[SIZE=4][FONT=Arial][SIZE=19px]Defensive Decision Making[/FONT][/SIZE][/SIZE]
I take personal lessons with Air and one of the big things we been working on and that’s been improving my game drastically is in my defensive decision making. One of the things he told me was to determine my opponents offensive decisions more based off of meter and health and what helped me do this was to determine my decisions I make when I’m on offense and why I do it. It seems a lot of players calculate health and meter when they are offense but forget to do it when on defense. Determining where your opponent stands based off health and meter is crucial in being defensively strong.
Lets say you have 3 quarters life and your opponent has chip health away and your opponent gets a knock down and an offensive opportunity. Your opponent needs to make a large comeback and the chances are if you block something they are going to try and frame trap you since the counter hit can lead to heavy damage. Determining that frame trap BEFORE getting put into the block string is crucial, It gives you the ability to prepare for it and make your decisions less frantically. You could then prepare for a ex shou, or a backdash, or just simply block until your out of the trouble. Same goes with meter, You don’t have to always end with ex shunpu. Sometimes ending with hp shou to save that bar can help you get outta trouble when its needed. When my health is lower against strong offensive characters sometimes I like to keep those 3 bars to get outta trouble in case I get knocked down.
A lot of players are always telling you to block more and by all means that’s good advice but to compete with top level players you need to make more technical defensive decisions. Try to prepare for things before they happen. That being said my approach is blunt and simple, take a throw and know how to deal with it. 130 damage is way better than the 300 damage counter hit you could be taking. Don’t mash crouch tech, determine the throws and tech them. Throw teching should be a conscious decision, a choice you made to do.
When you are not given the tools like shoryukens for defense you have to be smarter. You can’t just eat 4 counter hit frame traps in a round then blame it on Sakura’s defense being bad. What’s bad was your idea to crouch tech every block string.
In conclusion, don’t stop thinking when you’re on defense. This is a game of resources… meter and health are resources. Calculate those resources to make your decisions.
Dealing with Frame Traps and Proper Throw Teching with Air
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=15px]Key points are either scenarios created by you or scenarios you are put in where you can learn information. It can be as simple as teching a throw and observing what your opponent does after. Although this sounds simple it is easy to forget this. A lot of players build habits when put into a certain scenario and if you can find those there is always an answer to them, if you know something is going to happen you can counter it. Lets look at an example on an opponents wake up. You have knocked your opponent down and now your going to do jab, jab, walk back. What is important here is observing what your opponent does when you walk back. Players will build defensive habits and even good players will keep doing this until they are punished enough for it. It is important to find those when applying your offense. Here are some of the scenarios[/FONT][/SIZE]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=15px]Mashing crouch tech - Answer: Frame trap (jab, jab, cr.mp/cr.hp)[/FONT][/SIZE]
Delayed crouch tech - Answer: Most likely reacting to the walk, try and walk forward and then frame trap with cr.hp or whatever.
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=15px]Stand tech - Answer: Punish the throw whiff[/FONT][/SIZE]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=15px]Nothing - Answer: Throw[/FONT][/SIZE]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=15px]Reversal - Answer: Pretty obvious, block and punish[/FONT][/SIZE]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=15px]Jump - Answer: Frame trap or could bait it if they are neutral jumping and use U2[/FONT][/SIZE]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=15px]Anyways, you get the point. As straight forward as this seems, its important to remember to use whatever you can to learn. 99 seconds is a long time, if you lose your offense but learn something crucial in the process, it really isn’t much of a loss in my opinion. Those key points can win you rounds at the critical times. There is more depth to this and by no means am I a top top player but I’d like to share some of the things I use to learn my opponent for my own personal learning and for feedback, as well as to possibly help others.[/FONT][/SIZE]