Can anyone care to explain arcade 'sparring' for me?

I’ve been seeing this in Japan arcades for years, but I don’t really understand how to approach it. I remember a long time ago I tried playing against one of the sparring players… I defeated one of them, and they kind of left the arcade. So I was obviously interrupting… or I wasn’t playing the right way?

The best way I can describe it-- It’s two player, but even though one player depletes the other’s health, the objective isn’t really to beat your opponent. The only objective I get is to drag out a match. For instance in SF3, you’d parry, block, evade projectiles, or break throws a lot. Not so much in the way of combo practice. It’s definitely not just BS’ing and practicing. There’s something more specific to this ‘sparring’ style.

I guess I want to know what routines go into sparring (what I call it), and if there’s anything I can learn from this style of play. Thanks to anyone who can offer a helpful answer!

I have no idea what you are suffering to, what are those Japs up to?!

It’s probably just defensive training? I mean if they’re just teching throws and parrying and stuff + not doing big combos and just one touch pokes (that’s what I’m thinking they’re doing anyway?) it just sounds like they’re working on the defensive side of the game(s).

:u: Okay, that definitely makes sense. Yeah, a lot of pokes and UOHs as well. But it’s interesting that it’s basically the same practice routines from different players and different arcades… as if it came from the same magazine or website?

It’s just practice, doesn’t have to be just defense but they happened to be focusing on it unless they used a different term. Back when arcades existed where I live, pre-2000, a lot of people trained at the arcade, it was the cool thing to do and consoles were for nerds. You would have three kinds of cabs, one for money games, one for sparring, and one for the scrubs to break the joystick and buttons.

Sounds like you interrupted their training so they just left. It is public and anyone can challenge anyone but some places have their communities and some unspoken rules. In some parts, when someone interrupted these sessions, the group would just shut the machine off, I even saw someone get stabbed for interfering (not MvC2 related).

^ That’s interesting wish our arcades worked like that. Sparring for us was just when 2 friends went during a lull period and wanted to get the most bang for the buck. Most of the time it was just to waste time but sometimes we handicap ourselves to focus on things we want to work on. I.E. we did use lights only, but we might also make it no specials just to focus on basics, or no jumping to work on the ground game.

Now I know a few people that would walk away from someone who wants to join in. Usual M.O. was guy steps up, one of the two eventually lose, guy challenges, gets spanked and the winner tells him to go ahead and play on his side. He’s usually happy for a free game and the winner is happy to get away from the challenges.

To this day I sometimes throw handicapping in online fights if the guy is just learning the game, but it all goes back to saving money while wasting time.

Hmm seems like an interesting idea. This thread cropped up in my head while I was in the shower and I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to set up a kind of sparring match with my friends.

For some reason when I picture it in my head, players take turns trying block strings and poke mix ups/footsie games on the opponent who’s on defense. If they land a hit within 4-8 moves then they reset position and can keep trying mix ups but if the defense blocks/techs everything it’s their turn to try. Would be kinda interesting as you’d eventually develop some nice shenanigans as well as the become better at blocking complicated mixups and footsies