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  1. #1
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    Default Playing style: North American vs S.E. Asian

    Over this past weekend, I played first time with another player who is more advanced than I am. And he commented:

    "You know, I haven't figured your play out yet, but you play more South East Asean style of badminton, rather than North American."

    then he got roped into other games, and I didn't get a chance to ask him about this again in detail, but basically I got the idea that he doesn't like my offensive clears, which didn't give him a chance to set up to receive.

    I, myself, don't mind getting smashed at, nor do I mind giving offensive clears. I DO notice that my doubles partners get really annoyed getting cross-court smashed at, with short notice.

    At the recreational/drop-in level, is this statement generally true, in your playing experience/opinion? That SEA badminton is more agressive, compared to the more technically-minded games of North America (errr, or rather Vancouver, Canada)?

    -dave

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    I noticed a difference in style too when I played in Singapore over the summer.

    The few fast doubles games that I have watched consisted mostly of the smash-n-lift sequence. There appears to be few drop shots mixed in with the smashes to vary the pace of the game. I guess this makes the game play look really aggressive.

    On the other hand, most of the doubles games played here in Ithaca consists of a mixed bag of drops and offensive clears and rather few smashes. This makes the pace of the game more variable, and also less aggressive.

    I don't know what the North American style of play is, since the people I play with here are mostly Indian and Chinese nationals. Although I can't say I know what the SE Asian style of play is, I think I can tell, by the style of play, that someone is from Singapore, and has played on a school team before. There is something characteristic about the way clears are done by Singaporean school players. I think it's probably a matter of a few prominent coaches passing on their personal styles to the younger generation of players.
    Last edited by cheongsa; 11-24-2003 at 11:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hey Dave, are you sure it's the difference between SEA vs NA playing styles that is troubling your partners? From what you've written, and if I was in your partner's shoes, I wouldn't consider an offensive clear to be one that could be smashed back at us, especially not at a pace and angle that we couldn't convert into our offensive. I would consider that a defensive clear.

    As for SEA vs NA styles, I don't think smashing and being aggressive is necessarily a particular ethnical or geographical style. At the club I play at the general style of play is as follows:

    Top players use a good mixture of aggressive, hard, to soft shots, with subtle deception, and always extremely well placed shots. They use the best shot required in any given situation to win the point or maintain offense.

    Mid to upper intermediate players, which comprises a huge range of skill, depends more on the player. Some use more aggressive style, especially the youthful ones with endless amounts of energy, and others rely more on placement and touch. Of course there are those inbetween as well.

    Beginner to mid intermediate players seem to just want to hit the shuttle over the net as hard as possible with the odd attempt to place it or hit a subtle shot.

    Of course these are all generalizations and don't necessarily speak for everyone but they do seem to hold relatively true from what I've observed at my club over the past year.

    As for an actual differences in playing styles between SEA vs NA, it may not depend on geography but rather on ethnical background of the player, the players that they play with, and the people that they learned to play from. Personally, I began playing badminton learning from players at a club that was 99.9% caucasian, myself being the 0.1% token asian . I know for a fact that they had played badminton all their lives and always with other caucasians, as it was a small community. The latter half of my badminton "career", has been spent playing and learning at VRC, a club that is roughly 95% asian. If I compare the playing styles of the top players at both clubs, I don't think there is much difference in gameplay styles but rather more on actual technique differences.

    What would be interesting would be to ask Kwun, who as you know, came to visit VRC this year, if he noticed a difference in playing styles between us Canucks and from what he's used to seeing back home. Even though all of us Canucks were from asian backgrounds .

    Further, there's a member of our club who frequently visits Germany on business. He plays badminton at a club on his visits there, and he said in general, the german players didn't play subtle soft shots very often (unlike us asians he added ). He said they were generally all quite large players and the outcomes of the games dependant on who could smash more often and harder .

  4. #4
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    Oh, of course! ... I was thrown a red herring, I think, by the player who made the comment. It's the skill level that's the difference, not regional/geographical/ethnical difference.

    It makes sense. Advance players do make subtle shots, varied with hard smashes with accurate placements, like you said.

    Looks like I have a LOOOOONG road ahead of me to add more depth to my game.

    -dave

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    you'll get there dave, just take your time and keep playing more

    in mens doubles, any non-strategic clear is an invitation for your opponents to ram it down your throat. if not your's worse, you piss off your partner when you do this too often. if tho' you both feel confident that you both can handle anything your opponent sends your way, then feel free, but not if you are playing a more serious or competitive game.

    in mens doubles, an attacking clear can also be quickly smashed back, and unless your partner is ready, it comes back even faster since the clear has less time to travel. you opponent plays a good shot which is to take out your partner as he is the one less likely to be ready for the smash.

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    very hard to say. i don't think there is much difference in terms of style as in choice of shot. but there is definitely difference in style as in how each stroke are executed. in a loose sense, i find that Asians have better basics than N. Americans, as a result, they have more choices of shots and more relaxed. in the US, most ppl have bad strokes and it is not as effective to vary shots as they can be read easily.

    as for differences between Canada and US, i find that the average level of players in VRC are higher than the gyms that i frequent here in the US. the quality of shots and shot styles are also better. usually, we have perhaps one player like that in the gym in the US but in VRC many ppl have good playing style.

    choice of shots, defensive, offensive, offensive clear are quite individual i find. depends on what the skill level allows. i find it hard to see a pattern there...

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    On one to one comparison, one may see some style different between SEA and NA players. However, such difference may attributed to just skill difference. To make such a broad generalization, one should make comparison on the general population of all players which I too dont see the difference can be separated into SEA versus NA styles.

    On the pros level, i think any difference that may exist decades ago had diminished because both sides have learned from each other. With coaches crossing borders, video camera and taping, any advantages and weakness can be easily identified and exploited.

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