How to Play Properly by Ry-dawg


Hey guys. Ryan here. After a great successful weekend at The Fall Classic in Raleigh, North Carolina, I want to open discussions on how to improve.

I don’t know why, but the character specific discussions are now open to see. Thats great! I hope to see some new activity amongst you guys discussing how to improve your characters.

I was very impressed by the level of play in Raleigh this past weekend. It seemed that even guys who don’t play anymore can still shake off the rust and make some good plays. Guys who are still active were doing sick shit and everyone seems ready to take their game to the next level.

When I first moved to Japan in 2012, I thought I was sick. I was just getting into Chun-Li, and had the confidence of a schoolboy who gets A+'s on all his tests. All the Japanese players were giving me compliments saying how strong I was getting. I was on top of Tokyo Tower; or even on top of the Skytree! Fast forward a few years later, and I know that the compliments were just kindness. I had plateaued. I couldn’t win consistently. I couldn’t place well at every tournament I went to. I would lose to random guys in casuals. It was then that I realized I wasn’t playing properly. I needed to level up again.

I had a lot of discussions with many players and asked for genuine criticism and advice. The thing that many people said to me was that I played too reactionary. I wanted to do a sick parry and kill someone. i wanted to wait for people to make mistakes and punish. It’s not the correct way to play.

There are some important general guidelines to playing 3rd Strike properly.

The first rule should go without saying that you have to have perfect execution. You should be able to play a match and feel that you didn’t make a single mistake. This is the most important.

Next, is learning matchups. This is an area that Japan does so well, and America does not. In America, people don’t use their full potential with matchups. When you go into a match, you should know exactly what your general game plan is. For example, I’m Q and I have to play vs Dudley. Ok first things first, my best pokes are back hp, cr mp, and cr lk. I know that he will be looking for pokes to punish with EX mgb. He wants to get kill me, and I want to get my taunts in. I should know how to get the Dudley specific combos and not drop them. I should know how to properly guard against Dudley’s offense. These key things should help make the matchup much easier.

A major breakthrough mentally in this game is when you get hit by something and you acknowledge it with acceptance rather than resentment. When I play vs Ken and I get hit by cr mp jinrai, I never feel mad. I don’t feel confused. If you get hit by something, you understand exactly why. When you watch strong people play, they will often nod their head when they eat something. Basically you want to feel that you ate something because you chose the wrong thing, rather than you fucked up. It’s a fact that everyone is going to eat cr mk houyokosen. Everyone will get hit by short short jinrai. Everyone will eat karakusa. You have to make decisions and stand by them.

Let’s improve and get better!


I thought there would be a lot more


So, I should quit fighting games altogether, got it.


lol relax…It’s the first post in an ongoing quest to get everyone to improve.

Obviously I meant with the combos and confirms that your character needs. Fundamental combos for example, hit confirm chun super, hayate seichusen, cr mp jinrai, dart shot super etc.


pyrolee said that in the old podcast with gootecks iirc.
execution is something you can always practice and improve. so there’s really no excuse and if you can’t execute the decision your brain makes then you’re kinda fucked and/or limited.

also ryan responded to my pm in like 2008/9 asking him for advice about urien. so always respect :slight_smile:
same goes to yuuki for playing with me on ggpo for like a year with barely any progress on my end and lots of discussions about the mind to mind game and how to improve and just bullshitting.

much love from a lifer scrub.


One thing that has always helped me improve is exactly what ryan points out: you’re going to get hit by something. The difference in my play, particularly against random players, is that I don’t get mad anymore when I get hit by something that I would previously feel was just “random” or “stupid”. The more I hated on it, the more I’d get mad, and as a result, I’d get hit by even more stupid stuff because my ego got in the way.

Accept what happens and move on from it. Everything is information at this point, and you need information to make more correct decisions. Just because you got hit by something you weren’t expecting, you can’t get mad at it hoping that it will erase what just happened. Process and move on.

I also cannot stress how much matchup knowledge helps, particularly if you’re playing a lower-tiered character. I play Alex as my main; I have for over a decade now (how I haven’t killed myself because of this, I don’t know). Chun Li players have often seen my Alex and taken it for granted. However, I’ve seen the match-up enough to understand where a kara-throw setup (and ultimately, the fake setup into a possible cr.forward or b.fierce) may happen, and when to pressure/back off.

Thinking about it, of all the players that were at TFC, each one of us improved. We gotta keep the momentum going!

EDIT - After thinking about it, I want to add more stuff here.

Learn defense, damnit.

I’ve seen too many players come through and all they want to do is parry and do the sick RX combo that they jacked off over. They can’t land it, and as a result, they get pissed because the opponent just “sits back and blocks” or just “turtles”. Newer players do not want to just “hold back”.

Learn how to defend yourself. In the movie “The Karate Kid”, the first thing that Daniel-san learns (yeah, we’re not going with the 2010 reboot) is how to block. Now, while the idea of blocking is simple enough, defense requires more than just the ability to hold back. It encompasses the ability to recognize ranges. It requires the ability to store information based on what the opponent is showing you and what you already know about the opponent. It demands knowledge of where your character is most vulnerable and where the opponent can strike you the best. Good defense, in my experience, makes offense much easier for you, since the opponent can no longer implement their offense.

Remember. Any fuckmook can hit buttons. But not every fuckmook knows how to block.


inconsistent execution and hit confirms, lack of matchup knowledge, too much waiting around and waiting for parry punish

sounds like some guy I know!


Such passion on display in this thread!

All joking a salad. I don’t realize how sub par my execution is until I actually find my self in live match situations such as this weekend in Raleigh, and previously in NY. Missing low forward tatsu punish twice when I assumed it was automatic until it happens and costs you. Also just missing the most basic stuff like fireball into denjin countless times. Oh and my favorite is just jump jab when I was trying chip with some type of blocked normal into shoryu. All potentially cost me the match.

As far as wake up, I definitely do things far to often. I can block fairly solid when I focus but I get panicked and want to find an easy way out. Also so many raw moves when trying to get ex versions…and I don’t think I ever actively even think about quick standing vs not like EVER. No good. I am trying to apply some of Yuuki’s practice defense against the computer on hard strategy, and it does seem to to be somewhat helpful in my very tiny sample size. (Given my lack of local competition, and trying to avoid playing online too much)


As a newer player, one of the biggest things coming into 3rd Strike that I have to learn, is ~punishing~

Even if it’s just 2 jabs, or fierce DP, or whatever. Getting people away from my face is something I’m terrible at in 3s (looking at you specifically, Yun!).
I signed up for a local meetup in 2 weeks, so I’m going to sit down and really figure out punishes and execution.

These guys will most likely beat me easily, considering how many years of experience they have, but I can at least try to not be a free win.


Where are the posts Rydawg


I don’t have much to brag over regarding my 3s game but I do feel like I had some pretty decent methods of improving execution back when I really wanted to get good at the game. If there was nobody to play one of my methods was to grind through single-player mode with a set number of allowed mistakes for a run and if I exceeded that number I would restart the game and try again. Eventually I would try and beat the game without making a single mistake in the areas I was working on. For example I could be working on hitonfrming and/or maximum punishes and if I missed one punish or hitconfirm I would hit reset and try again. I feel like that helped me a lot with becoming more consistant with my execution.


Ryan, I don’t know if you know (or if anyone in the 3s community knows) but I’ve been working on a compendium of 3s information for players.

Would it be okay with you if I included excerpts here and there in a tutorial?


I only picked up 3S about a two weeks ago, the game looks and feels great and I’d love to be good at it but I just get dominated when I jump online and I don’t know where to start. People seem to be psychic with their parries and 100% efficient with punishes while I just suck out loud.


Hey you, be mah test dummy.


like any fighting game knowing the timing of moves is critical. otherwise you don’t know how to punish and you also don’t know what’s safe and what’s not.
you just need to keep playing and learn from experience what things look like, what they do and what punishes what.

in the last few years i feel like i’ve seen a lot of posts like this.
is there any fighting game you’d expect to just pick up and be good at? you’re going to be total ass for a little while. your ego can take the bruising :slight_smile: