Traditional Chinese Penhold Grip in Table Tennis

Christof Koepsel/Staff/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images for DAGOC

As the name implies, this grip is similar to holding a pen for writing. The thumb and index finger hold on to the racket handle, while the other three fingers curl around the back of the racket.

The photographs show one way that the thumb and forefinger can be held, and two versions of the way the three remaining fingers may be held. There are often many minor differences in the way players place their fingers for this grip, although the overall grip is still considered the traditional Chinese Penhold.

Minor variations include:

  • holding the thumb near-parallel with the blade while curving the index finger;
  • varying gaps between the thumb and index finger;
  • having the index finger overlapping the thumb slightly;
  • having one, two or three of the remaining fingers touching the blade;
  • varying the position of the remaining fingers on the back of the blade, from the middle of the blade, all the way to placing them along the base of the blade.


Another advantage is that the player does not have a crossover point where he must decide which side of the bat to use, since the same side is always used to play all strokes.


What Type of Player Uses This Grip?

There have been less than a handful of world class defenders that used this grip, due to the lack of reach on the backhand side.