Ken's Fake Thunder Kick Mix-ups!




I’ve mentioned Ken’s Fake Thunder Kick (FTK) a few times in various other threads and I thought it would tidy the place up if I put all the small bits of info from all the other threads into a single point of reference.

I’ve been playing around with it a lot lately and discovered a few extra bits of info so here goes.

I’ll start from the beginning:

FTK - Ken’s Fake Thunder Kick (hold towards and press and hold Roundhouse (hard kick)). 27 frame duration.
TTK - Ken’s True Thunder Kick (hold towards and tap roundhouse (hard kick)) 21 frame start-up, 2 active frames

Following on from a combo that has ended with a fierce DP, Ken is afforded the perfect timing to perform an immediate FTK followed up by an immediate

If you hit both moves (FTK and on the first possible frames, Ken will land the as a perfect meaty when the opponent quick rises (excluding Adon).

This technique will even allow Ken to recover his in time to block slower reversals such as Bison’s EX scissors (14 frame start-up) and EX Psycho crusher(13 frame start-up). I’d be tempted to say you can even recover to block in time to block Balrog’s EX Headbutt (12 frame start-up), but at the time of writing, I haven’t experimented with this properly yet.

So why is this such a good thing, I hear you ask?

Well. when Ken fights against a select few characters, he is able to do a character specific safe jump if he immediately does a forward jump lk after his fierce DP.

Characters such as Ryu, Cammy, Akuma and Fei Long, for example, cannot perform a reversal DP when they quick rise on Ken if he is using this technique. This is a very strong way of applying continued pressure after a fierce DP combo, albeit very well known.

But many other characters can simply reversal ANYTHING that Ken does (from a jump in) after a fierce DP. Thus, as soon as your opponent sees you jump after your fiery DP, he knows that you just committed to his reversal.

The end result in these matches tends to be that using Ken’s fierce DP to end your combo can sometimes “stall” your offensive pressure. Here is where Ken’s immediate FTK follow up can become useful.

Why don’t I just walk up and do a meaty normally?

Well you can. But using the FTK to advance, gives your opponent a whole extra outcome to worry about, an OVERHEAD ATTACK. It also puts you slightly closer in on your opponent than normal walking does. This allows Ken to do, cr.lp, cr.hp as a follow-up on characters that would normally wake up too far away had you just walked up to them to do a meaty

Using the FTK follow-up after a fierce DP is making your opponent think about ALL these following outcomes:

Is he going to do a meaty step kick (the start-up is almost identical)?
Is he going to do a FTK into a low attack (
Is he going to do a FTK into a meaty throw?
Is he going to do a FTK into a delayed crouch tech (baiting the reversal)?
Is he going to do the TTK and hit me with an overhead (Ken’s 2nd most damaging normal at 120dmg)?

In fact, Ken can even do a FTK into a Although it won’t land as a true meaty, it will very often hit opponents during the start-up of any 3 frame normal attack and land you a counterhit combo opportunity.

So, to summarise:

Ken’s fierce DP gives you automatic timing for a perfect FTK > follow-up into the mix-up of your choice.

Using Ken’s FTK as the set-up to a meaty attack increases the amount of actions that your opponent has to think about. This is a good thing!!

Using Ken’s FTK follow-up increases your combo options on certain characters by getting you closer in on their wake-up. A good example is Rufus’s EX Messiah will whiff half way through, even on hit!! This doesn’t always work if you just walk up and do

Remember to use Ken’s TTK once you have them trained to block the The timing is almost identical but you just need to pause for a split second before you tap hk. I always hold backwards during the DP and as soon as I see Ken take a tiny step back, I know I have the timing right.

I hope this has been helpful guys.

At the moment, this is what I see as my unique Ken playstyle, but if it helps out other Ken’s, I’d be glad to have been the inspiration!!

Feedback and questions appreciated…

Arcade Edition 2012 update:

Fake Thunder Kick duration reduced to 24 frames (was 27 frames).

This reduction in duration now makes all the previous FTK set-ups more leniant. When following up a fierce DP with an FTK into meaty, there is no longer a need to do the FTK frame perfect upon landing. This makes it much easier. It also makes it look more like a True Thunder Kick attempt (21 frame start up) which required a minute delay after landing from the DP to land meaty on the opponent.

Result = high low mix-up has become stronger and easier.

Now, because we have 3 extra frames to perform an attack (due to the reduction in length from 27 to 24 frames), we can now use any move with 6 frames or less start up with the old immediate FTK timings.

If you follow up your fierce DP with an immediate FTK, you can now land an immediate,, or cr.fp as your follow-up.

Currently, I believe using the immediate FTK into immediate to be a VERY useful mix-up when combined with the FTK into and TTK follow ups.

If you do the FTK immediately and the immediately, it hits meaty on it’s second or third active frame, giving you +2 or +3 on block and +5 or +6 on hit.

From here, you can continue a combo, use the varied timing to get a kara throw, OS U2 etc, etc. In the corner, you can follow up the with xx fireball, FADC, cr.fp xx tatsu/DP for a dizzy on most of the cast (depending on what led to your fierce DP knockdown).

Moving on to the EX DP follow up:

We can now follow up an EX DP knockdown with an immediate FTK into an immediate on all the cast. It is EXTREMELY tight, as was the old FTK mix-up before after the regular fierce DP. The timing is probably the hardest part to get used to as Ken lands from the EX DP slightly differently than the fierce DP, so practicing the 2 will be necessary if you want to use both.

This is all I have so far, so have a good read through this and let me know what you think…





Need advice for improvement
(OLD) Ken General Discussion Thread (Combos, Techniques, etc.)

Gonna have to try this at the arcades today as I tend to finish all my combos with a HP.SRK (I like the knockdown options it gives me after).


I’ll definitely have to post up when I’ve tried this out. For a while I was wondering what FTK stood for. :smiley:


ME too lol. I wonder what Dr.Chaos would think of this. He likes doing FTK anyway haha


Wow really nice writtin I’m really goin to start to incorporate some of this into my game cuz I’ve always had a slightly harder time keepin momentum after a f.dp. and seriously dude some of your writtings need to go on the front page of kens gen disscussion.


Brilliant! I never really thought about using FTK, I always just did TTK after a combo, but I started getting ultra’d haha, it can also be used to bait an ultra and have enough time to block it :slight_smile:


New Info!!!

You can do the exact same set-up after ken scores a knockdown from an AA medium punch DP!!!

I think this is quite a big find because sometimes you can’t get your offense going any other way.

I only discovered this after playing a very good Cody who was using his bad spray(?) just enough to make it effective.

So I went in to the lab to see if I could actually hit a fierce DP, immediate FTK and block it, but I couldn’t.

Then I tried a lp DP ender, immediate FTK and block. This worked, but obviously causes less damage.

Then I thought about "what if I hit him on his jump in with a strong DP? Guess what? It works!!

You actually have maybe a frame extra from this approach, giving you time to get a meaty or even a meaty

The timing takes a bit of getting used to because Ken doesn’t recover as quickly from a strong DP like he does with his fierce DP, but it is still an immediate FTK follow up to get the auto timing.

Hope people find this useful.




Niiiiice, i gotta start getting back into my trainning room…


Not fake!

A good setup off of a backthrow, is lp. srk, then thunder kick, puts you at perfect distance


G77 do you have a video of this at all, I think I understand what you mean in our original post but a video of this (either in a match or training room) would get help get a visual sense of how to use this setup.


My recording equipment is a bit awful (good camera, bad when uploaded to youtube).

I will give it a shot though. Give me a few days. I need to learn how to do annotations and stuff to make it more user friendly, so it’s gonna be a bit of a learning curve for me…




That’s fine, anything would be helpful!


What if I do a FTK and the jump over the opponent? Would I be able to hit them with Jump in Attack or a air tatsu? Can do it now cause I’m at work


I’ve started using this and I must say it’s a real good find. This gives Ken an extra mix up that really holds the opponent on their toes. FTK ->, FTK -> HP srk, TTK, FTK -> kara-throw, FTK -> regular throw, you name it and you can also do it. Mix that up with empty jump ins, cross up tatsus and whatnot and you have a real good choice of weapons.


I’m glad people are still finding this stuff out and agreeing with me!!

I’m going to look into the FTK into jumping moves…

I have a feeling that a forward jump will completely pass over your opponent to the point that, even if you COULD hit them with a cross-over lk tatsu, it would be so far away from them that you would have no viable follow on from there.

FTK into neutral jump on the other hand…

I will do some testing to see whether this has any good uses. If I had to guess, I could see it being useful for possibly dodging some DP style moves (I’m thinking moves that travel forwards or have a fairly slow start-up like a Balrog EX Head-butt for example).

I’ll get back to you on this. I’m still very busy in the real world right now…




I’ve tried FTK to empty jump and it does not work awfully well against characters with a solid AA. I’m still using this FTK mix up and I think it’s a great find! I have so many options that I sometimes haven’t the fogiest what I’m doing myself. :slight_smile:

“The real world”? I’ve heard of this place…filled with girlfriends, jobs, schools, appointments and bills.


I’ve started abusing these mix-ups now.

I tend to start out the round with True Thunder Kicks as this trains them to stand up on wake up (which is what we want as a Ken player). There is also a lot less mashed out DP’s at the beginning of a round (IMHO). I can then maintain the pressure with a cr.lp into kara throw etc etc. This then sets us up beautifully for the FTK into, cr.lp, cr.hp xx EX tatsu. From here, your opponent is teetering on stun and is in the guessing game of the post EX tatsu mind games. 1 wrong guess from them and you have that round won.

Since watching Wao use it on every fierce DP knockdown, I’ve decided to make it my goto follow-up after a fierce DP (unless I can do a safe jump immediate

The real question is Why Wouldn’t You do an FTK follow-up?

You lose NONE of your offensive options and yet can threaten with an overhead that combos on counterhit.

Surely it’s a no brainer right?




G77 i dont understand next:
ok, if i do FTK and immediate it will be meaty and it’s 27+3 frames
but TTK is 21 frames startup
conclusion TTK will wiff!
we need wait 9 frames to meaty TTK
enemy can see the differences

also step kick has 27 frames duration then it can be use same way like FTK


6 frames is barely noticeable, I can assure you. Plus, your opponent will not know the timing as well as a Ken player.

To put it into perspective, I believe Hondas headbutt takes 10 frames to travel full screen and you rarely ever see it get DP’ed on reaction.

Now add to this that your opponent doesn’t know if you delayed it for the TTK, or if you intend to do a delayed FTK and just block or even a delayed FTK into a fierce DP for a possible counterhit set-up.

So in conclusion, it’s EXTREMELY hard to notice the difference in timing. I would go as far as saying it’s virtually impossible.

Even if your opponent is able to spot the timing, he still has to guess whether you’re going for the high attack or the reversal bait.

But don’t take my word for it. Try using it in a match and see how effective it is.

Yes, you could use Ken’s step kick, but you’re no longer threatening the overhead so Your opponent will invariably just block low. But I thought Ken’s step kick was much faster start up than 27 frames. I thought it was like 11 frames or something like that…




Now i understand, thx.
What i’am also thinking about is best frame trap with shoryuken using FTK
FTK leaves as +3 frames
we can kara FTK that gives us 2 or 3 more frames
and then kara dp that should put us in position -2 frames before dp will start versus revesal :slight_smile:
enemy’s wakeup frames is 30, we use kara FTK(3+27) kara dp (2+3)
I know it’s very hard to do but it’s still posibile (if i’am right)
We can beat 5 frames dp using hp dp.
and even seth dp using mp dp ))))