10 Questions about Ken

Some questions about the basics of Ken.

Hi, I’ve been a HUGE fan of third strike for awhile (I never played much but I’d always observe TheShend’s videos). I’ve got a couple of Ken questions…

#1. Why is his target combo not used in typical SF4/SSF4 videos I see? It can’t be used after a cross up jumping MK or anything like that? I notice even when people hit with the jumping MK, they still do the typical "BnB"s that include a bunch of lights to a tatsu/shoryuk.

#2. Does it really matter which BnB you use? I’ve seen CLK -> SLP -> CMK -> Tatsu/Shoryuken, but I’ve also seen CLK -> SLP -> CHP -> Fierce Shoryu etc. I can’t seem to do these BnBs as well. I am trying very hard not to use the shortcuts (i noticed when i press the diagonal twice it does a shoryuken) but it’s very hard for me to do the motions so quickly. Does anyone have tips on how to execute things like the following:

2x CLP -> Fierce Shoryu

#3. Which Ultra is the typically preferred one? I’m not too sure which one to use and I always just use Shinryuken by default, because I like to use it if I hit them with a good focus attack.

Thanks for any answers, and sorry if these are scrub questions. This is my 3rd day playing.

1.Target combo likes to whiff crouching

  1. I’d say it comes down to personal preference. I wouldn’t use a lot of c.MK in srk combos since that likes to push them out too far. With stuff like c.LP srk, try holding down/forward instead of just down. Remember you have to time the last normal properly in order to be able to cancel it into a special.

  2. He can land U2 after something like c.MK xx Hado or c.HP xx hado FADC, so against decent opponents it has a better chance to land imho.

Next time, please post in this thread: http://shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=184189

I see. So if my hit confirming skills get good enough, I can probably utilize it? It’s very easy for me to do :slight_smile:

I see. I can do 2x CLP to SRK MOST of the time, but under pressure I end up screwing up, so I’m trying to find a way to be consistent. If I hold down/forward instead of down, is there a simple shortcut/easy way to do SRK? Like if I hold down/forward, do I just have to do one down/forward motion to do SRK or will I have to do the full Z motion?

Okay, thank you.

I will, sorry about that.

Already answered. Whiffs on crouchers, has range issues, and for a punish close standing roundhouse is better anyway to keep damage scaling down.

The combos are situational. Tatsu combos require that the opponent be standing (which can be forced with close fwd or crouching fierce in combos). Tatsu combos are for dealing a lot of stun and setting up an immediate mixup in their face. Be careful though – any normal tatsu leaves you neutral at best, at disadvantage at worst, and normal tatsus sometimes whiff if you combo into them from far normals. EX, on the other hand, leaves you with frame advantage and will work comboed from max range low fwd. SRK combos are for hitting crouching opponents or getting good damage and a knockdown without meter use.

Crouching fwd is fine in combos if they’re standing and you’re going for EX tatsu. Otherwise, yeah. And for some reason there’s misinformation about shoto light attacks to SRK all over the place – yes it’s true that you cannot rapid fire chained attacks into a special, you have to deliberately time the last normal as a link instead in order to cancel to special. This is irrevelant to c.lpx2 (or whatever) into SRK though because you are not canceling the last jab. You are simply linking the SRK itself. If you’re, say, Sagat this is a different story, but don’t make this harder than it is for shotos. Just chain the jabs without worrying about them and focus on your timing on the SRK. Again, it’s not a cancel to SRK, it’s a link to SRK.

And it’s worth your while to learn the real motion for SRK. I just do the motion very fast after hit confirming my jabs. To me, the comfortable motion after the last jab also happens to be how long you have to wait before linking the SRK anyway. SRK shortcuts are better for AA situations since your character won’t have to stand to SRK. Also, relying on shortcuts too much won’t help you if you ever feel like playing a different fighting game.

Thanks for all the info. I’ll just practice doing the SRK motions, etc faster.

1.Which DP is the best anti air and why?
2.How do I kara throw with the PS3 pad?
3.How can I fully hit with the DP FADC into ultra 1?I always let the HP DP hit twice and then FADC,but the ultra never fully hits.
4.How often do you guys train 1 combo to get the timing right?
5.Maybe I am wrong,but does it sometime only take you 1 bar from the super meter when you cancel a DP and if so why or when does it only take 1 bar away?
6.How do I approach vs a good Sim player?Should I use FAs and try to time them right or how should I play vs Sim?
7.Does Ken have any other normals as AA besides his cr.HP?
8.Should I use his normal tatsu in the air and if yes,in what situations or is this not recommended because it is too weak?
9.How do I hit my opponent with the EX tatsu in the air when I did a DP FADC before?It seems like I always dash forward too late.
10.Can anyone point out some of my mistakes in this match which I lost?


I have been playing Ken now for a few weeks and I still don’t know everything.
Anyway thx in advance for all the answers.

  1. MP - long invincibility (aka least likely to trade) and does the most damage
  2. Either a very late anti air first hit FP.SRK FADC or COUNTER HIT FP.srk FADC
  3. Every time. But like practicing a musical instrument you want to rotate through your entire repertoire in order to prevent rust.
  4. 2 bars
  5. Pick your spots to come in. You have to use everything like dashes, empty jumps, EX Tatsu, etc. Pin him in the corner he has less options. EX Tatsu can go through U1. Psychic SRK does not hurt when you know a long limb is coming. Option select a jump in tatsu is imperative.
  6. crouching mp
  7. Air lk.tatsu as a cross up can be combo to and great for SRK happy players.
  8. f.Jump and EX Tatsu in one quick motion.
  9. Round 2 - you punished his whiffed Flash Kick with a throw. You should have unleashed something stronger (like an EX tatsu combo or regular tatsu combo, that should earn you your second EX bar which means give you flexibility at the end of your tatsu combo).

The only thing I will add is on number 3. If i’m using ultra 1 sometimes I will try to fish out for the CH. Like say on a knockdown, do a meaty fake step to bait a reaction then DP.

The anti air dp ultra set up also applies to late on in their focus crumple.

hold forward on the DP before you FADC, then when you press FA you only need to press forward once more… gets you out shit loads quicker

vs sim: bait, fireball (at infrequent times so he cant guess it, but do the motion like you might), be patient, jump back, EX tatsu thru fireballs at range, light DP if you think he is going to stick some limbs at you… it takes a while for this matchup, but its great fun learning it… youll have tougher times vs really good, lol forgotten his name… bossman… ye… I know my shit, honest…

Round 2 - you punished his whiffed Flash Kick with a throw. You should have unleashed something stronger (like your ultra combo)

Never do a SRK across the screen from a guile spamming sonic booms to build EX or jump in on a crouching guile.

At 3:07 in Round 3 you should have F.SRK > FADC > Air Tatsu > Ultra. That would have been at least 350 damage and you would have won.

Against the Sagat you either spammed or wasted your super at 5:26… you should never use your super after one jumping short kick, three jab punches and a shoryuken the damage will scale poorly.

First, I’d like to say your Ken is really good.

Now, when I HP DP into ultra after I FADC, I delay it just a LITTLE, meaning right when you dash out of your focus cancel, right when the opponents body is starting to fall or started falling, you Shinryuken. I’ve done this, and I still have not found out the perfect way to get the full Ultra after HP DP FADC, but when I do this online and Endless battle, about 3 out of 5 times I get this succesfully. Try to let the body fall a little and use your Ultra 1, I don’t know if there’s a certain time that it will actually give you 100% full Ultra connect. But that’s basically how I have gotten mine to hit.

The rest of the help you need is actually what I’m getting used to or trying to get better understanding it. #10, you got hit alot while jumping into Guilde’s Sonic Boom, that’s how I see it, you jumped forward and got hit, but basically I would also stay close to Guile and also keeping watch of his Flash Kick. That’s my only advice I guess, Guile to me is pretty trick against Ken.

I always thought the only way you could get a HP Dp FADC full ultra is if the hp dp is a counter hit.

Kara throwing on a d pad is tricky. One way is to either very quickly slide your thumb to hit throw. Another way is so change your button config to make it more manageable. Otherwise it’s simple to do on a stick one you practice the motions for a while.

About guile, he’s tough for me too, though i do have trouble with charge characters in general. Though charge characters always seem to have an ideal space that you need to be in. Against guile i’d say try to stay just outside of his c.HK range and play carefully around there. You’re trying to get in without suffering too much damage. Sonic booms aren’t too bad but when you jump in you can eat an anti air or air throw which hurt a bit more. All while avoiding the random flash kick if he feels you’re getting too aggressive.

That being said, they usually have a slight pattern to em. I found ken’s f.mk to be pretty good to throw at him sometimes, and it lets you get in ideal range to start mix ups. Always change the way you approach guiles too, and be ready to just block sometimes. If you bait a flash kick, free combo.

Thx a lot everyone for the tips.

  1. See Loque’s technique. Hold forward from the DP, Hold MP+MK, release then tap forward again, then immediately release MP+MK during the dash. From this, go straight into forward jump. You’ll have to wait for the dash to endbefore you can get in the air. Immediately as you see the jump stard buffer the QCB motion for the tatsu.

It’s common to feel like you’re leaving the tatsu too late because your opponent is falling so fast - you expect to miss their hitbox. However, the 4 hits from the EX tatsu kinda suck the enemy upwards while you’re starting to fall.

It’s some tricky timing, but you should finally close the combo with a combination of two kicks roughly half way toward the apex of the jump (i.e. pretty damn fast after you leave the ground, hence having to learn the timing, rather than going off the reaction of jumping at the end of the dash, but not immediately as the jump starts). Try to hit the two kicks simultaneously so that you don’t end up with a kara-EX-Air-Tatsu - you don’t want to super man out of it. If you fly high, you’re hitting the kicks too early. You should be close to hovering/fall before you start off, but still moving upward.

I think that the first hit of the EX tatsu makes ken start to fall, even if you launched into it with upward velocity. The tatsu has a lot of varieties based on your input timings so it’s a bit hard to tell.

The optimal place to launch the DP FADC from is about a third of the way away from the corner, with you facing toward that corner. That way, you can land under the wall clipped opponent and quite easily ultra 1 (you can buffer the 2xqcf before hitting the ground, then hit PPP as you land.

To find the right circumstances for this combo in a real match is like having a perfect storm: at least 3 bars, enemy in the correct position, and an opening into a combo (you can hit confirm into this combo by using your bnb c.lk, c.lp [optional extra c.lp] xx f.SRK ). Personally, after I trained the combo, I got so obsessed with pulling it off in a match that my game suffered. Still haven’t done it in a real match because it’s so hard to set up :(.

Only thing I have to add is that I didn’t see you use the stepkick even once. Or the overhead kicks for that matter. Not to mention the overhead fake. Overhead fake->throw is a bit gimmicky, but usually gets you at least one throw a match. The overheads aren’t essential, but add to Ken’s bag of mixup tricks. And Ken can get kind of predictable, so the more mix ups you threaten with the better.

The step kick on the other hand; I think you’re depriving yourself of an excellent pressure tool by not using it. It allows you to close distance and pressure without jumping, which is huge. I would say that playing against a Ken that puts the step kick to good use makes me feel a lot more pressured than some Ken I can just anti air all day.

Karaing on pad is easier than on stick for me… don’t use mk. use HK instead… if you don’t know how to do it all together, f + HK > lp + lk. but done almost all at once, but f+hk comes first.

Nice Ken. I’m no pro but I did see a few holes in your game
Vs Guile
round 1: don’t hadoken too close. Esp against Guile who’s got arguably the best projectile in the game. Recovery time is awful on Ken’s hadoken. You only did it once so it was prob by mistake. Still worth pointing out though.
Round 2: Good pressure with the block strings. Missed a couple of opportunities to end them with a kara throw. Doing so would give you more chances to go for jumping mk cross ups. You could even go into b mk and perform the quick overhead kick after those block strings to mix things up. Also, whiffed flash kick should be punished harder. Instead of a throw, should’ve gone for ultra or target combo
Round 3: You were sitting on meter and ultra. After a throw you could’ve crossed up wth ex tatsu, hp shoryuken, FADC ultra. It’s easy and it’s dishes out big damage

At 2:41 you could have juggled into an EX Shoryuken.