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Badminton Playing Styles: How To Find The BEST Playing Style

Before declaring that you only want to play like the Chinese because they win 87% of all world titles, remember that many regions of the world have produced brilliant players who got the job done, despite the lower numbers and lower funding for badminton in the area.

We should not advocate that one badminton playing style is superior to another, there are only players who have mastered their own style better than others.  Once upon a time, Denmark had 5 players in the top 7. Before that, Indonesia had 9 players in the top 20 and recently, Malaysia had 8 players in the top 30.

Below are the typical characteristics of the main badminton playing styles of from different regions of the world.

Spraining your ankle in badminton

Denmark badminton playing style

Denmark is dominated by Peter Gade copycats, who use a very upright posture and disciplined racket angles to approach the net. The technique is generally deceptive from the net with a lot of variation, especially the cross nets.

Danish style is based on deception and skill shots with speed and quality of rallies being the priority. Long distance is not their thing but they compensate with tactics and match toughness.

Peter Gade in Action

Korean badminton playing style

Long distance is their thing. The fittest of the Asian countries, the Koreans are renowned for their early morning warm-up routines that often last hours as well as their incredible discipline on court and absolute lack of emotion.

They typically have a stiff technique and look similar to the Chinese in most shots but are generally defensive players rather than attacking as their Chinese counterparts.

The Koreans are all about wearing the opponent down with concentration, aerobic fitness and energy. They are the least creative of all the countries but their results cannot be ignored.

Lee Hyun

Chinese badminton playing style

Always cutting edge, the Chinese have been the main innovators of the game and have influenced the development of badminton around the world more than any other country.

The Chinese style is generally structured with short swings and crisp attacking shots. The style is based on smooth, technical rallies combined with deadly explosions when the chance is right.

They are usually physically very fit but with the explosive element that allows them to be extra deadly. They are masters of the around the head corner and invented the “turn back jump smash”.

The Chinese also appear to be the most polished of all the countries only fielding perfect badminton machines such as Lin Dan, Chen Hong, Boa Chunlai, Zhang Ning, Xie Xinfang… and the list goes on.

Lin Dan at the Olympics

Indonesian badminton playing style

They got the rhythm and creativity. Indonesians are very unusual in that their coaches don’t promote a structure to their technique or style of play. Thus, the Indonesians produce some of the strangest techniques on earth (Flandy Limpele, Taufik Hidayat, Sigit budiarto) as well as some of the most skillful players ever.

Indonesians are generally counter attackers, which is fitting because they are so relaxed and carefree when on court. They often outlast their opponents not based on a superior physical but a superior game shape.

Their techniques have great flair and they rely on feel rather than structure and discipline. Their incredible numbers of badminton players and training hours ensure that they are always producing some of the world’s top players.

Simon Santoso vs Lin Dan

Malaysian badminton playing style

The Malaysians are hard to define. They typically have an overall package, a bit of everything but not one aspect that stands out. 

The Malaysian are more structured in technique than the Indonesians but not to the level of the Koreans or Chinese. They are much fitter than the Danes but generally go down to the Koreans. The Malaysian badminton players are tactically superior to the Chinese but not to the Danish.

The Malaysian player is a well-rounded player, not a rallier, an attacker or a defender specifically but capable of all of the above.

Lee Chong Wei vs Kento Momota

Final thoughts

As you can see there are many different styles you can play in badminton. I can’t say which one is the best, every era is dominated by a different style. You need to watch all the players and decide for yourself which playing style suits you the most.

      Badminton Master