Need help drilling new habits to my game in ssf4

So I’ve been watching my replays and comparing them to other top players to see what I’m doing differently than the others. After a bit of videos I discovered that I’m missing three things that are almost basic to the game in general.

Kara Grab
Back Dash

I’m asking how exactly do I start doing them more? I know when it comes down to it, I have to be able to do them on reaction but what’s the best way to start training these new habits?

Just start throwing focus and backdashes into your game. You probably will be using them wrong at first but eventually you will figure out when they are good to use. can’t learn if you don’t try right?

That’s actually a pretty good way to look at it. Trial by fire.

Kara Grab only applies to the select few characters who have them.

First of all, I commend you on recognizing where you need to grow in your game. With that being said, its probably easy if you understand what each of those aspects actually accomplish. For instance, do you know why you want to Kara Grab? Why Focus Attack? One thing I can say is that Kara Grab isn’t necessarily basic to the game, but it certainly is an added move if you can pull it off consistantly.

My advice is to practice in training mode (and even in the trial Barrel Buster Stage) some of these things. For instance, Focus attacks are good because they accomplish a few things:
-They have varying levels of stun (focus crumple), so it makes setting up your most damaging combo a lot easier. Lv3 Focus attacks are unblockable, so charging one makes people afraid to eat it.
-They have Hyper Armor (which means you can absorb 1 non armor-breaking normal/special.)
-They are good for absorbing attacks and setting up counter hit scenarios
-They work well for absorbing projectiles
-They help you dash in and out of cancellable moves (back or forward), which even further sets up your options

You may also want to practice your kara grabs (preferably with ken since its most noticable that you’re doing it) in and after block strings, which will help keep your moveset unpredictable to your opponent.

As for backdashes, its pretty obvious you can you that in many of ways. One might be to make your opponent use a reversal on wakeup, and after backdashing, you punish their recovery. Backdash also works great on your own wakeup, which helps you escape from some jump-in attempts. Backdash is also a great tool (especially if your character has nice footspeed) to control space in your footsies.

I’m actually in the same situation, I just started playing “seriously” this weekend and I got Chun to C without using a single focus attack (except to absorb projectiles), which is something I want to change ASAP. I just don’t know when to use it properly.

I understand that it’s something that I’m going to have to figure out myself and fit into my own game, but I do have one specific question. It seems that some people FA on jump in and some don’t, at the level I’m playing at 99% of people jump in with the classic to, so I’ve been training myself to block high-low. Should I maybe start using FAs in this situation more to catch the jump in attack?

I strongly recommend that you DO NOT get into the habit of involuntarily using Focus Attack every time someone jumps in on you. Reason being is that later on when you meet better players, they will punish your focus attack every time, because its easily throwable. Now sometimes I use focus attack (as an unfortunate force of habit during jump ins), but in all honesty, Anti-Airing is totally more effective than using Focus attack.

If someone is going to run the risk of jumping in on you (especially if they cannot alter their aerial trajectory), than you should punish them for being so vulnerable and underestimating your reaction time. It takes time learning where and when you should use focus attacks (as counter hits or as feints, projectiles or otherwise), but really you should try working in the training room with the CPU on hardest and see where you might be able to fit Focus Attacks into just a general live match.

Unfortunately, you can’t really be told (im bad at explaining some things) when and where to use it, its just something you learn with time.

Thanks for the advice, I get what you’re saying. I guess I’ll just start making a concerted effort to work FAs into my game and just see where it leads.