I love ken, but I dont get his way of fighting



I know the frame data inside out. A lot of his moves end in horrible negative when blocked. I thought he style was offensive. And to make the confusion complete his punish is very good… which is good for a defensive character? O.o
Further his normals are only soso and get stuffed by a lot of the cast.
I am not seeing the bigger picture I think, it would be great if someone could enlighten me how to fight with ken.

Thx! ^^


Find out what works for you


Mix them up on wakeup, put them in corner, whiff punish, take away their whole lifebar off of mistakes.


Basically what I do/ aim to do:
pressure with mixups, create panic, punish hard


The fuck are you on about? His only properly punishable normals are c.HP and c.HK.

Go watch some Momochi.


You have to bulldog your way in & be patient when making your way in. Once you’re in, you use your mixups & force them to make mistakes. Need to learn to hit confirm, too. That’s a huge part of his game. Stuff lk crMK into medium or light tatsu, st HP with his run, etc.


Didn’t you just contradict yourself immediately? Lmao…


Here you go, watch this and see how you create pressure with Ken. Your main strong points as a player need to be reactions, adaptation and aggression. His hit confirms and whiff punishing require a strong reaction time and situational awareness. His footsie and shimmy game forces adaptation between each match-up, with different counter pokes having different utility and you need to be able to adapt to every opponents habits to properly utilize his shimmy game. The aggression needs to be present to play Ken at all, a passive Ken player won’t get far in SFV - he needs to be the attacker at any opportunity he can take.


What do you guys mean mix up game?

High/low mixup? Tick throw mixup?

Can you describe it?


Ken has left/right, high/low and meaty/throw mix-ups. Some of it stems from CC resets and EX air tatsu resets but mainly you’ll get the bulk of it from your Oki set-ups.

Air tatsu, v-skill and m.tatsu can all be used for left/right mix-ups.

He has two overheads for high/low, cr.lk for your low option.

And meaty/throw doesn’t really need an explanation.


I’m having problems with ken as well. I’m a silver ranked cammy player. Really want to use ken but I’m getting destroyed… I’ve yet to land his target combo in a match unless it’s a dp punish or something. How you do do these combos without getting jabbed out???


Ken is kinda a Whiff punish character and can’t press buttons sporadically in mid range like some characters. He is a punisher essentially, so you are looking to capitalize on your opponents mistakes. If they aren’t making any, then they have to be playing safe which means you can usually pressure.

First thing to do, is probably learn his footsie game and get good with sweep and throw pressure. Ken is all about putting you into the corner, and no one should ever jump on you, like ever. Try doing sets with some Ken players here and I recommend watching videos of Babybel on CFN.


I’ll repeat my stupid “3 essential point” lecture that I say all the time.

Footsies, Reactions, Adaptation. All at an above average level.

Like Omni said, Ken capitalizes on opponents mistakes but he also enforces them. You have to be able to force your opponent to want to do X so you can do Y. You need to be able to react to very tight single hit confirms and one of his most crucial skills required is the ability to adapt his pressure game/shimmy/anti-airs/counter pokes to every single opponent you come across. I think Ken is a hard worker and the only way to be good with him is to put in some major work.

To do the combos you want to do, you’ll need two things. Firstly you need to be able to position yourself in a match to be able to do this, which is done through closing the space with good footsies(Use of normals against their normals), counter poking preferably into sweep xx v-skill or landing a jump in.

Once you’ve closed that gap, the second thing you need is the reactions to be able to confirm the target combos. They’re tight to confirm, so will require practice. Train them to be able to reliably react to both St.mk and b.mp.

So many more things but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I need to update the tech thread.


Im very interested to find out how to whiff punish on reaction… it just cant.
I set dummy to c.mk and try to whiff punish it with simple s.lk but cannot. Not on reaction which is the legitimate way.
The only way is to shimmy around, and put out normals once in a while when you think they will hit…that’s pretty not fun.

Anybody have any insight on footsies that isn’t “making reads?”

P.S. you know how in sf4 you can jiggle the stick forward then back to down back and it will kinda do an option select move forward not really but its safe-ish… but now it doesn’t seem to work in sfv, why is that. I was wondering because that was like the bnb of footsies…the jiggle forward.


Key thing to know about whiff punishing is that it’s not entirely “reaction.” Reaction has never been the crutch of what makes whiff punishing consistent outside of insanely long recovering normals that sticks out in front of you.

Examine the dumb buttons from every character → Find your normal that can handle it → Find the positioning that works consistently

Basically, you first need to be aware of the options. In this case, once you know the “buttons” that others will throw out, you know what’s the possible situation that could occur depending on your spacing and situation. If you “think” it will come, and you have the sight and feel for it… then you attempt it. It’s a mix of both reaction and prediction/anticipation.


^What he said^

Also wanted to add that when you think that someone is going to throw out a normal, your focus spikes up for about a second or two in which you’re better able to react to what you’re looking for. Based on information gathered you should be thinking “okay, every time I invade his space, he likes to hit low forward” so next time you do, follow it up with backing up a bit and looking for the first visual cue, anything that’s not just stationary/movement. The first visual cue is what you’re reacting to, you don’t have time to determine what poke it is (if it’s a faster poke you’re looking to whiff punish) and react accordingly. It takes a lot of processing power and determination, which is why I don’t even look for visual cues sometimes and just match the spacing/rhythm with a buffered normal, hard reads like this are useful when you want to save mental energy, which is a resource I don’t see people talking about too much.


I would love to play some sets with some of the higher up Ken players. This is the first SF game ive played since SF alpha 2 for Sega Saturn old school. I would just like to get better. I started watching Ultrachen TV to learn the frame data. My fighter ID is suckamc