Activities Sports & Athletics Traditional Chinese Penhold Grip in Pingpong You don't switch sides with the racket Share PINTEREST Email Print Christof Koepsel/Staff/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images for DAGOC Sports & Athletics Table Tennis Basics Playing & Coaching Gear Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Greg Letts Greg Letts is a world-ranked table tennis player and an Australian Level 1 table tennis coach. He wrote the eBook, "How to Win at Table Tennis." our editorial process Greg Letts Updated June 11, 2019 As the name implies, the Chinese penhold grip on a pingpng racket is similar to the way you hold a pen for writing. The thumb and index finger hold onto the racket handle, while the other three fingers curl around the back of the racket. The photograph shows the way that the thumb and forefinger are held and one version of the way the three remaining fingers may be arranged. There are many minor differences in the way players place their fingers for this grip, although it is still considered the traditional Chinese penhold. Variations Minor variations include: Holding the thumb nearly parallel with the blade while curving the index finger. Leaving various gaps between the thumb and index finger. Slightly overlapping the thumb with the index finger. Touching the blade with one, two, or three of the remaining fingers. Varying the position of the remaining fingers on the back of the blade, ranging from the middle of the blade to along the base of the blade. Advantage An 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 used to play all strokes. Disadvantage Fewer than a handful of world-class defenders have used this grip because of the lack of reach on the backhand side.