Footsies, Poking, Kara Canceling, and Sagat


Hey all, I’m new to the SRK forums, and just had a couple of questions I was hoping I could get some help with. I used to main Ryu, took him to like 2000 BP before I ended up getting a TE arcade stick. Now, like most people, I feel like I’m starting over so instead of picking a character I don’t particularly like (Ryu) I switched to Sagat. I started fighting games with SF4, and even though I do all right online, I still consider myself a noob. I watched all of TBirdSF4’s videos and feel like I picked up some stuff I didn’t know before, which was a great help, but after reading a bunch of posts on these forums trying to improve my game, I came across terms that I’m not too familiar with. I read the sticky for the definitions of Footsies/poking/kara canceling (which I know is important for Sagat, but not sure what it means or how to perform it), but I was hoping I could get some simpler, or even more advanced explanations about what some of these terms mean.



I’ll try my best:

Footsies: Its basically using crouching attacks such as “cr. mk” to control space. A good example is how Ryu uses this move to setup his Hadouken, and to force opponents to jump so that he can SRK them (anti-air). Pretty much the point of footsies is to get your enemy to jump or move back into a corner.

Poking: Similar to footsies, its basically using normals to control space. Pokes can also be used to stuff certain attacks, such using a punch to stop a possible fireball. In SF HD Remix, I would often use Cammy’s st. mk and st. fp to zone Zangief, for example.

Kara Canceling: This one is more difficult for me to define. I guess it means canceling one move with another. An example in IV/SSIV is Akuma’s “Itabashi Slayer”, whereby the player performs the Raging Demon out of canceling from a st. mp. There is also using Ken’s “F+mk” kick and then canceling that into a throw (“kara throw”).

Check this out:

EDIT: Here’s a video on Ken’s kara throw: [media=youtube]9We8ZsutK_c[/media]


Kara cancelling is cancelling a whiffed normal move into a special or a throw. With Sagat, instead of doing the tiger knee motion (forward, down, down-forward+K) you can try doing a kara tiger knee with forward+HK (forward+HK, down, down-forward+K). You should see a noticeable difference in range. You can also do this with his uppercuts.

Note: if you do use kara tiger knee, don’t do it from point blank like this guy in the video. lol

For an explanation of footsies read Maj’s footsie handbook.
sonic hurricane dot com ? Footsies Handbook


Thanks for your help, that link seems to have some useful information in it…I appreciate you taking the time to respond.


I think I played you not too long ago Mariodood. Adon vs Cammy.

Anyways, both of these guys are right, especially with the kara-Cancelling on Sagat. Thats pretty important because it psyches people out once they see the :r: :hk:. Then you just cancel it into a :dp: :hp: and they eat massive damage. Or even cancel it into a Tiger knee. Both ways are pretty cool on Sagat imo.


I don’t play with Sagat, but i’ll try.

Footsies- i like to define it as using normals to keep the opponent at bay. Sagat, Vega, Balrog, Blanka, Ryu, Ken, Fei Long, and Bison are probably the best at doing this in SSF4. They have quick long range pokes and thats what you really need to be good at footsies. You also need to know when to start going in to rushdown. There was an article about footsies on Sonic Hurricane. Check it out.

Sagat’s best moves for footsies are cr. mk, cr. hk, and st. hk.

Poking- Short for pressuring the opponent. You pressure them with quick normals and/or long range attacks. Poking, in my opinion is more offensive and footsies are more defensive. The above characters i listed are the best at poking, including dhalsim.

Sagat’s best moves for poking are cr. lk, cr. mk and cr. lp. cr. mk is able to cancel into fireball if you get a hit.

Kara cancelling is cancelling a normal midway into another move. for example, kara knee is f+lk xxx tiger knee. Even before the move hits, you cancel it into tiger knee, making it a hell of a feint.

Have you heard of Kara throws? Same concept, you cancel a normal into a throw. Sagats kara throw is I believe is st. hk ~ lp+lk.

I hope I helped :wgrin:


read the guide on footsies, its too broad a concept to be explained other than up close combat - this includes things like trying to force reactions out of your opponents and acting accordingly by doing things like dipping in and out of effective normal/special ranges, pretending to make mistakes, all kinds of things

its essentially tricking your opponent into making mistakes, or simply just being faster than them, etc so you can capitalize. in short - read the articles


I will read the articles, I didn’t know they existed, but you guys were a great help. I’m glad I joined up with these forums, thanks again.


Footsies are one of the most important aspects in SF4 to be successful, it is much heavier on footsies than previous titles. Footsies is using normals and fireballs, and occasionally other moves, to control space and try to bait mistakes out of your opponent or get a hit confirm.

Pokes are the normals for your character that are best used in footsies when trying to get a hit confirm.

A hit confirm, if you don’t know, is just what it sounds like, it is when a normal connects that is not blocked and therefore causes them to go into hit recovery. This is generally referred to in reference to using your normals in an attempt to get a hit confirm that you can combo into.

Kara throws/cancelling have already been explained well.

Here’s a couple links on footsies/zoning:

sonic hurricane dot com Footsies Handbook (EXTREMELY good guide, recommended for anybody who hasn’t read it to read it. Tells you the basics of footsies and many advanced techniques and thought processes)

[media=youtube]HFTvXXoDNRA&feature=related[/media] (Part 1/3 of a basics guide, I recommend watching all 3 parts)