Learning to block (defend)


This must look like the dumbest question, since it is such a fundemental part of a fighting game. but what are proper ways to learn to block? it seems I have the hardest time blocking even simpel moves. I am pretty new to fighting games and I am conccentrating so much on getting the exectuions right that I get lazy at blocking or I am just to slow.

Is there a good way to learn this in training mode or are there some good basic tips how to block?

I play with cammy on a fighting stick.


why not just play online and only block? or only block/react?


You hold back for medium and high attacks, ie stomach and head level. As well as overheads, attacks that go over head like Akumas chop or Vipers elbow. You do this for jumping attacks as well. You block low attacks with down back, you can do this for medium attacks and high attacks will usually be ducked. Don’t block jumping attacks low, cause you’ll get hit.

As a practice you could record Viper jumping in at you with roundhouse, then doing low medium kick and then her over head, which is f.mp. So thats j.rh, c.mk, f.mp. This way you’ll learn appropiate situations for when to block normals. Then you can move onto specials and ultras, etc. The amount of people who don’t know you block Vipers ultra low… >_>


Go into training mode, put the opponent on AI at max level, and just block/tech everything. See how long you can go without getting hit/thrown.

Or just play the game, the more you do the more used to it you will become.


I would go to practice mode, set the dummy to CPU and set it to max difficulty and just block everything the opponent throws at you. It’s random, it’s uncoordinated, it might be very off as to how a human opponent do… but the main point is that it’s random and being able to block stuff on reaction is going to help you.

Though, when it comes to human opponents and predicting, that’s just something you’re going to pick up as you keep playing.

Edit: Doh D: That’s what I get for taking a long time to figure out what I wanna say


Blocking seems to be my biggest problem… and I main Seth :bluu: I’m gonna try some of these methods and see where I get.


Thanks already for the great responses! This will certainly help, I will definatly go in training mode and try to only block against the CPU. and then I will try to block during special occasions like Ultra’s etc.
I guess the most important thing is practice and a lot of experience with the game.


Yea this is definitely a good question as I’m teaching someone to play at the moment and even though shes got pokes and very basic mix up down she is bad at blocking as well. I would say in addition to trying to do a whole session of “block only” try to get a friend or go online and just have a rule where you only attack as a response after a block or series of blocks, this gives you a notion of when the time is right to stop blocking and fight. Heck it took me a while to really learn this myself.:slight_smile:

For instance if you block a jab and then try a heavy attack like a fierce, you may just get hit by a second jab. But if you realize what happened, you’ll start to get a better notion of when to keep blocking and when to fight back, or even attempt a reversal.

To go a bit further once you are more comfortable with blocking, look for information on “option selecting” to stop those pesky throws when you are blocking too much.


Record this string with Ryu in training mode:

c.lk xx c.lp xx c.lp j.mk c.lk xx c.lp, overhead (forward mp).

You might have to adjust the pokes (I’m not sure of the spacing against Cammy), but this simple string will help you to learn how to block cross-ups, low attacks and overheads mixups. To spice things up a bit, try to backdash/FA backdash the overhead once you’ve learned to block it.


After a while it will just become second nature to block correctly. The next step would be trying to recognize the startup frames of characters’ overhead attacks.


Part of blocking is also realizing when you can actually stop blocking and start counterattacking. If someone is pointblank and using a bunch of pokes and stuff, keep blocking until they’re completely out of range. A lot of characters have moves that seem like you can counterattack afterwards, but you really can’t.

For example, Bison’s short scissor kick, c.mk, short scissor kick. A lot of newer players tend to think that since the scissor kick is a special move, they can punish it after the first one, which often times leads them to be counterhit with the c.mk combo.


No its not. Next step is to learn the basics. Don’t worry about crap like frames till you are good at the game.


He wasn’t talking about numbers smart ass.

The question is about learning how to block, learning to recognize overhead startup animations (i.e. frames) and block accordingly is a big part of that.


I skimmed the thread and didn’t see it mentioned, but the general rule for blocking in 2D fighters is to block low and watch for overheads and throws. Overhead attacks are typically slower and more obvious than low attacks, and characters tend to have less overheads than lows in their arsenal. Throws can be a bit more ambiguous but they are still easier to watch for than a little crouching kick.

Obviously this does not apply to a jumping opponent as it is very rare for a character to have low attacks from the air (Arakune is the only one I can even think of).


2 important things imo are to not mash option select tech* and to learn how to properly block crossovers that are hard to understand visually and lead to knockdowns such as vegas walldive slash thingy (no clue wtf it’s called).

For learning when to counter-attack in blockstrings, get someone who’s proficient with Balrog to outright spam you with rushes and pokes in a corner, should help a lot.

*A short explanation since someone else already mentioned it earlier: in SFIV you can’t throw while crouched, but you can tech throw-attempts. So in blockstrings, if you anticipate a throw, simply attempt to counter it while crouched- the worst thing that’ll happen if they don’t go for a grab is you whiffing a light kick, which usually is too quick to be punished- as long as you don’t mash it.


Finally. Someone takes the time to explain it well. thanks.


If you have a friend, you can spar together in an excercise. I read this on a ST player’s blog, and he was a pretty good high level player. I forgot his name, so apologies… But the drill is basically this:

You and your friend play some normal vs games only with some stipulations:

  1. one person is designated as the attacker, the other is the defender.

  2. The attacker can not use special moves or command grabs, at all.

  3. The defender cannot be offensive, at all. Ever. No attacks, just defend.

  4. The defender must last the round without taking any damage

  5. The attacker must kill the opponent without using any special moves, and command grabs

I find that i’ve done this drill with a few friends, and it’ll teach you some teching and not only that, get you a feel for all of your character’s normals. It’ll teach you some basic mixup stuff to try and kill a defensive player, and it’ll teach you how to be defensive when someone is pressing the attacking or rushing your shit down.


the only thing you really gotta know bout fighting games is that everything you do, do it for a reason, not cause of an impulse
a real reason BTW, this applies to defending and attacking

therefore, you dont need to “learn” how to block
you need to observe when its better to block
Alex Valle told me something on EVO2K7 that I will never forget in my life…
I asked him, I get nervous cause I dont know if Im gonna get thrown
and he said

“Take the throw…”


My biggest problems are blocking ambiguous cross-ups and tick throws and I main Seth and Bison. I can anticipate overheads well but my downfall is when they jump at me at close range or hit me with a blockstring and mix it up with a throw.


This is from a friend of mine. “when an oponent mix throws with links, keep blocking hits (back or back-down) while pressing throw for each hit you block, that will probably help you tech most throw attempts”.
Hope that helps