.

    Thanks for everything,


    1. Hi Felix, I always appreciate when pointed to new talents, I just monitor Youtube 2-3 days a week and might skip or oversee talents. So thanks for the hint. I will have a look and write something when I have more time. Cheers Markus

  34. Hi Marcus,
    I am semi-professinoal for 30 years now. Table tennis is my passion of life. As a offensive player I was much better on backhand side. Now I changed to pimples due to an elbow injury that prevents me to loop on forhand. So, I use a long pimple with 1mm sponge on forehand. Not much twiddling yet.
    I can chop, block and smash on forehand with my TSP curl1 rubber. On backhand I can flip, loop and push good enogh to force my opponent avoid my backhand.
    Do you know any defender using pimples mainly on forehand? I’d be appreciated if you suggest some videos of such a player.

    1. Hi Ali, I knew one can chop well and block a bit on forehand side with a Curl1, but being able to smash with it on forehand side is surprisinig. So you must have some special talent and technique for this! Honestly I don’t know any attacker that uses long pips on the forehand. I know a few with short pips on forehand, f.e. Mattias Karlsson (SWE). Also in non-professional table tennis a few people do this. Unfortunately there are only few defenders occasionally using long pips on forehand to chop: Masato Shiono (JP), Gustaf Ericson (SWE), Ma Te (CHN), Adam Pattantyus (Hungary) or some female players like Viktoria Pavlovich (Belarus). Good luck with the new style. I is always an advantage being able to do what only few people can do 🙂

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Expert site for table tennis players prefering defensive style

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