Types of grip
Even though there are many types of grip in table tennis (shakehand, traditional Chinese penhold and reverse penhold backhand (RPB), Japanese / Korean penhold, Seemiller grip, V-grip, and pistol grip) we will focus on two primary ones. Shakehand and traditional Chinese are the most widely used. Both grips are shown on the picture above.
Traditional Chinese penhold (TCP) is mainly used in China and it have many advantages which include: good forehand strokes and good range of serves, it allows easy push and block on backhand strokes. However if you want to play backhand topspin it might be bit tricky as you have to bend you arm unnaturally. The range of reach on backhand side is as well quite limited, forcing players to use forehand on majority of the table. This action requires very well developed footwork and lots of stamina. This is the primary reason why most of players in Europe have chosen handshake grip. If you would like to play close to the table use your forehand drive or topspin and just push and block with your backhand side, this style is perfect for you.
However if you would like a good range of strokes and compromise very little if any control and spin handshake grip is perfect for you. Very important element to keep in mind is the amount of tension you exert in a forearm. To tight grip can slow down you shots and lower control over the ball. However it doesn’t mean that the forearm stays lose all the time. It might vary depending on the type of stroke you could be using at the time. Serves and soft touch shots require less tension than smash. Advantages of the grip include: good range of shots on forehand and backhand side, attacking easily on both wings. Disadvantages: this type of grip produces what is called “crossover point” a place where neither forehand nor backhand could be easily executed. A decision has to be made in a very short period of time and a player has to move in order to make a good quality shot.
The type of grip you choose is entirely up to you but it is good to analyze what kind or player you are and what grip is best for you. Your coach should be more than happy to help you out with this decision.