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Alex Robertson
By Alex Robertson on June 16, 2022

The Mizuki Shot

Have you heard of the 'Mizuki shot'? I hadn't either until recently! Even though it's a shot I've played on occasion in training and in matches, I didn't actually realize that it was named the Mizuki until a friend told me. 

It seemed like the perfect topic for a blog post...

First things first, what does the Mizuki shot look like? Well, the ball needs to be quite high up and ready to be volleyed on the backhand side, to play the Mizuki you would then go for a backhand but at the last moment flip your racquet underneath / downwards so it's basically a forehand.

Note that the shot is pretty much always played on the backhand side, I have tried it on the forehand before and it's not easy and doesn't look as smooth.

Since it's very difficult to actually paint a picture of what this shot looks like, I recorded a short video clip of me playing a Mizuki into the front left and front right corners of the court.


Hopefully, that video gives you a better perspective on what the Mizuki looks like and how it's played.

In the introduction, I referred to the Mizuki as an unorthodox shot (which it is), however, I'd also classify it as a trick shot. You won't really see this played by modern-day professionals very often at all as the risk of making a mistake or playing a poor shot is pretty high.

With that said, I think it's very fun to play once you get the hang of it a bit and it's a great one to have under your belt if you're looking to get more creative on the court.

Anyway, I did some research into the history of the shot and I couldn't actually find that much about it. Sources seem to indicate that the Mizuki was created by retired Egyptian squash pro, Hisham Ashour, the older brother of squash legend Ramy Ashour.

I'm not 100% sure whether or not he was the first person to play it, however, by the looks of things he was well known for playing the shot pretty often. I've also got absolutely no idea why it's called the Mizuki, I saw some speculation about some sort of cartoon character but I really couldn't find anything substantial.

I found a great video of him showing it in a similar way to my video, you can view it by clicking here.

Although I never really watched Hisham play before his retirement, judging by the comments on this video he played the Mizuki well and often during matches. Seems like it was a real crowd pleaser!

The question is since it's so risky, why would you want to play it at all? Well, the Mizuki can actually be pretty deceptive if you shape your racquet up in the right way.

Let's say you're on the T in a similar position to that in the video(s) and your opponent has played a loose high shot that's coming towards the middle of the court...

If you shape up to play a backhand crosscourt drop, you can use the Mizuki to actually play the ball in a completely different direction into the opposite front corner of the court.

Essentially, the Mizuki allows you to completely reverse the angle of your racquet at the very last second, giving you the opportunity to send your opponent in the wrong direction.

The ball doesn't have to be coming down the middle to play this shot either. Another scenario would be that your opponent plays a high, somewhat loose backhand length...

If you're on the T, you can step across to volley your opponent's weak shot with a Mizuki.

Since your racquet needs to be very open to play the Mizuki, it'll actually look as though you're going to volley with another medium height length, your opponent definitely won't be expecting you to flick your racquet downwards at the last second to take the ball.

I would say that I'm not advocating that you start playing this shot regularly, I just think that there is a case to be made that it can actually be an effective shot (rather than just a showboating trick).

So, when it comes to practicing and developing the Mizuki for yourself, unfortunately, it just comes down to a lot of trial and error. The best way to get a feel for the shot is to stand on the T and feed yourself a very high soft lob onto your backhand and just give it a go.

Chances are, it'll be a bit frustrating at first when you try to figure out the angle your racquet needs to be, but please try to stick with it and it'll eventually click!

I actually learned this shot when messing around on the court with a friend of mine, since we were both trying it out for the first time, we were able to figure it out together, give each other feedback, and learn from each other's mistakes.

I think this helped a lot, so if you've got a training partner who's willing to give the Mizuki a go, it might be helpful to learn it together.

Anyway, I hope this was at the very least an interesting read! If you try the Mizuki out, or if you're already able to play it, please send over some video footage if you can, I'd love to see it!

This article was taken from our On The 'T' Newsletter, if you're interested in receiving more content like this, please feel free to sign up using the subscribe section located at the bottom left of this page (or underneath the article if you're on mobile), thanks!

Published by Alex Robertson June 16, 2022
Alex Robertson