There are two main ways to hold a table tennis paddle or bat.
The shakehands grip - generally favoured by Western players and is so named because you hold the paddle as if ready to perform a handshake.
A slight variation on this is the Seemiller grip which was pioneered by America's Danny Seemiller.
The penhold grip - popular among players from Asia, is so named because you hold the paddle as you would a pen.
Traditionally, penhold players use only one side of the paddle, however, the Chinese have developed a new technique where both sides of the paddle are used (the reverse penhold backhand).
There are a wide variety of shots used in table tennis.
Attacking shots, with the exception of the smash, impart topspin on the ball, and defensive shots, apart from the block, put backspin on the ball.
Some players rely on attacking strokes to power past opponents, while others are content to soak up pressure from the back of the court, lobbing the ball back onto the table with heavy amounts of spin.
A match between two proponents of these differing techniques is often exhilarating to watch.